Bangkok prime condominium market on the rise

Friday, 04 January 2013 From Issue Vol. XXI No. 1 By  Pattaya Mail

Capitalising on Bangkok’s convenient mass transportation systems, as well as the city’s renowned tradition of service and warm hospitality, a number of ultra-luxurious condominiums have sprung up across the Thai capital over the past year.  Such prime condominiums usually feature five-star service and are 30-90 year leasehold properties.  Two such global hospitality chains include Ritz Carlton and St. Regis, who have introduced their exclusive brands to the local real estate market.

Thailand is considered to be one of the best places for foreigners to invest in prime condominiums due to several factors, says property management and consultancy firm Knight Frank Chartered (Thailand) Co., Ltd.  First, the upcoming opening of the ASEAN Community will create many business opportunities in Bangkok, boosting demand for prime condos.  Such properties will experience limited growth for lack of suitable land at reasonable prices, increasing the likelihood of higher prices (and investment returns) for well-planned and unique projects.

The St. Regis in Bangkok (center right) is one of a growing number of high-end luxury condominium projects in the capital offering 5-star branded service and facilities. The St. Regis in Bangkok (center right) is one of a growing number of high-end luxury condominium projects in the capital offering 5-star branded service and facilities.

At the same time, Bangkok property prices are still very attractive compared to those of Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and other international cities.  The metropolis also offers many comfortable lifestyle options.

Frank Khan, Head of Residential Department at Knight Frank (Thailand), revealed that although there will be very limited new developments in this market owing to a lack of prime sites in the central business district area, there will be the possibility of several new luxury projects that may enter the market soon.

Prime real estate is seen as an inflation hedge and a safe harbour for a growing number of high net worth individuals (HNWI).  Demand for condominium projects in this high-end sector of the market typically comes from HNWIs and ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWI’s).  Predominantly, they come to Bangkok on a regular basis, either for business, leisure or both.

A majority of the primary target market (70%) is comprised of Hong Kong Chinese, Hong Kong expats, Singaporean Chinese, Singaporean expats, mainland Chinese, and well to do Russians.  Secondary buyers (10%) are from Europe, the Middle East, India, North America, Australia, Taiwan, and Korea.  The remaining (20%) are Thais and expatriates living in Bangkok already.

There is also a demand from corporations, such as Hong Kong-based companies who buy high-end condominiums to accommodate their executives and partners during business trips in Bangkok where they can enjoy five-star hotel service.

According to HSBC Bank’s expat navigator dice data from a 2010 survey of more than 4,000 expats across 25 countries who have already made the move, Thailand ranks the first among countries offering the best experience for expats, followed by Canada and Spain.  Thailand also ranks number two among the countries with the best work life balance; South Africa ranks at the top and Spain ranks third.

Khan said that, in addition to their prime locations, the high standard of service provided by the international hotel brands ensure the exclusivity that these superb developments demand.  The project must provide an extensive range of services, amenities, and exclusive facilities for residents.  Also, to reach this world class standard, the luxury condominium unit is meticulously designed with sophisticated fixtures and finishing, complementing all the needs and comforts of contemporary city living.

In terms of size, prime condominium units are defined as 2 bedrooms to penthouse and duplex units; 1 bedroom condos are not considered among this grouping.  Recently, the average selling price of Bangkok luxurious condominium ranged from THB 225,000 to THB 320,000 per square metre, an increase of about 4% from the year 2011, said Mr. Khan.

(Source - www.knightfrank.co.th)

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