Bangkok Affirms New Ultra-luxury Property Sector
Bangkok embraces a whole new property segment, the ultra-luxury. Recently, Waldorf Astoria adds into the string of the city’s ultra-luxury properties that include no less than Ritz Carlton and St. Regis. The current trend of pre-sales in newly-launched projects demonstrates the momentum this type of property enjoys in the market today.
A few years back, the Bangkok property market could be categorized along traditional ones. There were high-end, middle, and low-end segments. The most expensive sector offered price that went only as high as 100,000 Baht (US$3,152) per square meter. But the market got perked up to the highest level with the arrival of an array of luxury residential properties consisting of the Ritz Carlton Residences, Residences at St. Regis, and 185 Rajadamri. These high-caliber residences are setting a new trend of opulent living in the city. Ulf Schaefer, director of residential department of Knight Frank Thailand notes that the ultra luxury residences are beginning to establish itself in Bangkok. The official relates about the two distinct categories in this particular segment – the serviced hotel residences and the super deluxe condominium without the hotel component. The former was launched in Bangkok through properties like the Banyan Tree, Sukhothai, and the St. Regis. Schaefer likewise notes that this segment is growing.
Property Price Range
The city’s most recent addition to this group of ultra-rich properties is the Magnolias Ratchadamri Boulevard (MRB). This newly-launched project will be offering 316 private residences as part of a mixed-use development, which will also house the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok. This development offers one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom units including penthouses. The unit sizes range from 48 to 360 square meters that sell at an average price of 170,000 Baht (US$5,360) per square meter. The MRB will have its own Director of Residences who will manage the property and look after the well-being of its residents. The Residences at St. Regis Bangkok also falls into the same category where the MRB belongs. This project was completed in 2010 and offers 53 residences that sell at an average amount of 220,000 Baht (US$ 6,936) per square meter. The residences include a host of services and amenities including exclusive parking area. Both developments - the MRB, with its location being owned by the Crown Property Bureau, and St. Regis are being offered on a 30-year lease. This rather limited leasehold period might be a factor that can discourage some investors. However, despite this and the high prices set for these residences, the properties at Ratchadamri Road, one of the city’s most esteemed streets, still sell well.
The Segment Continues to Soar
Thanawan Chaiwatana, the managing director of Magnolia Finest Corporation which is the developer of the project, reports that they have received positive feedbacks during their pre-sales period. These very good feedbacks came from targeted customers that include both local and international business owners, investors, and even those who are on the search for second home in the central business district of Bangkok. Meanwhile, the units at Raimon Land’s 185 Rajadamri sell for an average amount of 250,000 THB (US$ 7,900) for each square meter. Fifty-five percent of these are already sold out even if the project is yet to open by the end of 2013. Likewise, over 40 percent of the 194 units at Ritz Carlton Residences have already been sold out even before its 2013 completion. Indeed, a new prime sector has been established in Bangkok. Although the city is yet to determine how many more of such property type can be absorbed by the market, it is reasonable to expect an optimistic outlook in this segment.