Bangkok condos pick up a crisis dividend

This time the message is clear: Don’t buy in Dubai. Do buy in Bangkok.

A decade ago, Thailand drastically overhauled its banking policies. It had too: the popping of a Thai real estate bubble triggered the catastrophic financial meltdown of the Asian Crisis.

But the prudent policies of Thailand’s banks has paid off. Thailand’s property sector can now wisely shake its head as Dubai’s real-estate sand castle gets swept away. Meanwhile, its own market is shrugging off the downturn and already showing a revival.

The area of Thai property with the greatest immunity to the global slowdown is probably Bangkok’s condo market.

Here a positive trend is partly propelled by the upcoming completion of new skytrain stations and a rail link to Suvarnabhumi airport, which promise big capital gains to astute real estate investors.

Not that Bangkok is currently lacking in terms of lifestyle. The city is consistently ranked at the top of international living surveys – and justly so, says Cyrille Hareux of Company Vauban, a Bangkok-based real estate company.

‘Foreign visitors tend to be really surprised at the quality of life in Bangkok,’ he says.

‘Before the sky train was built, the city probably deserved a reputation for traffic and stress. But now it’s pretty much the best of both worlds – all the character of a fascinating Asian city along with first-world convenience.’

Athip Pichanon, President of the Thai Condominium Association, has told the Pattaya Mail that Thailand is set to continue to appeal to foreign investors for top value for money. By square metre, a high-end condominium in Bangkok costs one-quarter of its equivalent in Singapore.

He added that about half of Thailand’s top-end condos are bought as investments, but that fewer people are buying luxury condos purely for profit speculation.

Meanwhile, Thongma Vijitpongpun, president and CEO of Preuksa Real Estate, has told the Nation newspaper that Thailand’s real estate market will grow by 5-10% next fiscal year.


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