The expat population in Bangkok is changing, and this is causing an effect on its property rental market.
The expat numbers in Thailand
During the past years, most of the expats came from North America, Europe and Japan. Now, the Chinese nationals are comprising the biggest part of this expat community too. The Chinese nationals are currently holding 13.3% of the Thai work permits, this is a 19.4% increase from last year. In the past 5 years, Chinese employees has also doubled, which makes them the 2nd biggest expat population.
Normally, the citizens from Japan have been the biggest expat population in Thailand. They have numbered to about 25% and more working in Thailand. However, they are currently down to 22.8% this year.
Settling in Thailand
During the last several decades, the Western and Japanese expats chose to settle in Sukhumvit, in Sathorn or close to Lumpini Park.
Sukhumvit is a popular location choice among many tourists, who choose to stay at a hotel on Sukhumvit. However, this popularity is more evident with expats and their growing numbers in the BTS route’s eastern end. While Onnut and Phra Khanong were previously a limited reach for the expat community, currently there a many foreigners as far as Udomsuk and Bang Na.
Many of the down town rentals are occupied by the expats, they rent more than buy properties in Thailand. The Thais purchase condominium units rather than do rentals, as reported by the Bangkok Post. Due to budget concerns, the Chinese nationals pick the less central areas where rents are offered lower.
In the last 20 years, the Western and Japanese expats went to relocate in Thailand and were often provided a THB 40,000 or more monthly housing allowance. They were often looking for expensive two-or three-bedroom rentals. However, the Chinese citizens have lesser housing allowances. Due to this, they pick locations that are away from the costly, down town hubs.
Ratchadaphisek is a neighbourhood that has seen a drastic change due to this influx of Chinese nationals. It has become so famous with these Chinese nationals that are employed in the city, that a few has already named it Bangkok’s new ‘Chinatown’.