Chinese Condo Buyers Dominating Thailand Property Investments

August 14, 2018

Bangkok's property market is currently dominated by Chinese condo buyers. And it seems like this situation will persist for some time, according to the Thai Condominium Association.

Honorary president Prasert Taedullayasatit asserted that flocks of Chinese investors and tourists have penetrated the capital's condominium marketplace since a few years ago. This trend is likely to stay for a period of time.

Chinese Condo Buyers

Most Chinese buyers were from the mainland and purchased in cash. One condo project that was recently completed last year near a mass transit station saw large increases in condo transfers to Chinese buyers. These foreign buyers had to pay up to 20% higher than the local unit price, however.

In 2017, condo transfers involving international buyers accounted for 27 per cent of all condo transfers in the capital. The collective value of such transfers amounted to 71 billion baht.

23.6 billion baht of these international condo transfers came from Hong Kong and mainland China, increasing 13 billion baht more since 2016.

Some Chinese condo buyers may not reside in the units they purchased – this is one likely issue with any foreign condo ownership. They may instead rent out their space through Airbnb or in cooperation with tour agents.

Thailand Property Investments from Foreigners

Chinese investment currently fuels most Thailand property developments including joint ventures with local firms. The Japanese actively invested in local property development within the last 3 years. However, Chinese investment has currently overtaken Japan's real estate activities.

As per recent statistics, 19 Hong Kong and China-based firms invested a total of 334 billion baht into the Thailand property marketplace. Following their pace is the Japanese with approximately 253 billion baht worth of investments. Finally, according to Mr Prasert, there are the Singaporeans who invested around 31 billion baht based on recent data.

This year, Bangkok's condo market – especially in the central business district – will see large revenue boosts this year. Colliers International Thailand's senior manager Phattarachai Taweewong said that Greater Bangkok appears to be more robust this year.

Condo Supply in Greater Bangkok

2017 condo supply levels in Greater Bangkok were approximately 55,000 units. New condo supply this year will inch closer to such levels. The overall value will increase to 250 billion baht by 25 per cent. Majority of new units belong to high-end segments.

For the first quarter of this year, new condo supply reached more than 22,00 units at a combined price of more than 103 billion baht. This was a significant increase from last year's period.

Mr Phattarachai attributed the drastic value increase to the fact that last year's condo supply was mainly in outer locations where prices per unit tend to be lower. In 2018, however, there were more condo developments in the inner city.

In the second quarter, condo prices per square metre dropped from 135,340 to 109,092 baht. This is because condo developments were mostly in the outskirts and not in the heart of the city.

More Condo Units Underway

Upon the launch of new prime projects in Ekamai and Thong Lor in the third quarter of this year, average prices per square metre of new condo units will expect a surge of around 140,000 baht or more.

During the last 4 years, new condo developments priced between 50,000 and 100,000 baht per square metres made up 50 per cent of the entire market – the largest ever with more than 100,000 units.

Condos in the 100,000 to 150,000 price range followed suit with nearly 50,000 units, comprising 23 per cent of the market. Units priced at less than 50,00 baht (around 22,000 units) had an 11 per cent market share all in all.

Of all condo units launched between 2014 and the present, those priced between 100,000 and 150,000 had the highest sales rate, accounting for 81 per cent of condo sales in Bangkok.

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