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Analysis of taxation fees for the five most popular investment countries in Southeast Asia

Summary:This article introduces the difference in the cost of home ownership in the five Southeast Asian countries from the perspective of property purchase taxes briefly and fees for investors’ reference.

Southeast Asia is currently one of the real estate investment destination, simple transactions, and a better overall regional economy, with greater development potential and a considerable return on investment. Therefore, overseas investors is very fond of the Southeast Asian real estate market, and the region has also been a hot topic for overseas property buyers in recent years. 

Southeast Asia includes 11 countries including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Philippines, and Timor-Leste. However, due to the different degrees of openness in every country, the political environment is different, the degree of economic development and investment policies are various from each other, not all countries have real estate investment value.

Combined with the investment environment and the investment intention of overseas home buyers, there are 5 countries in Southeast Asia that are more suitable to buy a house, including Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia and the Philippines. This issue briefly introduces the difference in housing costs in these five countries from the perspective of property purchase tax and fees for investors' reference.

1. Singapore

As the country with the most developed economy and the most complete facilities in Southeast Asia, Singapore's home buying environment is very advantageous and the real estate market is more mature. Compared with emerging countries, the value of Singapore’s real estate is very high. However, the development of Singapore’s housing prices are quite expensive.

Judging from the taxes and fees for buying a house, the stamp duty for foreigners to buy housing in Singapore is cost, and resale will need to pay more taxes and fees within 5 years. Therefore, the purchase of Singapore real estate is mainly based on the need for self-occupation, which is not the best choice for real estate investment.



2. Thailand

Thailand is a well-known tourist country. The economic environment and the humanities and social environment are also at a relatively advanced level in Southeast Asia. In addition to investment, it is also suitable for holiday pensions. The supply and demand of the Thai real estate market are basically balanced, and the property market has stabilized. It is favored by overseas investors, and Chinese buyers tend to buy properties in Thailand.

Thailand does not have a so-called real estate tax. Buying real estate in Thailand only requires paying several taxes and fees at the time of transfer. The tax rate is relatively low, and you can purchase as your own residence.


3. Malaysia

Malaysia is also one of the main target countries for Chinese buyers. The Malaysian government does not have a “restriction on loans and restrictions on purchases” policy on foreigners’ housing purchases. However, in order to protect the interests of locals, the government allow foreign buyers purchase only high end housing, exceed1 million ringgit (RMB 1.64 million) , but the requirements of this policy vary from states.

In terms of taxes and fees, stamp tax, lawyer fees and other taxes are required to pay for house purchases in Malaysia. The minimum down payment for loans is 30% (20% for those with second home status). The maximum loan period is 30 years and the loan interest rate is about 4.2%-4.6%.




Cambodia is an emerging real estate investment market, and its economic development lags behind that of New Malaysia and other countries. However, the dividend of urbanization construction has allowed the real estate market to expand rapidly, coupled with the advantages of younger population, dollar economy, high return on investment, and no foreign exchange control. Attracted a large number of investors.

The Cambodian real estate market is still in the early stages of development. New apartment are basically freehold property rights, with relatively low taxes and simple transactions.



5. Philippines

The Philippines is also an island country. In recent years, the economy has been developing steadily, and the rate of return on real estate in the core cities has been considerable. Foreigners buying properties in the Philippines are basically dominated by investment.

The Philippine government does not specifically set special taxes and fees for foreigners, and the types and proportions of taxes and fees paid by local buyers are basically the same.


The above are the main taxes and fees that foreigners will be involved in purchase housing in these five countries. Of course, there are other detailed tax regulations in the new project transaction, second-hand housing transaction and holding phase. If you are interested in Southeast Asia, you can find housing on the Compass to view more detail, making overseas investment easier!


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