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Market View of Bangkok Condo

The events in Bangkok in May 2010 have raised concerns about the recovery we were seeing in many sectors of the Thai property market in the first quarter of 2010. However, it will take months to see what the effect will be on sales and letting volumes, prices and rents. We do not believe there will be a sudden a dramatic downward movement in prices or rents. The total supply of expatriate standard apartments in downtown Bangkok increased 2.3% year on year. Occupancy was 88.2%. Rents rose in some locations such as Central Lumpini but fell in other locations.

Despite the increase in the Bangkok hotel supply, Bangkok occupancy rates and REVPAR increased but the Average daily rate decreased in quarter. International Tourist Arrivals increased by 27.1% on Q1 2010. Obviously Q2 numbers will be very poor and it remains to be seen how long it will take for business and tourist arrivals to recover. The majority of new condominium launches in the first quarter were mainly small one bedroom units.

The office market remained weak. There was no increase in supply. Take up grew by 17,481 square metres. Grade A CBD rents fell by 3.8% year on year. Retail Occupancy increased to 93.4%. Rents remained at similar levels. A number of shopping centres were closed in Central Bangkok for much of April and May. 882 Rai (349 acres) of SILPs were sold on industrial parks and estates in Q1 2010. This was an increase 891% y-o-y. There was 175% increase in townhouse completions on quarter on quarter but developer built single detatched house completions fell by 74% quarter on quarter.

The existing supply in downtown Bangkok reached 67,176 units, up from 65,067 units in Q1 2010. This was an increase of 3.2% Q-o-Q and 15.8% Y-o-Y. There were 2,109 units completed in this quarter. Another 5,220 units are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2010 which will raise the total downtown condominium stock significantly to 72,396 units, or by 11.3 % Y-o-Y. In Q1 2010, the average asking price for an off-plan freehold condominium unit (high-end and above) in downtown Bangkok was 156,460 THB/m2 an increase of 19.2% Q-o-Q or 3.0 Y-o-Y. The total number of units occupied by owners or tenants decreased from 74.2 in Q4 2009 to 74.0% in this quarter.

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