Ultra-rich Thais eye London real estate

May 13, 2015 4:46 PM (UTC+8)

 

Asia Unhedged spotted an interesting tidbit today in Bangkok’s Nation. Economic uncertainty is nudging ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) Thais to train their sights on London’s property market.

The Nation says Siam Commercial Bank is partnering with Knight Frank Thailand to help ultra-rich Thais reconnoiter choice real-estate investments in London. It’s touted as a way to diversify investment portfolios amid Thailand’s current political and economic instability.

Lalitphat Toranavikrai, head of private banking at SCB, was quoted as saying that Thailand’s economy is facing an uncertain future and fixed-income instruments are unlikely to be very attractive because of the investment volatility, while the overseas-property-market trend is pretty upbeat.

London’s described as one place that wealthy Thais boasting accounts of at least Bt50 million in assets under management, know well. This is because many have enrolled their children in British schools. More than a few have also sought to purchase British residences, making property investments in markets like London a logical step.

According to Knight Frank’s “The Wealth Report 2015,” Thailand’s  UHNW ranks are growing. In 2014, the ultra-wealthy increased by 2.5% or 540 individuals. The report sees UHNWs in Thailand jumping by 58% or 855 individuals in the next 10 years. Frank Khan, executive vice president of Knight Frank Thailand, told the Nation that London property is especially attractive for rich Thais who want to invest. He said London real-estate prices surged 52% from 2009-12, while return on investment is about 9%.

A conservative triumph in the British election is adding to the bullish property mood. A right-leaning government is expected to preserve foreign investor-friendly tax rates. New subway and other British infrastructure investments are also seen boosting property values.

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