What you need to know about Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is surrounded by misty mountains and filled with colour, an adventurous place for travellers, filled with art, beautiful places to relax, drink amazing coffee or shop ‘til you drop.

Chiang Mai is the capital of mountainous northern Thailand. Thailand’s second major city was founded in 1296, previously the capital of the Lanna Kingdom until 1558, which included parts of modern-day Myanmar and Laos. It centres around an Old City area and still retains remnants of the ancient wall and moat from its history as a cultural and religious centre. It’s also home to hundreds of elaborate Buddhist temples, some of which are 600 years old.

Whilst packing the punch of a modern city in terms of sites, restaurants and things to do, geographically the main parts of the city are all within a short distance and easy to access earning the city the description of having a village feel.

Types of Property in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai has property to suit all investment needs. Condominiums and townhouses are focused in the city centre and houses spread out into the 3 ring-roads that locals break the city down into. When we opened up Chiang Mai we didn’t realize how far spread out it is, but some people want the quiet life with mountain and rice paddy views from their houses, which are easy to find a bit further out, and some people want an inner-city condo, so they all exist to suit different needs.

For those looking at holiday home with investment potential, some developers have guaranteed returns attached to new properties including time allocated for you to stay there. This is available for condo’s or houses it is an immature concept in Chiang Mai so there aren’t a huge amount of options, but there is a buoyant rental market and if you buy through Fazwaz with the intention of renting we take extra special care to make sure that happens.

There are a few luxury condo buildings around the city centre with prices under half of that in Bangkok with similar quality.

Every type of house is available around the city from modern starter homes to high-end mansions with everything in-between.

Popular Areas in Chiang Mai

Inside the first ring-road is the city centre, however, some newcomers to Chiang Mai will think The Old City is the city centre. We rarely have property for sale in the old city as it is mainly touristic there. Close-by Nimman could be considered the New City and has a lot of condo options there and surrounding. If you are looking for a condo with mountain views the area near to Nimman is good as the famous Doi Suthep Mountain is on the west side of the city.

There are two more popular areas within the city centre for condominiums these are the area next to the Night-bazaar and Central Festival shopping mall. All have access to everything you would ever need.

For houses there is a more diverse landscape, however, unlike other cities, there doesn’t tend to be more upmarket suburbs in Chiang Mai, rather pockets where bigger houses may exist within the established areas. As we described earlier the city is broken down by locals into 3 ring-roads, and a lot of the houses are outside the first. Clockwise from 10 o’clock, the popular areas are Mae Rim, San Sai, Doi Saket, San Kamphaeng, Saraphi, and Hang Dong. There are amenities and sub-divisions within all of these areas, and any properties we list on Fazwaz will be in a great area for foreigners to live.

If you are buying for investment purposes the city centre or as close to is recommended but not necessary for the right property.

Lifestyle in Chiang Mai

Northern Thailand is cooler than the south in all senses of the word. The people are more laid back, and so is the lifestyle and pace of life. With a population under 500,000, there is a community sense where foreigners and locals are very mixed, local events are visited by all, like the world famous Yee Peng lantern festival, which coincides with the Thai Loi Krathong festival. The whole Thai family is in attendance mixed with expats, retirees, and backpackers to release lanterns into the sky bringing good fortune for the year ahead.

The city is full of galleries and coffee shops to relax in. Or you could take a trip to one of the lakes within 5km of the city centre and spend the day lazing away in a bamboo hut being served local Northern Thai cuisine.

For a more generalist lifestyle, the city is also home to 4 big shopping malls with all the latest fashions, department store, and many big supermarkets catering to local and western tastes.

Nature. Chiang Mai is surrounded by mountains, flora and has resorts and attractions in all directions to never get bored. Visit some elephants in a sanctuary, or take a bamboo raft down the river, these are 2 of the many day trips available to travellers and city-dwellers alike. Doi Inthanon – Thailand’s highest peak is but 50 minutes from the city and is surrounded by waterfalls.

Sales Price Trends for Property in Chiang Mai

Trends vary from area to area in Chiang Mai, however, the average sales price has been rising 10% per year for condominiums in the city and around 5% on the outskirts according to Colliers International for the past 2 years now.

Chiang Mai is one of the cheapest major cities for living in Thailand and that includes property prices. The average price of THB 48,620  per square meter is under half of the national average in major markets.

New condominiums are around 100k SqM in the city centre, whereas Bangkok commands around 400k SqM for its new luxurious building developments.

Top 3 Reasons Why to Invest in Chiang Mai Property

  1. Chiang Mai was named the world’s second healthiest city (behind Paris) to visit by Travelsupermarket.com. Ranking measured the number of green spaces/parks, gyms, spas, and vegan restaurants in cities. It also measured the number of yoga studios, sunlight hours and cost of a stay. All of which are relevant too if you’re a foreigner living in Thailand, you’re here for that vacation-lifestyle.
  2. Investment in infrastructure has been high on the local government’s agenda. Chiang Mai is considered Thailand’s Smart-city, they are building a new light-rail the first of its kind in Thailand to connect all areas of the outer to the city and to ease traffic congestion. And a new international airport is planned to reduce noise pollution.
  3. Planning Laws. Chiang Mai has a citywide law that doesn’t allow any new buildings to be over 5 stories if they have not applied for the permit prior to 2016. This is to protect the charm of the city, but will also protect your investment. Anecdotally we have found a lack of condos in the most desirable areas still under foreigner quota. This enables us to predict your condo value will continue to increase as the years go by and as the expats come in droves to Thailand’s second city.

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