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Buying a Condominium in Thailand

Bangkok Highrise CondoIn the past 15 or so years, purchasing a condo in Bangkok has become all the rage with foreign real estate investors and those just wishing to settle down in the Thai capital. A non-Thai national can legally have a freehold ownership over one or a number of condominiums in the Kingdom. However, there are certain conditions that must be met in order for a foreigner to own a condo in Thailand.

Foreign Ownership Explained

Overall, the purchase of a condo unit is a fairly simple and straightforward process once you know the correct procedures to follow. Additionally, there is no ownership restrictions at the time of writing based on either nationality or specific visa categories. In fact, every foreigner who can enter Thailand legally can buy and own a condo outright, and it is the purpose of this article to break down these procedures in an easy to understand format.

Thai Condominium Act of 2008, ActB.E. 2522 (1979)

If you are a first time buyer and not yet familiar with local property laws, then this breakdown will help you to become acquainted with the Thai Condominium Act of 2008 (amended), which sets down the rules and regulations that have to be followed.

Download: Thai Condominium ActB.E. 2522 (1979) as amended 2008

Here is a “brief” summary of these requirements, though other restrictions are applicable:

  • Foreigner has entered Thailand legally
  • Freehold ownership of condo unit when constructed on a land of less than five rai
  • Laws pertain to certain projects in municipal jurisdictions of the Kingdom
  • Condominium units owned by a foreigner cannot exceed 49% of the total project

The Sale and Purchase Agreement

A typical sale and purchase agreement between the parties will include the following six points:

  1. The precise details of the condo unit being purchased
  2. The exact particulars of the parties involved
  3. The agreed cost, payment schedule, and deposit if applicable
  4. The transfer date of the condo at the Land Office in Bangkok
  5. The responsibilities for all transfer fees and any taxes
  6. The warranties of both seller and buyer, and any matters relating to due diligence

The Financial Transaction

Under the Condominium Act 2008 (amended), regarding non-residents of Thailand, those who purchase condominium units in the Kingdom must remit all monies to pay for the unit(s) from overseas to the full value of the property. The purchaser will then need to get a Foreign Exchange Transaction Form certificate (TT3 or Thor.Tor.3) for each payment from the recipient bank. In order for the foreigner to register the condominium, these certificates then have to be shown to the Thai Land Department in Bangkok.

Payment “must” be transferred into the country as ‘foreign currency’ and not in Thai Baht.

For transfers, the Thai banks will only provide a ‘Foreign Exchange Transaction’ certificate for amounts over US$ 20,000. For lesser amounts, the bank will issue a credit note. This credit note can also be presented to the Land Office in Bangkok for registering the condominium, but it must come with a confirmation letter from your Thai bank.

What if You Don’t Have a Thai Bank Account?

If you do not have a bank account in Thailand, then you can remit the funds directly to the owner of the condominium you are buying, or to a third party account, such as a Thai Lawyer or other legally registered representative in the country.

However, we highly recommend that you transfer the funds directly to your own bank account here in Thailand when possible, and then obtain the Foreign Exchange Transaction certificate from the bank’s head office in the capital. All condominium related certificates and/or credit notes and receipts, need to be kept safely, along with any letters/documentation from the Thai bank, until the ownership of the condominium unit has been successfully transferred.

The Payment Procedure

To obtain a Foreign Exchange Transaction certificate in Thailand from a Thai Bank, you will have to ensure that the following four instructions are adhered to:

  1. The name of the remitter must be the same as the purchaser of the Bangkok condo (as indicated in the S & P agreement). Please fill in full name and address of remitter and the beneficiary.
  2. The money is transferred as foreign currency. Do not convert in Thai Baht before making a transfer. The conversion will be done by the beneficiary bank in Thailand.
  3. Please indicate in the transfer instructions that the purpose of the transfer is ‘To purchase a Bangkok condominium, unit No:…….., at the: (name of the condominium building)

Note: It’s important that you use the exact wording in order to avoid any misinterpretation by the Land Department of Thailand. For example, the word “apartment” (a term frequently used in other countries), has a totally different meaning from “condominium” in Thailand.

4. Please indicate overseas and beneficiary charges for each payment.

The Transfer of Ownership

Prior to the transfer of ownership, you will be informed of the total amount due, including any minor amenities or utility deposits. The following two instructions must be adhered to:

  1. If the final payment is NOT financed by a bank, then this amount needs to be remitted into Thailand exactly like the previous payments.
  2. If the final payment IS financed by a bank, then this amount needs to be paid by a cashier’s cheque which will then be exchanged with the Thai condominium’s title deed on the date of transfer of ownership.

The Conclusion

As with most bureaucratic procedures and large financial transactions, there is more to do than our brief article outlines. However, with the help and guidance of a good legal representative, the purchase of a Bangkok condo unit is a fairly painless procedure. This is something that is reflected by the sheer numbers of foreign condominium owners in the Thai capital and other municipal jurisdictions around the country.


If you would like to have your say on “Buying a Condominium in Thailand” please leave your comments below. Alternatively, you can contact us direct.

About Amorn S

Amorn Suramongkol is passionate about Thai real estate and writes useful and informative articles for aimed at helping Bangkok's expats find homes and settle in to the capital.

2 Responses to “Buying a Condominium in Thailand”

  1. Jehan
    April 28th, 2010 at 10:13 | #1

    I would like to know if I am a foreigner and I want to buy 50% of a condo from my friend and currently, I have approximately only 40% of the money. Can I transfer the 40% now and say the other 10% after 2-3 months. And then with both these ‘Foreign Exchange Transaction’ certiciates can I go to transfer 50% of the property? How long can the gap be from the first receipt? Also what is the value of 50% of the condo? Who fixes that? Is it the land department? Please do avise?

  2. Nan
    October 28th, 2010 at 14:35 | #2

    If u are looking for a good condominium, near BTS, I want to sell it. My husbands, a foreigner,bought it last year. The price of a studio room, Villa Sathorn, with 41.5 Sqm is 2.9 million THB, pls contact

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