Chiang Mai an Equally Favorable Destination for Thais, Foreigners & Retirees
Ranked as one of the most livable cities in Asia, Chiang Mai is located on the northern part of Thailand surrounded by mountains and wild nature. It is one of the most inexpensive and cooler regions of the country. People who settle here tend to prefer a peaceful and relaxing lifestyle in a pure inland region.
In addition, millions of tourists come every year attracted by the beauty of the mountains, hill tribe villages, and botanical gardens. Also, to admire the classical temples and architecture, which is a fusion of Lanna, Mon, and Burmese styles.
Further northeast lays the Golden Triangle, where the confluence of the Mekong and Ruak Rivers competes in delightfulness with the rolling hills of Burma and Laos in the background. Such attraction makes Chiang Mai a transitory place for many.
Chiang Mai has also become one of the fastest growing and competitive real estate markets in Thailand by attracting an increasing number of Thais and foreigners as buyers and investors. The industry offers excellent value in all property segments whether condos, single detached houses, twin houses or townhouses.
Friendly & Easy-Going Environment
Chiang Mai is not known as a high-end city, but rather as an affordable and artistic one. It’s a cheap place to stay and to eat. Usually, it is congested with tourists in high season. Moreover, it became popular among Chinese after Thai famous movies. The city has a better value in terms of lifestyle since it doesn’t have the traffic problems of Bangkok, the living cost of Phuket and the peculiar characteristics of Pattaya.
The region is ideal for expats and retirees, as well as for Thais, whether individuals or families who want to have a second home up north the country. It is also popular among Thai-foreigner families that decided to relocate after living abroad, or among young backpackers on a year break or so.
More than 40,000 foreigners have settled in Chiang Mai; therefore, English is commonly spoken. Locals are quite relaxed, hospitable and friendly to foreigners, which makes both ends meet in favor of the local economy.
Condo & House Markets
The condo market in Chiang Mai has progressively evolved since the beginning of the millennium with many projects appearing in the city resembling the modern tastes, though leaving aside the Thai style that was common practice.
In fact, it is no longer difficult to find condos with large balconies, sizeable rooms, and natural light. This shift from the property developers has attracted a greater number of foreigners to invest in real estate and live in the region. Unlikely the old times, many condos in Chiang Mai have now better and reliable management (also maintenance), thus offering more guarantees to owners and tenants.
Modern high-rise condo projects are flourishing around the city. The best selection is situated nearby the airport or in the northern part of the urban area. Condos inside the city walls become expensive. They are nearby everything – markets and tourist spots in a colorful neighborhood where the old meets the modern.
Condos outside the city walls are still very much affordable. They can access fast into de city center; thus, ring roads and large shopping malls make the living around the city enjoyable.
Buyers can find houses outside the city walls along the ring roads. There are plenty of choices, from less than THB1 million up to THB50 million, and above.
Buying & Renting
The increasing number of new residential buildings in recent years has widened the choices from affordable to luxury. Buying a condo (or an apartment) in Chiang Mai has been common and easier among non-Thais, as they are not allowed to own land in the country.
Thai middle-upper class usually choose condos, while wealthy Thai buyers, especially from Bangkok, rather purchase houses as second homes, where on vacations they enjoy the mountain mist and suburban privacy. Some of these houses are put under the care of local families, who live in and are responsible for its maintenance. Other houses are rented out by professional management companies.
It is also not unusual to find houses up in the hills where owners, even foreigners, have a gardening and farming lifestyle. In fact, a foreigner can set up a company having at least one Thai has a nominee; hence a plot of land can be acquired for the purpose of building a house. Another legal way is to buy a long-term leasehold house.
The rental market became attractive due to the development of local infrastructure projects, the number of expats in the region and the steady growth of national and foreigner inbound tourists.