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Real Estate and Land in Thailand

Thailand is in many ways a wonderful place to live in. You will find a pleasant subtropical climate, reasonable prices, good food, beautiful nature, great beaches and people who generally are easy to get along with. It is not odd that many foreigners are looking for a home and house here, but first it is important to get the necessary knowledge of the Thai laws around the land and house ownership.

Foreign Land Ownership

It is actually prohibited for foreigners to own land in Thailand. Some investment possibilities to grant land ownership are however possible, but then you are required to invest at least 40 million baht in the country in order to be granted the right to acquire one rai (1600 square meters) for residential purposes.

Luxury villa with pool

Land Leasing

Foreigners are however allowed to lease land for up to 30 years. A so-called leasing, which may be extended for another 30 years if both parties agree. But you should always consult a serious and knowledgeable lawyer before any contracts are written.

Owning an Apartment

The Thai government allows foreigners to own an apartment (condominium), but not the land on which it stands. We advise you to consult a lawyer to check all the contracts before signing anything.

Thai Partners

If you have a Thai partner, he or she can of course own land or real estate in Thailand. This has become one of the most common approaches in Thailand, but of course this requires that we have a partner from the country and can rely on him or her.

To Own Through a Company

Real estate agents and lawyers have for a quite long time suggested that foreigners can buy land through a Thai majority-limited company and therefore have control of the company, which has been considered as a safe ownership. However, you should be aware about this approach, since Thai law do not approve of companies which only exist for land ownership. Foreigners (and even so-called Thai nominee share holders), which has formed a company to circumvent the law, risk fines and imprisonment in fact, if it goes to court. Also, the land may be confiscated. Our advice is never to start a business ONLY in order to own land or buildings.

Yellow flower

House in a tropical environment

About Land-owning Rights

Some areas in Thailand has land titles (legal documents) that make it not legal to sell or buy any of this land. It is often agricultural land. There are however Thais that have successfully upgraded their land with better land titles, but we recommend not to buy other land titles than Chanote, Nor Sor Sam Gor, or possibly Nor Sor Sam.

Chanote Land Certificate

The "most secure" land certificate, issued by the local land office in the province, is known as Chanote or Nor Sor Jor Si. The area is measured with GPS and has been marked in the nature. This land title is what you first of all should look for if you are looking for land in Thailand. It can normally be bought and sold without any hassle.

Nor Sor Sam - Nor Sor Sam Gor

The land titles Nor Sor Sam and Nor Sor Sam Gor is also land certificates that shows who is the specific owner of a particular land area. Nor Sor Sam Gor, it is more detailed certificate as the size of the area must be clearly indicated. These land titles are also relatively safe to purchase, but we advise you to get them upgraded to Chanote promptly if there is a possibility.

Thai Land Measurements

  1 Talang Wah = 4 square meters
  1 Ngan = 400 square meters
  1 Rai = 1600 square meters

  1 Acre = 2.5 rai
  1 Hectare = 6.25 rai


Prices of land vary enormously in the country. Land at attractive destinations can be very expensive. Beach land and properties in popular tourist destinations (such as Phuket, Koh Samui, Hua Hin, etc.), or city land in Bangkok, Korat and Chiang Mai are such examples. But in smaller towns and rural areas in Thailand, the price of land is usually relatively low, although it generally increase by time as well.

Tropical beach on Koh Samui
A SUNNY DAY IN KO SAMUI - Photo by Jens W,

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