An estimated 9.5 million Chinese tourists visited Thailand in 2017, according to the Thailand Ministry of Tourism. This is a significant increase from the number of Chinese guests visiting the country 5 years ago. The growing tourism numbers have also led to an increase in property buyers from China.
“Much of the sales in Thailand are riding on the back of tourism. One thing that stands out with our Chinese buyers is that we see them purchasing across all of our key local markets, namely Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Hua Hin, Pattaya, and Phuket,” says Cobby Leathers, Head of International Business at Sansiri.
Thailand and Vietnam are the 2 countries with the most interest from Chinese buyers but all countries continue to see enquires from this group. According to Chinese property portal Juwai.com, Thailand jumped 3 places to 3rd on the list of top destinations for Chinese buyers in the second quarter with only the US and Australia finishing higher than “The Land of Smiles”.
In Vietnam, enquires from Chinese buyers grew by 442 percent between January and May of 2017, according to Juwai.com data show. One reason for the increase in interest is due to the newly relaxed property laws in the country that has made it easier for people to buy. In 2015, Vietnam’s central government passed a law that allows anyone with a valid visa to buy property with a lease of up to 50 years. Previously, foreign buyers needed to hold a work visa and had to have already lived in the country for a year to purchase real estate.
While growth in Chinese inquiries across all markets slowed this year after the Chinese government started to strictly enforce controls on cash flow out of the country, it hasn’t been enough to stop all buyers. The outlook remains strong even if property sales in South East Asia take a hit.
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