Revamping Real Estate: Thailand’s New Registration Fee Cuts and Tax Breaks to Boost Housing

As of April 2024, Thailand’s Ministry of Interior has issued significant legal updates aimed at invigorating the real estate market and addressing housing challenges. These updates include two new Ministerial Regulations reducing registration fees for real estate transfers and mortgages, as well as a tax exemption policy to incentivize residential construction. This comprehensive overview will delve into the details of these regulations, analyzing their implications for the real estate sector and providing insights into their potential impact on the market.

Reduction of Registration Fees for Real Estate Transfers and Mortgages

Background and Context

The Thai government has long recognized the importance of the real estate sector as a cornerstone of economic stability and growth. By reducing the financial barriers associated with property transactions, the government aims to stimulate market activity, making it easier for individuals and businesses to buy, sell, and mortgage properties.

Key Provisions of the New Ministerial Regulations

1.   Ministerial Regulation on Condominium Units

Issued on April 9, 2024, the “Ministerial Regulation on prescribing the registration fee for rights and juristic acts for transfer and mortgage of condominium units B.E. 2567 (A.D. 2024)” aims to reduce the costs associated with the transfer and mortgage of condominium units. The key provisions are as follows:

✓   Registration Fee Reduction: The registration fees for the transfer of ownership and mortgages of condominium units have been reduced to 0.01 percent.

✓   Price Cap: This reduced fee applies provided that the purchase price or appraisal price does not exceed 7 million Baht, and the mortgage amount also does not exceed 7 million Baht.

2.   Ministerial Regulation on Commercial and Residential Buildings

Simultaneously, the “Ministerial Regulation on prescribing the registration fee for rights and juristic acts under the Land Code for commercial and residential buildings B.E. 2567 (A.D. 2024)” was issued. This regulation focuses on commercial and residential buildings, with similar provisions:

✓   Registration Fee Reduction: The fees for the transfer of commercial and residential buildings have been reduced to 0.01 percent of the purchase price and mortgage amount.

✓   Conditions: The appraisal price or mortgage amount must not exceed 7 million Baht, and the purchaser must be a Thai national.

Effective Period: Both regulations are effective from their date of issuance until December 31, 2024.

Analysis of the Ministerial Regulations

Impact on the Real Estate Market

The reduction in registration fees is a strategic move designed to lower the cost of property transactions, thereby encouraging more activity in the real estate market. The immediate benefits include:

✓   Increased Affordability: Lower transaction costs make it more affordable for individuals and businesses to buy and sell properties, potentially leading to a surge in market transactions.

✓   Market Liquidity: By reducing the financial burden on buyers and sellers, the regulations are likely to increase market liquidity, making it easier for properties to change hands.

✓   Stimulus for the Condominium Market: The specific focus on condominiums may help to boost a segment of the market that has seen fluctuating demand, particularly in urban areas.

Potential Challenges and Considerations

While the fee reductions are broadly positive, there are several factors to consider:

✓   Market Cap Limitations: The 7 million Baht cap on the purchase price and mortgage amount means that higher-value transactions will not benefit from these reductions. This could limit the impact on the luxury property segment.

✓   Nationality Requirement: The stipulation that only Thai nationals can benefit from the reduced fees on commercial and residential buildings could exclude a significant portion of potential buyers, particularly foreign investors.

Tax Exemption to Boost Residential Real Estate

Policy Details

In addition to the fee reductions, the Thai government has introduced a tax exemption policy aimed at encouraging residential construction. The key features of this policy are:

✓   Tax Exemption Amount: Individuals who use their income to pay a contractor for building a residence are eligible for a tax exemption of THB 10,000 per THB 1,000,000 spent, up to a maximum of THB 100,000.

✓   Eligibility Conditions:

   The exemption applies to only one residence.

   The contractor must be a VAT registrant.

   Stamp duty must be paid electronically with a tax invoice provided.

✓   Effective Period: The tax exemption applies to construction contracts entered into from April 9, 2024, to December 31, 2025, provided the construction is ongoing.

Analysis of the Tax Exemption Policy

Impact on the Residential Construction Sector

The tax exemption policy is designed to stimulate the residential construction sector by providing financial incentives to individuals. The anticipated benefits include:

✓   Increased Construction Activity: By reducing the overall cost of building a residence, the policy encourages more individuals to undertake construction projects, thereby boosting activity in the sector.

✓   Economic Multiplier Effect: Increased construction activity can have a multiplier effect on the economy, generating demand for construction materials, labor, and related services.

✓   Addressing Housing Shortages: The policy supports the government’s broader objective of addressing housing shortages and improving access to affordable housing.

Potential Challenges and Considerations

While the tax exemption policy is a positive step, there are several potential challenges:

✓   Limited Scope: The maximum exemption of THB 100,000 may not be sufficient to significantly offset the costs for larger or more expensive construction projects.

✓   Administrative Requirements: The conditions attached to the exemption, such as the requirement for the contractor to be a VAT registrant and the need for electronic payment of stamp duty, could create administrative hurdles for some individuals.

✓   Market Segmentation: The policy may primarily benefit middle to upper-middle-class individuals who have the means to undertake construction projects, potentially excluding lower-income groups who may also need housing support.

Insights and Recommendations

Strategic Implications for Stakeholders

1.   Real Estate Developers and Investors

✓   Opportunity for Growth: Developers and investors can leverage the reduced registration fees to increase their portfolio turnover and attract more buyers, particularly in the condominium and residential building markets.

✓   Targeted Marketing: Marketing strategies should emphasize the cost savings from the reduced fees to attract potential buyers within the specified price range.

2.   Legal and Financial Advisors

✓   Advisory Services: Legal and financial advisors should proactively inform their clients about the fee reductions and tax exemptions, helping them to navigate the new regulations and maximize their benefits.

✓   Compliance Support: Advisors can offer services to ensure compliance with the conditions attached to the tax exemptions, such as verifying the VAT registration status of contractors and managing electronic stamp duty payments.

3.   Homebuyers and Property Owners

✓   Cost Savings: Potential homebuyers and property owners should take advantage of the reduced registration fees to minimize transaction costs and the tax exemptions to lower construction expenses.

✓   Informed Decision-Making: Individuals should seek professional advice to understand the full implications of the regulations and ensure they meet all eligibility criteria.

Policy Recommendations for the Government

1.   Expand Eligibility Criteria

✓   Foreign Investment: Consider expanding the eligibility criteria for reduced registration fees to include foreign buyers, which could attract more international investment into the Thai real estate market.

✓   Higher Value Transactions: Reevaluate the price cap of 7 million Baht to potentially include higher-value transactions, thereby extending the benefits to a broader range of properties.

2.   Increase the Tax Exemption Cap

✓   Larger Projects: Increase the maximum tax exemption amount to provide more substantial financial relief for larger residential construction projects, encouraging more extensive development.

3.   Simplify Administrative Processes

✓   Streamlined Procedures: Simplify the administrative requirements for tax exemptions, such as making the process for electronic stamp duty payments more user-friendly and ensuring that information about VAT registration is easily accessible.


The recent legal updates in Thailand, including the reduction of registration fees for real estate transfers and mortgages and the introduction of a tax exemption policy for residential construction, represent significant steps towards stimulating the real estate market and addressing housing needs. These measures are likely to have a positive impact on market activity, affordability, and economic growth. However, careful consideration of the limitations and challenges is necessary to maximize their effectiveness. Stakeholders across the real estate sector, from developers and investors to legal and financial advisors, should take proactive steps to leverage these opportunities, while the government should continue to refine and expand these policies to ensure broad-based benefits and sustained market vitality.

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