A scale model of the China-backed Forest-City property development project on one of the man-made islands on the Malaysian side of the Straits of Johor. Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman

Chinese demand for Thai real estate has been on an upward trend since 2015 and reached its second peak in history in 2018, the China Real Estate News reported.

In January 2018, the number of inquiries from Chinese buyers about purchasing homes in Thailand increased by 91% from a year earlier. The figure has increased by a whopping 313% when compared to the same period in 2016.

According to a Thai industry insider, although foreign buyers can only buy apartments in Thailand, they can also enjoy permanent property rights without property tax and inheritance tax.

In addition, taxes and fees in Thailand are not comparatively high. Just 2% of the transfer fee is shared by the seller and the buyer. The 3.3% special commercial tax is borne by the developer and the stamp duty is 0.5%.

In fact, not only Thailand, but other Southeast Asian and South Asian real estate markets have been thriving because of Chinese buyers.

In 2017, Chinese investors have parked more than US$2.5 billion in those markets, which is four times the amount in 2016.

Singapore is the most favored investment destination, attracting about US$2.1 billion, followed by Malaysia and Indonesia.

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