Although Bangkok property prices continue to rise, there are options available for even the smallest of budgets, further away from the CBD. Projects that are closer to the SkyTrain and MTS stations and the CBD tend to be pricier. Here are ten insider tips for figuring out the Bangkok property industry.
The most popular area for foreign investors is Sukhumvit, followed by Central Lumpini and the Sathorn area. Condo developments in these areas command the highest prices in Bangkok. For families looking to invest in Bangkok property that will give them close access to the CBD while allowing them to live in high-end housing villages as opposed to condominiums, there are two satellites attracting attention, one being around the International School of Bangkok and there is also a smaller cluster around Bangkok Pattana School.
Many Bangkok property investors are attracted to the up-and-coming riverside, with its fine views and close proximity to a string of Bangkok’s top hotels, including the Oriental, the Peninsula and the Shangri-La. Currently there is limited demand from expatriate tenants, generally because of public transport access issues, however prices in this area are fast climbing as more luxurious developments come on stream, such as Raimon Land’s “The River,” which the developer says should command prices in the Bt200,000 per square meter range.
The Bangkok high end rental market is an attractive option for investors. Bangkok’s high-paid expatriates are given housing allowances in the range of Bt70,000 – Bt100,000 per month, but they are looking for homes with all the western amenities they’re accustomed to.
Bangkok’s traffic is notoriously bad, so most buyers would be wise to purchase in areas close to the metro system or SkyTrain to cut down on commuting times. This has a significant effect on Bangkok property. The standard of Bangkok condominium projects is improving fast, with many well-designed units matching what can be found in Hong Kong or Singapore. Architects and interior designers are moving away from traditional thinking to bring in more modern looks and paying more attention to detail. Housing villages are mushrooming on the outskirts of Bangkok. The villages feature amenities such as swimming pools and tennis courts, but, following the global trend, the homes sit on tiny land plots and each home tends to look exactly like the next. This is the core of the Bangkok property market among the emerging Thai middle class.
Over the next three years, the amount of new supply is expected to be significant, averaging around 6,150 units per year, considerably high when compared with an average of 3,460 units per year during 2004-2006. The result will be high competition among these and older units while bargaining power will be in the hands of buyers and tenants. In the coming year, new property projects in central Bangkok will focus more on the middle and upper-middle segments, with the majority of units being one to two-bedrooms in order to offset declining purchasing power. At the lower end of the segment, project development focus in Bangkok is shifting to fringe locations along the extended SkyTrain/Subway routes where property can be more affordable.