Housing and condominium markets boom along Bangkok’s Purple Line


According to the latest survey by international property consultancy company CBRE Thailand, there is an increased level of development along the purple line mass transit route currently under construction despite much of area being affected by the floods in 2011.

The construction of the mass transit network in Bangkok and surrounding provinces has had a huge impact on people’s lifestyle.  The younger generation is now choosing to live in the city as it is more convenient to travel via BTS, MRT, and Airport Rail Link.  Locations next to the mass transit stations are becoming one of the key factors that determine where people buy or invest in property.

James Pitchon.James Pitchon.

“We have seen a positive correlation between the number of passengers on each line and the level of actual demand for condominiums, offices, hotels, and retail centres along the route.  In the future, we strongly believe that developers will build more projects along both under construction mass transit routes and the new planned routes.” said James Pitchon, Executive Director, Head of CBRE Research and Consulting at CBRE Thailand.

There are six mass rapid lines under construction; the BTS Dark Green Line extension (Wong Wian Yai – Bang Wa; completion in 2013), the BTS Light Green Line extension (Bearing – Samut Prakan; completion in 2017), the MRT Dark Blue Line1 (Bang Sue – Tha Pra; completion in 2016), the MRT Dark Blue Line2 (Hua Lamphong – Lak Song; completion in 2016), the MRT Purple Line (Tao Poon – Klong Bang Pai; completion in 2015) and the SRT Light Red Line (Bang Sue – Taling Chan; completion in 2013).

The survey shows that one of most popular routes for property development is the MRT Purple Line because of the availability of land plots.  The lower price of land has meant that it is feasible to develop both low rise housing and condominiums on this route.  The line begins at Klong Bang Yai and runs along Rattanathibet Road to cross the Chao Phraya River next to the Phra Nangklao Bridge, before connecting with the MRT Dark Blue Line 1 at Tao Poon.  The total distance covered by this route is 23.0 kilometres.  As of June 2012, the line was 44.92% completed and it is expected to start operating by mid-2015.

MRT Purple Line Map.MRT Purple Line Map.

In addition, new condominium developments along the route are being seen largely on the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya River (Tao Poon – Saphan Phra Nangkloa) while townhouses and single-detached house are being seen on the western bank (Sai Ma – Klong Bang Pai).

Prices of condominiums usually do not exceed THB 2.0 million per unit as the target group is lower to middle-income classes.  Most condominium projects offer studio and one-bedroom units with areas of approximately 25 – 35sqm per unit and prices ranging from THB 35,000 – 60,000 per sqm.

In the first half of 2012, there were seven new condominium projects launched along this line.  CBRE Research included only the developments that are within 800 metres from MRT stations.

As Tao Poon station is the interchange station between the MRT Dark Blue and MRT Purple Lines, there have been many new condominium developments near this station.  One of the largest developments is The Tree Interchange Condominium being developed by Pruksa Real Estate with 650 units and an average price of THB 1.9 million (THB 66,000 per sqm.).

There were two large new projects launched in Q2 2012 by public-listed developers including Asian Property’s Aspire Rattanathibet and LPN’s Lumpini Park Rattanathibet-Ngamwongwan.  The average price of both projects was less than THB 60,000 per sqm.  Buyers will get a condominium unit close to an MRT station, paying less than THB 2 million.  The sales rates of both condominiums have been high.

An artist’s impression shows The Tree Interchange Condominium being developed by Pruksa Real Estate next to the new MRT line.An artist’s impression shows The Tree Interchange Condominium being developed by Pruksa Real Estate next to the new MRT line.

CBRE believe that the condominium market along the mass transit routes is driven by accessibility, affordability and usability.

There was only one condominium launched on the western bank of the Chao Phraya River which was D Condo Rattanathibet which is located near Sai Ma station, offering 1,325 one-bedroom units.  As the starting price of this development is lower than THB 1 million and also cheaper than the developments on the other side of the river, 80% of the units have been sold within five months of the launch.

CBRE also observed that the numbers of new condominiums developed by private property developers is increasing.  However, these are usually small developments with less than 200 units.

There were eight new low rise housing projects along the MRT Purple Line launched in H1 2012; 3 townhouse and 5 single detached house projects.  The townhouse projects near the Purple Line (Pruksa Ville 54 Rama 5 Road, The Connect Rattanathibet and Baan Pruksa 76 Bang Yai – Kaew In) were priced between THB 1.0 – 3.0 million, with two to three-bedroom units with usable areas between 90 to 110sqm. per unit on 17.7-24.0 sq.wah land plots, while single-detached house projects (Bangkok Boulevard Ratchapruk – Rama 5, Supalai Ville Ratchapruk – Bang Bua Thong, Casa Ville Ratchapruk – Rama 5, Thanasiri Ratchapruk – Tha Nam Non and Lanceo CRIB Rattanathibet – Bang Yai) were priced at THB 2.9 – 13.9 million, with house sizes between 135 to 305sqm per unit on 36.0-138.0 sq.wah of land plots.

It can be seen that locations next to the mass transit stations are becoming one of the important factors that determine where people buy or invest in property.  Mass transit systems are going to continue to change living, working and shopping patterns of Bangkok residents but the impact of each line will be different based on the price of land, availability of land and planning regulations governing the size of what can be built.

(Source – CBRE Thailand)