What are the best areas to buy or rent a house in Chiang Mai?
So many choices, so many possibilities… But where should I look for my future property, my future home in Chiang Mai? This is a common question, and it is mind boggling at times, considering the large number of interesting areas constituting one of the most beloved Thailand cities. Our Best Areas of Chiang Mai Guide, to buy or rent a house, should help you decide.
Before we begin, I made this list in a certain order. It starts from the center of the city and then, the further you go in the list, the further you are from the Old City. Unless you are insanely rich, you will have a difficult time to buy a house, even more a land, around the city center. These locations are more suited for luxury rentals short and mid-long terms of houses, condos and apartments. I included them just for the sake of having the full list of the main areas.
Buy or Rent a House in the Center of Chiang Mai City
The Old City - Perfect for a Luxury Vacation
Life in Chiang Mai old city, a possible dream? In order to buy a house around here, you will need to have a lot of money! Houses are sometimes rented by groups of people, most of the time for a very short term, as visitors. If you want to live in the old city, even on the rental side it’s gonna cost you! We are talking about minimum 300$USD a night for a decent house. The conclusion is, it is interesting maybe for a vacation, or maybe real estate investors, not much else.
Nimmanhaemin - The Trendy Condo Investor Area
This is the home to big investors, buying what’s remaining of the small houses and turning them into big condo buildings. There are nearby areas like Chang Kian or the Huay Kaew Road where you can find lots of condo rentals, a bit cheaper than the ones on Nimman. For example, 1 small studio room condo in Nimman will cost you minimum 10k baht per month.
Chang Khlan - The Night Bazaar Area
East of the old city. Again, this is a tourist place more than anything else! Not much houses here, a lot of luxury condos, hotels and apartments thought! If you have the budget, this area is home to renowned hotels and condo buildings such as Shangri-La, Le Meridien, Twin Peaks, Anantara etc.
Su Thep Famous Area - Chiang Mai Airport & Mountains
Northern-West side of the old city, and very famous for its big mountain named Doi Suthep. Ok now we can slowly start talking about realistic scenarios, although we are still in an area where the prices can go crazy. A 3 bedroom house, freehold, fully furnished with a city view in Suthep could cost you around 5M-7M baht! That’s a big house for just under 200k USD! Not bad. If you are looking for a long term leasehold house, there are many options with prices from 14k to 55k baht a month. The thing with this area is the Chiang Mai Airport and how far you are from the planes trajectory. This can bother some buyers. Personally, I lived in Mae Hia for a while (we will talk about this area soon), close to the airport, and it never bothered me. For sure, if you are right under the planes, it could become annoying at times, thus why you have to be careful. If the deal seems too good to be true, make sure to check all the details or consult one of our realty specialists.
Buy or Rent a House North Side of Chiang Mai city
Chang Phueak - The North of Chiang Mai City
For retirees who want to play golf, this must be the dream spot! Chiang Mai has a beautiful golf course in this area named the Lanna Golf Course. Chang Phueak is a slow and calm environment, not too far from the city center and connected to the superhighway. You have the canal road and the convention center nearby. Buying a house in Chang Phueak should cost between 7M baht and 20M baht, depending on the size and how close you are from the trendy areas. It is possible to have a beautiful mountain view around this location as well, which will greatly affect the price. On the rental side of things, the houses will cost between 15k and 25k baht per month in average. It’s possible to find something cheaper around 10k but you will have to research and be patient.
Mae Rim Popular Area - Northern Chiang Mai with Luxury Houses
Always to the North, Mae Rim has one of the best International School of Chiang Mai, named Prem Tinsulanonda, or just Prem School if you want the simpler version. Mae Rim is surrounded by beautiful landscape, and is about 1 to 2 hours of driving from the main city. A lot of foreigners come live in Mae Rim, since it does have beautiful luxury houses with the huge lands and breathtaking view. Price ranges are a bit everywhere, to buy a house freehold in Mae Rim, let’s say a nice little 3 bedroom, it’s gonna cost around 6.5M to 11M baht depending on the size. It is totally possible to find incredible deals in this area, but the closer you are to the Prem International School, the higher the prices will be in general.
Buy or Rent a House East Side of Chiang Mai city
Wat Ket, Fa Ham, Nong Pa Khrang, Tha Sala - East of Chiang Mai City
The Eastern Chiang Mai area is just beside the Chang Khlan (Night Bazaar) and Chang Moi areas (to the north of Chang Khlan). Wat Ket is like a big rectangle on the map, starting from the Central Festival Mall and the super Highway, and going all the way down to the lowest point of Chang Khlan. Why I am being so precise here is because there are a lot of advantages to find a deal on a house located a tad higher, to the north of Wat Ket. You will have faster access to the superhighway, Central Festival, and furthermore, Maya and Nimman. To get to Maya from Central Festival, it takes around 10 minutes of driving. Not bad. You are also near Chiang Mai International School, located to the North of Wat Ket area.
How much to buy a decent house in Wat Ket and its surrounding areas (Fa Ham, Nong Pa Khrang…)? It usually ranges from 5M to 15M baht in average. There are also townhouses. At the moment where I am writing this, you can get a 3 bedroom 3 bathroom townhouse fully furnished for less than 4 million baht in the Punna Oasis project! Very elegant and modern, those are the kind of deals you don’t want to miss! Of course, if you are looking for a detached house, these are a bit rare in Wat Ket for the moment, especially close to the highway. For renting a house, you can easily find something around 10k to 20k baht per month. In conclusion, Wat Ket and its detached house market is not the best at the moment, but for all the rest, as in, rentals, condos and townhouses, it is very interesting if you still want to be close to the city life.
If you go further East, you will arrive in the San Kamphaeng (Southern-East) or San Sai district (Northern-East). In these subdistricts, you can find everything, from the 4 million bath 3 bed house to the 70 million baht 7 bed Villa! There are also incredible deals popping up time to time with the lands. The far Eastern side of Chiang Mai is definitely a must if you want the true Thailand rural life, especially if you don’t need an international school nearby and don’t mind being a bit far from the superhighway.
Buy or Rent a House South Side of Chiang Mai city
Mae Hia, Nong Hoi, Saraphi & Hang Dong - South of Chiang Mai City
Southern Chiang Mai, 15 minutes away from Central Airport Mall, Mae Hia is a peaceful place to live with many villages, town houses, detached house, new and old, decent to luxurious, big and small, 1-2 or 3 floors... there is a bit of everything for everybody! What’s even more interesting, are the prices! In Mae Hia or Hang Dong, you will be able to easily find houses for sale ranging from 2M to 6M, and we are talking about 3-4 bedrooms houses!
It goes even lower for the townhouses, which you can find around the 1.5M-2M baht range in general. The rental market in those areas is similar to the one of Wat Ket, the closer to the north you are (closer to Central Airport), the hardest it will be to find the best deals, but if you find one, we are generally speaking from 9k to 17k baht a month! These areas are full of big supermarkets like Makro, Big C, Kad Farang and local markets.
You have a direct access to the airport and Central Plaza, and getting to the old city of Chiang Mai takes about 15 minutes from Mae Hia, 25-35 minutes from Hang Dong. In Nong Hoi, you have also a very reputable International School named Varee. And if you really want to go full rural life, Saraphi is your destiny and has some of the best prices for lands and houses. The superhighway goes straight through this area, giving you a quick access to the city, Central Festival etc.
Buy or Rent a House West Side of Chiang Mai city
Samoeng Mountains Western Chiang Mai - Between Mae Rim and Hang Dong
If you go further West, passed the Su Thep area that I mentioned at the beginning of this list, you will arrive in Samoeng. This area is literally in the mountains! The real estate market has been picking up these last years in this beautiful and natural area, a lot of lands are for sell and slowly a lot of cafes and restaurants are spawning on the main roads. For now you will have to ask a real estate broker to help you out or go by yourself, since it is very local and rural, you won’t find much given attention on the internet about this area yet. The prices for the lands are very affordable and sometimes offer insanely beautiful views.