Sunday, May 28, 2023

Chinese pounce on homes in post-COVID Thailand & Australia

Chinese pounce on homes in post-COVID Thailand & Australia

STORY: "Hello, Bangkok!” shouts Danial Bian, flown in from Shanghai, and touring a luxury apartment in the capital of Thailand.

It's a moment of freedom to relish after three years of living under some of the world's toughest COVID-19 rules.

Since Beijing opened its borders this year many mainland Chinese, like Bian, have been flocking to Thailand to snap up investment properties.

Keen for a safety net in case of a similar disease outbreak, and for a hedge against economic risks at home.

Bian says he's also attracted to the lifestyle that Thailand offers.

“Everyone (in China) is thinking about the ways and opportunities through which they can make their money grow. The property market in Thailand is definitely something we discuss as a possibility. And if we have in-depth discussions about whether we really want to buy one (property in Thailand), We definitely feel like there are plus factors, like we will be able to holiday, there’s more freedom and convenience (in Thailand). The freedom to enter or leave the country, to travel back and forth. As well as the freedom of society, and life. Freedom is very important"

Thailand expects at least five million Chinese visitors this year, with some set on snapping up property.

The country's good international schools and quality medical facilities make it an attractive place for a second home.

The share of Chinese students at Singapore International School Bangkok rose to about 12% this year, up from 6% before the pandemic.

Thai rules do, however, limit foreign ownership to just under half of the units in any apartment block development.

But that hasn't put off prospective buyers from pouring in.

Real estate agent, Owen Zhu, escorted Bian and his 70-year-old mother around three different apartments in the city.

He says most of his clients are looking for properties typically costing more than 2 million yuan, or about $300,000.

Zhu says that would only get you a simple home in a first-tier Chinese city like Beijing.

“Before the pandemic, most Chinese buyers bought middle or lower-level homes for investment, because they can earn more by getting a cheaper property. But it has changed a lot after the pandemic, most of the Chinese choose to buy luxury apartments to live in.”

It's not just Bangkok that's luring in buyers.

Chiang Mai in the mountainous north is popular, as well as the region of Isan in the east, and the beach resort area of Pattaya.

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