Indians Are Out Shopping For Homes In South East Asia


Move over Dubai and London, South East Asian countries such as Thailand and Vietnam are now gaining traction as investment destinations for Indians looking to purchase real estate abroad.

Property prices for a three bedroom home in Pattaya, a popular beach city, are approximately Rs 70 lakh. In the capital city, Bangkok, the same home could cost approximately Rs 80 lakh. However, property investment rules for individuals and foreign-owned companies are different.

If you are looking at buying something for about Rs 70 lakh, you can either buy a small house on the periphery of an Indian metro or invest in something more luxurious in parts of South East Asia, said Ritesh Mehta, senior director and head, west & north, residential services & developer initiatives at JLL. “What more do you want?”

People are now looking at Vietnam as a market, said Mehta, and condos in Thailand are doing well, he added.

Many Indians have been known to make real estate investments in Southeast Asia, particularly in countries like Malaysia, and Thailand, along with Singapore, said Anuj Puri, chairman at real estate services company Anarock.

These countries offer a variety of investment options, such as luxury condominiums and apartments, as well as commercial and industrial properties. Additionally, South East Asia is a popular destination for Indian tourists, making it an attractive option for Indians looking to purchase a second home or vacation property, Puri said.

While Mumbai has a limited appetite for global buying, North India is very active, Mehta said. Matured markets no longer have smaller ticket sizes available and those in the North are willing to take risks, he said.

In Thailand, land can only be yours for a maximum lease of 90 years, according to a note by 99acres, dated January 6, 2023. Typically, the maximum lease is 30 years each term, which can be extended for another two terms, it added.

To be sure, developing South East Asian economies are not among the most preferred destinations for Indians looking to invest in real estate.

According to the latest wealth report data, UK, UAE, US, Canada, and India are the top five destinations where Indians prefer investing, said Christine Li, head of research at Knight Frank Asia-Pacific. Only Singapore–ranked sixth–from South East Asian nations made it to the top ten.

The trend of Indians investing in real estate is going be bigger going forward, according to Mehta. Student housing is increasing, with a lot of high net worth individuals enquiring for accommodation in London, said Mehta. Also, with the enforcement directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation getting more strict, more people want to diversify real estate investments, Mehta added.


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