Condo Boom in Bangkok: What is in Store for Foreign Investors?
Much of the recent hype in the condominium segment of real estate sales in Thailand is driven by foreign nationals. The return of political stability in the country has allowed the large inflow of investments in its properties. According to the Pace Development Corporation luxury segment’s chief executive Sorapoj Techakraisri, the confidence of foreign buyers has returned particularly in the high-end residential market. The most recent example was the sale of a two-floor, 1,500-square meter penthouse at The Ritz-Carlton Residences last month for 480 million baht to an Indian national based in Dubai. This is said to be the single priciest condo unit ever sold in the country. Pace will hold a roadshow in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in March to draw more investors. The company had sold 7 units totaling 240 million baht in HongKong a few weeks ago. To date, Pace Development Corporation has already sold 100 condo units amounting to a total of 5 billion baht. Sixty percent of these were purchased by foreign buyers.
The Ritz: Soaring Above and Beyond
The Ritz-Carlton Residences is a frontline of the market’s high-end segment. The 194-unit luxury condo project sells for an average price of 280,000 baht per square meter, good for 99-year leasehold. This is just a component of the 77-storey MahaNakhon mixed-use luxury skyscraper being currently built next to the Chong Nonsi train station. The MahaNakhon tower will also be featuring the 150-room Bangkok Edition Hotel. This hotel along with the residences is planned for completion in 2015. Aside from the hotel and residences, this project also includes a lifestyle mall consisting of seven floors. The entire project cost is estimated at around 19 billion. The industry also sees a lot of contribution from the local market. Knight Frank Chartered’s managing director Phanom Kanjanathiemthao noted that Thai condo buyers will eventually take prices above 200,000 per square meter. This is shown by the notable share of local buyers compared to that in the past. This is also driven by the large number of high-priced condo projects being launched in the market.
The Lofty Anticipation
Meanwhile, foreign buyers are easily attracted to the Thai market because the price is relatively competitive especially when compared to other markets like Hong Kong, Singapore, and London. For instance, the resale price of a penthouse at the St. Regis along Ratchadamri Road is 400,000 baht per square meter. As part of its marketing drive, Knight Frank will be holding road shows in Hong Kong and Singapore around March to May. Its condominium projects include the Royce Private Residences and Nara 9. These projects offer 40 to 50 units each. The company reported that its promotion activities in Singapore paid off as it was able to rake in 200 million baht in sales for its condo project in Bangkok.
Aside from these projects mentioned, Pace Development Corporation is also set to launch its new luxury projects – one in Hua Hin, and another along Bangkok’s Lang Suan Road. The Hua Hin project will be showcasing 120 villas with each unit priced about 15 million baht while the Lang Suan will offer luxury condo units worth 5 billion baht. These will create more reasons for foreign investors to come and take a closer look at Thailand’s booming condo industry.