Hongkongers flock to Thailand to snap up cheap flats, as Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy courts foreign workers


Thailand’s cheaper cost of living and more relaxed lifestyle are attracting more Hongkongers to make the move to the so-called land of smiles, boosting its property market as foreigners snap up flats.

David Chan, 31, relocated to Thailand in 2019 and is now making a living as a real estate agent, helping other Hong Kong residents find property and settle into Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.

“My wife, a Thai, was not too happy with Hong Kong, so back in 2019, when the political unrest broke out, we decided to move to Bangkok,” he said. “Since then, I have observed a 30 per cent increase in demand and enquiries from Hongkongers looking to move to Thailand.”

The trend is good news for many developers, especially after the difficult years of the coronavirus pandemic when sales slumped and inventories swelled. Insiders believe the worst may now be over for the sector, with sales picking up and one developer expecting a 50 per cent increase in demand from foreign investors.

Home prices in Thailand are around a quarter of what they are in Hong Kong, and families with children can easily find spots in international schools, Chan said.

In addition, many Hongkongers have been availing themselves of Thailand’s various residency programmes that allow them to stay long-term in the country, along with their family members.

These include a long-term resident visa scheme, launched last year, which sought to attract 1 million wealthy investors or talented foreign residents into the country over five years.

Successful applicants have the right to work in the country with a 10-year, renewable multiple-entry visa.Source: SCMP


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