Pause For Thought
Property Report|August - September 2020
With the 2020 global pandemic accelerating a sluggish trend in its property market, Thailand’s years of strong growth and brisk sales may be over: at least for the moment
George Styllis

If last year had started to unpick the threads of Thailand’s property market, the novel coronavirus has blown a hole right through its fabric.

The country was already reeling from oversupply, flagging sales, and dwindling Chinese demand when the pandemic hit— and things have taken a turn for the worse.

From mid-March to April, there have been no new condominium launches in Bangkok. Projects due to be launched are postponed to the last quarter of the year, while many sales offices have closed as staff work from home.

As Suphin Mechuchep, managing director of JLL Thailand, puts it: “All of the core property sectors have been affected by the outbreak in one way or another.”

“In March, the outbreak of Covid-19 was especially severe, resulting in a decrease in the number of people visiting projects,” reports Risinee Sarikaputra, director of research at Knight Frank Thailand.

From its initial forecast of 20,000 units, Knight Frank Thailand expects around 11,000 to 12,000 units to come on the market by the end of the year.

Beyond the decrease in new condominium sales, Risinee says “concerns remain about the number of condominium transfers for completed projects that are ready to be turned over this year amid the nationwide lockdown.”

A similar trend is playing out in secondary markets. The pandemic’s impact on travel and tourism has slashed both domestic and foreign demand for holiday homes—a key segment in coastal hotspots like Phuket and Hua Hin.

“Along with most expat agents here, I deal with foreign buyers. With no international flights coming in, there haven’t been any sales happening,” says Russ Downing, managing director of Hot Hua Hin, which does business in real estate and publishing.

The pandemic is accelerating a trend that already started last year, effectively putting an end to Thailand’s years of strong growth and brisk sales.

COMMUTERS GET A LIFELINE

Residents living to the west of the Chao Praya River in Bangkok need not feel isolated from the city centre anymore after the metro system completed its 28-kilometre extension of the Blue Line.

The extension will make the Blue Line the first circular line in Bangkok and is expected to make for a more connected city with new opportunities for development. Construction is underway on five other metro lines. Once completed by 2025, as expected, these will connect midtown and suburban areas of Bangkok to the Blue Line.

The metro’s development will create new business districts and other hubs of activity, especially at interchange stations, which will give valuable opportunities for property developments in the near future, says Pakapon Utaobin, an analyst at Research and Consulting, CBRE Thailand.

“The expansion of the mass transit network will change how Bangkokians live, work and play, and Bangkok will become a more defined city with each corner of the city connected to another by at least one mass transit line,” says Pakapon.

ARMCHAIR TRAVEL

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM PROPERTY REPORTView All

Taking flight

Home to Jakarta’s international airport, Tangerang is emerging as a viable investment option thanks to its lifestyle and infrastructural perks

4 mins read
Property Report
June - July 2021

Portion control

As China’s central government aims to rein in runaway real estate prices, new measures will restrict land auctions to three per year in large cities including Beijing and Shanghai

4 mins read
Property Report
June - July 2021

SHOT IN THE DARK

Thailand’s pandemic nightmare is not yet over. And with national vaccination efforts proceeding slowly, investor confidence in the country’s real estate market is suffering

7 mins read
Property Report
June - July 2021

LET THERE BE LIGHT

By converting empty soft-drink bottles into solar lamps, Illac Diaz has illuminated the lives of people in rural areas around the Philippines and beyond

6 mins read
Property Report
June - July 2021

Dividends in division

With an emboldened Israel pushing forward with its construction of illegal settlements in Palestinian territory, one of the world’s most disputed areas has become the site of an unlikely real estate boom

5 mins read
Property Report
June - July 2021

Sun, Sea And Sands

The elements come together to make Manila’s SMDC Sands Residences one of the most auspicious property investments of 2021

3 mins read
Property Report
June - July 2021

Everything's Gone Green

With sustainability in sharper focus than ever before, visionary entrepreneurs around Asia are helping to steer the real estate industry on a mindful track

10 mins read
Property Report
June - July 2021

Proving Its Mettle

Silver linings have been hard to find for debt-distressed Sri Lanka recently, but the resilience of its property sector provides at least some grounds for optimism

8 mins read
Property Report
June - July 2021

Designs For Life

A teenage prodigy from a family of architects, Medi Korasani continues to hone his passion for design as director of Melbourne-based DW Architects & Interiors

6 mins read
Property Report
June - July 2021

Healthy Working Culture

With its green credentials and high-tech trimmings embodying modern office development, The PARQ provides an urban oasis in Bangkok for its tenants

6 mins read
Property Report
June - July 2021
RELATED STORIES

STAMP

Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad — For Most People. For STAMP FAIRTEX, However, It’s Not Enough!

9 mins read
Black Belt
April/May 2021

A Taste of Asia

Carole Mac takes you on an exotic gastronomic tour featuring Wine4Food’s top bites and sips across Asia. From lavish beach-side seafood in Bali, decadent wines in Myanmar, traditional noodle curry in Thailand, to the finest sake and Yamaga cuisine in Japan, this trip must not be missed.

2 mins read
RETREAT Magazine
Issue 19

SPECIAL REPORT

HOW TO CROSS THE INDIAN OCEAN, BY JANNEKE KUYSTERS

9 mins read
Yachting World
October 2020

Bangkok – Go with the Flow

Wellness options blend work and play in Bangkok.

3 mins read
Global Traveler
July/August 2020

Living With Korats Is Kaotic!

“Move over, rabbit’s foot.

4 mins read
Cat Talk
October 2019

How Two Seasteaders Wound Up Marked For Death

If a tiny floating cottage brought down the wrath of the thai navy, is there any hope for stateless life at sea?

10+ mins read
Reason magazine
November 2019

Travel - Far, Fast, And Light

Travel gear brand Tropicfeel wants to lighten your load on your next trip.

3 mins read
Industry Leaders
September 2019

Thai Treats

Bangkok bustles with options for wining and dining clients.

3 mins read
Global Traveler
August 2019

Koh Kood: Beyond Buddhas In Thailand

This distant island resort delivers Robinson Crusoe seclusion, service by Fridays and tea in the trees

5 mins read
Business Traveler
July - August 2019

Find Out New Travel Points Of View

Hotels are enhancing their guests’ stays with unique experiences and privileged access to create new travel points of viewTom Otley takes an art tour in Thailand, while Laura Miserez provides snapshots of the myriad options available around the world.

7 mins read
Business Traveler
April 2019