Bangkok Condo Loans, Financing and Mortgages for Foreigners

It’s never easy as a foreigner living in Bangkok to get finance, mortgages, or loans. It’s always been a stumbling block for many potential foreign condo buyers, but the lay of the land is changing. It’s a misconception, a myth so to speak, that foreigners can’t obtain loans and mortgages in Thailand. Condo owner financing is possible, so stop listening to the naysayers and discover what financing options are available to you.

Thai banks and financial institutions are hardly known for handing out loans to anyone and really do limit their lending to foreign investors or even for mortgages. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get finance. Let’s check out the options for expats and foreigners in Thailand that want to secure a loan or mortgage for condominiums in Thailand.

Can Foreigners or Expats Obtain a Mortgage in Bangkok?

You can obtain a mortgage in Thailand even if you are a foreigner. You will just have to fit within the set criteria to be eligible. It’s been possible to do so since the early-2000, so anyone telling you otherwise is incorrect. 20 years ago, the only banks to offer ex-pat mortgages were UOB and Bangkok Bank, but the net has widened in the past decade.

However, there are a load of financial restrictions and loan conditions that make it difficult if you are not Thai, but not unobtainable. If you are a potential foreign homebuyer, always be sure to keep a keen eye on the local interest rates and loan-to-value because they are much higher than what Thais are expected to pay. Unfortunately, that comes with the territory of buying property in a country you don’t come from.

Can Foreigners get Property Financing in Bangkok?

Once again, the answer is YES. But it really does come down to your (the buyer) personal circumstances. Here are a couple of things to consider when looking to find property finance in Thailand:

If you are looking to buy property as an investment to make back returns in the buy-to- rent sector, you might find some very strict and tough finance conditions that will lessen your competitiveness in the rental marketplace.

If you are a foreign expat looking to buy a property in Thailand to reside with an LT holding period of 5 years or more with a solid income that is not property-related, you might be better off getting a mortgage instead. You should be paying towards a mortgage every month instead of long-term rental charges that will essentially be dead money.

It’s essentially much better and easier to get a foreign mortgage than dealing with the stringent conditions of personal financing in Thailand. To be honest, these are general assumptions, so this advice might not exactly fit your circumstances.

Can Foreigners Get Mortgages in Thailand Without Working Here?

Yes, you can. You don’t need a permanent Thai residence visa or even a work permit to obtain a mortgage or financing. But be sure to remember that it will severely limit your eligibility and options. Here are the two main options you have to obtain a mortgage to buy a Thai property without officially working or living there:

International Mortgages from Foreign Banks

There are quite a few international offshore banking institutes that have satellite offices or local subsidiaries operating out of Thailand. Some of these banks allow you to get an overseas loan to buy a property in another country. Be warned that these options are massively limited to financial institutes such as the Singaporean UOB bank, but they prioritize deals to Chinese, Malaysians or Singaporean nationals.

Local Mortgage Options in Thailand

It is possible to get financing in Thailand if you don’t live or work here to buy property in Bangkok. The most popular and highly recommended provider in this regard is “MBK Guarantee”. They offer a range of services and finance options to foreign investors and will use Thai property as collateral.

Because buying properties in countries where you don’t live or work results in higher risks for banks, beggars can’t be choosers. And if you do obtain one, it will be less competitive than getting one than a local Thai person.

Which Thai Banks and Lending Firms Offer Mortgages to Foreigners?

We can’t stress enough how limited your options for Bangkok condos loans, financing, and mortgages for foreigners are in Thailand. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. Please see a list below of the banks and lending institutes that offer these services and a breakdown of their terms and conditions.

United Overseas Bank (UOB)

UOB was one of the pioneers in terms of offering finance and loans to foreign investors in Thailand. So it’s only natural that we start with them. They prioritize lending to Malaysian and Singaporeans, but other nationalities can obtain loans from them too.

UOB Thai Mortgage Terms and conditions:

  • Available in Bangkok or even in “up country’ areas.
  • For investment opportunities or property buys.
  • The principal is up to 70% of the price.
  • The loan is available in US Dollars (USG) or Singapore Dollars (SGD).
  • The mortgage term can be up to 30 years.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)

Although ICBC is relatively a new player in the game, they now offer mortgage features to those buying property in Thailand. But this is limited to buyers from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

ICBC Mortgage Terms and Conditions:

  • Available in most Thai cities and provinces.
  • Solely for investment and residential property buys.
  • The principal is up to 70% of the price.
  • The loan is available only in Singapore Dollars (SGD).
  • The mortgage terms are anywhere between 3 to 15 years.

MBK Guarantee

MBK Guarantee is more of a lending institute and mortgage provider than a bank. They operate out of the world-famous MBK Shopping Mall that is located in the heart of Bangkok. They’ve been around since 2008 and are the perfect place for foreigners to obtain a mortgage or financing in Thailand with or without a residence visa or work permit. They are way more flexible with foreign buyers and investors when compared to UOB or ICBC. But their interest rates are higher and loan terms shorter.

MBK Guarantee Mortgage Terms and Conditions:

  • Available in Bangkok and major tourism provinces.
  • Solely for investment and residential property buys.
  • Mortgages are available for both condos and houses/villas.
  • The principal is up to 50% of the property’s value.
  • The loan is only available in Thai baht (THB).
  • The mortgage terms are between 1 and 10 years.

Foreign Loans and Mortgages in Thailand Summary

As you can see, all the things you read online about not being able to get a Bangkok loan, finance, or a mortgage as a foreigner in Thailand are not true. You can obtain all of these things if your circumstances permit. You don’t even need to have a permanent residential visa or a work permit. However, your options and terms might be limited, but it is possible.

If you are buying a Bangkok condo as a long-term investment to make back returns in the rental market, you might not be as competitive as a Thai owner. And the truth is that you have more chance of getting a mortgage at certain institutes if you are Singaporean or from Mainland China.

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