Sales of luxury property in Thailand remain buoyant despite global concerns, according to CB Richard Ellis, the leading international property consultants in Thailand. At a luxury property exhibition last week at Bangkok’s Siam Paragon, the company sold 50 condominium units worth a total of USD 20.5 million in locations including Bangkok and resort destinations such as Pattaya.
Overall estimated sales at the exhibition exceeded 100 units. Typical units were high-end, with sales prices of USD 292 – 380 per sq.ft. Buyers were roughly evenly divided into Thai-end users and foreigners based in or visiting Thailand. Cash- and minimally-financed purchases were common, reflecting the maturity of both the market and the purchasers and reducing fears of speculative buying.
Millennium Residences, located in the heart of Sukhumvit, Bangkok’s expatriate district, achieved the highest sales in total condominium units and value, followed by The Pano, a luxury development on Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River. The Pano has generally been more popular with Thai buyers, but the weekend saw a number of purchases by foreigners. Strong sales were also seen at Royce Private Residences in Sukhumvit and the Watermark, another riverside development.
Pattaya’s White Sand Beach achieved sales of 14 units. White Sand Beach is currently one of the largest projects in Pattaya, with 303 high-rise waterfront condominium and 240 low-rise island lagoon condominium units covering an area of 24 acres that includes a Movenpick Hotel, along with proximity to the Ocean Marina Yacht Club, which adds to its popularity.
CB Richard Ellis’ sales value during the exhibition represented growth of over 80% from the previous year, suggesting that the Thai property market is more resilient than others. One of the reasons for this is the competitive pricing of property in Thailand. Nationally, construction costs account for a larger portion of the property’s overall cost; as a result, the difference between price and replacement cost is lower than in many other markets, making investment safer, even as the global property sector faces a period of uncertainty.
The Thai economy continues to grow this year with the return of a democratically-elected government. The country’s position as the world’s largest rice exporter has shielded it from rising commodity prices, and tourism is flourishing, with international tourist arrivals last year up 5% y-o-y. While the US credit crunch is having a worldwide effect, most property experts and developers observed that in high-growth Asian economies, inflation is the main worry. Observes urge the Thai government to relax regulations governing foreign purchases of property because of the international direction of the market. He noted that international buyers are only keen on certain types of real estate and what really appeals to them is a very small percentage of the land bank of any country or city.