Real Estate

Condo projects facing oversupply

Source: The Nation February 14, 2008

Condo projects facing oversupply

City condominium developers may delay construction of their projects launched last year, say property experts.

The developers are facing an estimated supply of up to 50,000 condominium units in greater Bangkok and a 20-per-cent increase in construction-material costs.

Customers who bought units worth Bt30,000 per square metre or less last year could lose their down payments, because the developers cannot continue with the high construction costs.

Sales in Pattaya, Phuket also slow

Bangkok Post April 12 2007

KANANA KATHARANGSIPORN: The property market on Koh Samui is facing so many problems that some developers may dump their projects and offer them wholesale in overseas markets, while sales in Phuket and Pattaya have slowed due to capital controls and changes to the Foreign Business Act. Wasant Kongchan, deputy managing director of the property consulting firm Agency for Real Estate Affairs (AREA), said property sales and investments in the three tourist destinations slowed in the first quarter as foreign buyers were concerned about changes to Thai law.

Source: Bangkok Post April 5 2007


Land plot papers to be revoked

The Land Department will revoke land papers issued for six plots of land on the tourist island of Koh Samui , a senior land official said yesterday. Department deputy chief Vichai Praisa-ngob said an investigation had concluded the Nor Sor 3 Kor title deeds for the land had been illegally issued. False Sor Kor 1 land occupation papers were used to apply for Nor Sor 3 Kor papers.

Solution to Samui flooding discussed

Source: Samui Express March 23 2007

SURATTHANI deputy governor Vinyu Thongsakul said that deforestation is the main cause of flooding on Koh Samui. He said this after a meeting of provincial and municipality officials to solve flooding in some areas of the island.

The meeting concluded that the solution for floods is prevention of forest denudation, especially where the water sources are located. The Forest Department had surveyed the mountain and forest areas on the island before declaring 23,546 rai or 9,418.4 acres of mountain land as protected forest zone. This means that no forest encroachment or land issuance of title deeds for both possession and ownership rights are allowed. The Land Department is specifically delegated to issue land title deeds according to rules to prevent more land scandals, which had happened before.

DSI to be decisive about nominees

Source: Samui Community March 15 2007

The Department of Special Investigation is continuing with its investigations into ‘Five Samui Nominee' who illegally registered hundreds of companies for foreigners to trade with and buy land on Koh Samui. The DSI Secretary-General Mr. Sunai Manomai-udom, vowed to take back all land in forest and mountain areas that was illegally occupied by foreigners. However, he also said that each case would be dealt with using prudence to prevent further adverse affects on investments.

The private sector hopes to find resolutions to deal with current questions on foreign ownership on Samui, as many foreign investors have already been put off buying real estate on the island. Many believe that a clear legal framework should be established by the government, with long term lease periods of 30-50 years offering the most obvious alternative to outright possession.

Source: Bangkok Post February 15, 2007

Inspections of land holdings by companies suspected to be foreign-owned must await documentation from the Business Development Department, according to the Lands Department. Sub Lt Khantachai Vichakkhana, the deputy director-general of the Lands Department, said it was the responsibility of the Commerce Ministry unit to determine the nationality of companies and whether illegal shareholding structures were used.

Thai law sharply restricts foreign ownership of land. Corporate entities doing so must be majority controlled by Thais. But nominee structures are commonly used to bypass the law, particularly in tourist areas such as Phuket and Pattaya.

The Thailand property law website: Thai nominees

Opinion: - February 15 2007

In the latest article in the Bangkok Post (February 15) - ' More documents sought in nominee hunt' (read Bangkok Post article), - sub Lt Khantachai Vichakkhana, the deputy director-general of the Lands Department, said it was the responsibility of the Commerce Ministry unit to determine the nationality of companies and whether illegal shareholding structures were used. In the same article Mr. Kanissorn Navanugraha, the director-general of the Department of Business Development (DBD), said the Land Department was empowered to investigate on its own whether a foreign entity used nominees.

Source: Bangkok Post (February 10 2007)

Land values to be based on market

Treasury Department starts new survey

New land valuations to be announced starting next year will be based on market price data as well as projections of economic growth and inflation rates. The goal is to ensure that values represent as closely as possible actual market conditions, according to Amnuay Preemanawong, the deputy director-general of the Treasury Department.

New land scam stopped in time

Source: Samui Express February 9 2007

A new landscam in the making has been nipped in the bud after the arrest of a man who spilled the beans on a public-land encroachment allegedly with the backing of some public officials.

In his report submitted to Koh Samui Police deputy superintendent Lt. Col. Aphinan Kosalvit on Jan. 30, Somporn Phetthongkliang, chief of the Forest Protection Operation Office (southern region), claimed that a forest area covering 45 rai (7.2 hectares) at Khao Pom Moo 5 Lipa Noi sub district has been encroached on and that a 1300-meter-long road measuring eight meters wide had been built on it. Somporn urged police authorities to take action against those responsible for the encroachment on the public land, which is part of the protected forest cover.

Foreigners warned on land ownership inThailand

Source: Samuiforsale - Opinion (January 2007), following a Bangkokpost article dated January 29 2007

Holding companies and Thai nominee shareholders

Foreign investors holding property through shell companies using Thai nominees have been warned to restructure their holdings or face prosecution. The Commerce Minister Krirk-krai Jirapaet told foreign journalists at a dinner talk on Friday: 'Foreigners using shell companies to buy housing across the country are violating two laws. One, the Land Act that forbids foreigners from holding land and two, the Foreign Business Act by using nominee structures. I recommend that they restructure'.