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PM allays foreign quota fears

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Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Sunday defended the proposal to raise the proportion of foreign ownership allowed in condominiums from 49% to 75% and extend land lease terms for foreigners to 99 years from 30-50 years, saying these measures will help stimulate the economy.

However, to ensure Thai condominium owners can continue to exercise control over the property’s management, the proposed changes to foreign ownership quota won’t be followed by an increase in voting rights, said Mr Srettha.

The proportion of voting rights held by foreign owners to those held by their Thai counterparts will remain unchanged at 49% to 51%, according to the PM.

Foreign owners of a condominium unit who purchased their unit after the 49% quota has been filled will basically be able to own and live in their unit, but they won’t have the right to vote in any decision which requires voting among joint owners of the project, he said during a visit to the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) area in Rayong.

When asked about the proposed extension of the land lease terms to a maximum of 99 years for foreigners, the PM said other countries allow up foreign residents to lease land for up to 150 years.

Currently, foreigners can lease land for residential purposes for a maximum of 30 years, with one 30- year extension possible if both the landowner and lessee agree. Leases of 50 years are available for approved commercial and industrial projects.

Thailand’s property sector is experiencing a slowdown, with recent figures showing a 19.7% drop in the number of land permits approved throughout the first quarter of the year the largest decline in nine quarters, as low-rise house transfers fell.

Source: Bangkok Post

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