From Thailand to Indonesia and everything in between, join us as we look at the most popular countries for overseas property buyers in South East Asia.
South East Asia is a hotspot for British expats and retirees for many reasons. The low cost of living means expats can survive on considerably less than they would back in the UK. This allows them to enjoy many of the luxurious benefits of life there like, domestic help or eating out every night. Here are some of the most popular countries in South East Asia for British expats.
Vietnam is gaining popularity in the expat community.
If you’ve ever been to Thailand you can attest to the friendly and enchanting culture, stunning scenery and amazing food. Many expats in Thailand find themselves living in the capital, Bangkok, while those retiring there tend to be drawn to the beaches of Phuket or Pattaya, or the fascinating northern city of Chiang Mai. Purchasing condominiums in Thailand is simple, although freehold will require you to buy via a company. For rental, expect to pay about £400 a month for a furnished 500 square metre apartment. With a thriving expat scene, life in Thailand is easy going, enjoyable and affordable.
Vietnam is gaining popularity in the expat community, with Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi both home to booming business scenes, providing great employment opportunities for expats needing to work. New construction in Vietnam is booming as non-residents purchase beachfront condos and townhouses and in apartment blocks around the country. The lively culture, low cost of living and modern infrastructure makes Vietnam an up and coming destination for British expats. Overseas buyers are able to purchase property in Vietnam but are unable to own the land (just the dwelling), just like in Thailand.
Cambodia is an increasingly popular place to enjoy a laid-back retirement. The capital Phnom Penh attracts the majority of expats, while Siem Reap is another popular choice, especially for culture vultures. The country enjoys some of the simplest and most flexible visa regulations in South East Asia; the cost of living is cheaper than any other country in the region; and overseas buyers are able to purchase property in Cambodia, with some restrictions.
Malaysia offers thriving cosmopolitan cities, a diverse culture and a vast array of adventure experiences. The food, transportation and healthcare in Malaysia is top notch and the economy is booming in the science, tourism, mining and commerce sectors. The capital Kuala Lumpur is where many expats find themselves, though there are several other appealing areas in the east (Kuala Dungun and Pekan, for example) and the west (the islands of Penang and Langkawi for example) of the country. There are few restrictions to property ownership in Malaysia, and the country still maintains a low cost of living and relatively relaxed visa laws.
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Those looking for work will probably gravitate towards the capital Jakarta, while retirees and digital nomads tend to prefer the laid-back beaches of Bali. Either way, Indonesia is a safe and friendly country for international visitors who want to stick around. Property ownership is possible in Indonesia, but not completely straightforward with different rules in different areas. Whether looking to bliss out on a beach or climb the corporate ladder, Indonesia offers the best of both worlds.
Singapore is an extremely popular destination for expats because of its thriving economy and well-paid job market. You can expect a modern, high-standard of living, as well as first-class medical, transport and education systems. While wages in Singapore are high, the cost of living is one of the most expensive in the world. For this reason, many expats spend a considerable amount of their wage on rent.