High-end condominium projects will be launched in Bangkok this year increasing the stock to 22,834 units. Condo developers are now focusing more on luxury units after several projects postponed launches due to political unrest and the world economy crisis.
The average prices of new luxury projects are increasing at least 4 per cent due to property and building material costs.
Since the beginning of January, 2011 the demand from overseas buyers helped increase the number of units launches with prices in the Central Busines District around THB140,000.00 per square meter. There are 1,894 luxury units completing within this year, increasing the total stock to 22,834 from 20,940 units in 2010. Since the political problems, the majority of overseas investment has come from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and China, especially in office space and hotels. In addition, investing in Thailand still shows a good return if compared with investments in other countries.
In the past, Bangkok’s real estate was dominated by wealthy Europeans and Singaporean investors. However, the trend has recently changed switching from Europeans to Asians, particularly Chinese, Singaporeans and Hong Kong especially in the luxury segment which has the lowest risk and a limited supply. The primary concerns are still the foreign ownership percentage and the restrictions on property financing. The CBD, Sukhumvit, and along the river are still considered as premium properties with a minimum space of 120 square meters and prices starting from Bt150,000 per square meter.
The average price of a new condo in Bangkok increased more than 100% over the years with some buyers choosing to purchase units in older developments where average prices are between 90,000 and 120,000 baht per square meter.
Buying a used unit as a residence is a better solution where the leasing market from new condominiums has put some pressure on rents. Investors who bought units for investment find it difficult to let units as tenants prefer newer units. Currently, many new units are available at affordable prices with good value for money as a living space and opportunities to purchase older condos as an investment. Old units in prime locations that are well managed are in high demand from tenants.
Purchasing a used unit as an investment is a more complicated process with more factors for consideration. Location is no guarantee as it also needs proximity to amenities, mass transit and main road access. Older projects offer larger common spaces and recreational facilities which are not available in new projects. The majority of expats working in Thailand are Japanese. However, keep in mind that European and US expats tend to have the highest housing allowances.
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