THAILAND is seeing an increasing number of Chinese property buyers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).
According to Bangkok Post, the LGBT Chinese look to Bangkok and Phuket to buy condominiums to live in as they feel more welcome in these cities.
Carrie Law, chief executive of Juwai.com, a Chinese international real estate website, said LGBT home buyers account for 5 to 8 percent of total property-buying inquiries in Bangkok, making between US$50 and $80 million worth of buying inquiries in the past 18 months.
Law said in total, Chinese buyers made nearly US$1 billion worth of buying inquiries in Bangkok over the same period.
Purchases made by the LGBT Chinese hit US$938 million in 2017, triple the amount two years earlier. The group’s average income is said to be five times higher than China’s national average.
“The advantage in disposable income may be even greater because they do not have children,” Law was quoted as saying.
While they may have more cash than the average Chinese, LGBT individuals face difficulties living in the mainland. Since 2001, the country has identified homosexuality as a mental disorder.
“Overseas, however, many feel free to openly express their identities and their affections and live openly with the partner of their choice,” Law said.
“They want to own property in a place they can feel comfortable visiting and living in.”
Law said LGBT international property buyers invest differently from other Chinese as they are less likely to have Children.
“LGBT buyers are more likely to be buying a pure investment property or a residence for their own use as a second or third home,” Law said.
“More often they are seen buying in destinations that are popular vacation destinations for LGBT travellers.”