[Despite what local lawyers say, no, foreigners cannot own land in Thailand. Like anything in this nation, there are workarounds. However, with every military or establishment government has come immediate nationalistic calls to crack down on Thai companies created for foreigners to hold Thai land. Thus, depending on these sorts of solutions can open one to many unexpected complications (as described in this article). Beyond that, putting one’s entire life savings into such a scheme is a very ill-advised investment.]
Eviction threat for Australians who put life savings into Thai dream homes – The Age, November 26, 2014
…The developer, Napawan Asia Limited, had promised that buyers who paid upfront for their houses would receive titles reflecting their freehold/leasehold ownership once the development was registered with Phuket’s land department.
…Catherine Gathani, a buyer from Hong Kong, said she was aware when finalising the contract for her home there was a mortgage on the land but Napawan Asia told her “this would be paid down as the buyers’ stage payments were made, so that by the time the project was complete the mortgage would be fully paid”.
She said buyers only discovered several years later the company had not repaid the original mortgage and that it had given the titles of the buildings to the bank as part of a debt restructuring or remortgaging arrangement.
Andrew Street, the British developer behind Napawan Asia, admits the company was “over-extended commercially at the commencement of the global financial crisis”, which he says had a significant impact on Phuket.
…Mr Davies said the buyers he is speaking for have not given up hope of keeping their homes “but our position looks dire”.
He said the buyers decided to speak publicly about their plight to warn others who may be considering investing in Thai real estate.