Bangkok condominium market cools down for Q1 2011

Concerns regarding an overheating condominium market supply were allayed in Q1 2011 with a fall of around 46% of new launches compared to  the previous quarter according to the latest Condominium Market Report from Colliers International Thailand.

Approximately 10,800 units were launched in Q1 2011 with slightly more coming from suburban Bangkok . The six months prior to Q1 were a frenetic time for the condominium market and Antony Picon, Associate Director of Research at Colliers believes this represented an aberration rather than a trend. “Many of the launches were tapping into the first time buyer market with small unit sizes and affordable prices and the reaction was similar to any new high profile product hitting the market  for the first time such as the ipad”, he said.  “After a while things steadied and become more sustainable and that is what we are seeing with condominiums now”, he added.

Patima Jeerapaet, Managing Director of Colliers, stated that the recent Bank of Thailand’s loan to value requirements and the steady rises in interest rates went a long way to restrain the breakneck pace of launches. “There was considerable media attention at the end of last year regarding the high number of launches and prudent action has been taken that allows the market to consolidate rather than come to a complete halt and this can only be good for the market in the long term”, Mr Patima pointed out.

Increasing land prices and construction costs are creating pricing pressures and it will be difficult for developers to pass these on the buyers, claimed Mr Picon. “Unit sizes can only be reduced by so much and already there is talk of action to limit this so any future price rises will only be possible with strong economic growth translating into higher wages”, he said.

New launches for Q1 2011 were down compared with the previous quarter by around 46%. Just under 10,800 units were launched in Q1 compared to around 20,000 in Q4 2010.

In Q1 2011, the Suburban Bangkok area trumped urban Bangkok with the higher number of units launched. Many projects in the Suburban Bangkok area contain over 600 units.

Within urban Bangkok, the Northern Fringe and Southern Fringe areas have shown the highest numbers with approximately 1,600 units or 15% of each location from the total.

New supply

 Approximately 3,500 new condominium units were completed and registered at the Department of Land in Q1 2011 and the total number of the whole of Bangkok was approximately 300,000 units, and more than 39,500 units are scheduled to be completed in 2011. The number of condominium units under construction and scheduled to be completed in 2011 is the highest since the global financial crisis in 1997.

The average selling price in the City area is the highest at more than THB 95,000 per sq m, however this is nearly 13% lower than the average selling price in 2010. This was due to less prestigious projects being launched in Q1 2011.

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