Wat Den Sa Lee Si Mueng in Chiang Mai The owners of the Jirung Health Village in Chiang Mai, Jirung Group, intend to develop 53 Colonial Lanna-style houses in a luxury housing estate next to the health village. Houses in the THB400 (US$13 million) million project will cover 70 square wah of land and prices will start from THB4.6 million (US$150,571). Jirung Residences will target high-income Chiang Mai locals and people from Bangkok looking to retire to the peaceful Mae Rim area.

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Thailand Condo – Jirung Residences, Chiang Mai unveiled

Thailand Property Outlook

Economic fundamentals remain strong and Thailand continues to be an attractive place to do business. The government’s GDP growth forecast for 2010 was recently increased to 6.5%-7.5% on the back of continued strong export growth and sustained domestic demand. The currency and the stock market are at all-time highs. This strong rebound is again proof of the resilience of the Thai economy to the political uncertainty. Indeed, a more strategic approach to managing Thailand’s image overseas is required if Thailand is to remain competitive and thrive in the region. Much like how Investor Relations Departments function in companies, a single government spokesman should be given responsibility and be held accountable for managing the perception of Thailand around the world.

Some observers are concerned that the global financial crisis may affect the Thai real estate market. Generally, a real estate bubble occurs when property prices rise quickly in a short period, primarily from speculation – resulting in a supply-and-demand imbalance. When property prices are rising faster than the cost of money and banks continue increasing loan-to-value ratios, funding becomes easier – propelling additional speculation.

Land Ownership: In general, non-Thai businesses and citizens are not permitted to own land in Thailand unless the land is on government-approved industrial estates. Under the 1999 amendment to the Land Code Act, foreigners who invest a minimum of 40 million Baht (approximately US$1.2 million) are permitted to buy up to 1,600 square meters of land for residential use with the permission of the Ministry of Interior. If the required land is not used as a residence within two years from the date of acquisition and registration, the Ministry has the power to dispose of the land.

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