Asian are expanding their investment in Thailand’s property market, both in Bangkok and upcountry, as prices here are still lower than elsewhere in the region and because the Asean Economic Community (ABC) will come into full effect in 2015.
These investors are largely from Malaysia, Singapore, India, and China including Hong Kong.
A survery by The Nation of property agencies and developers found that they are seeing demand for exising property projects such as hotels and office buildings, as well as joint ventures with local partners to buy undeveloped land for factories and ware houses.
Bangkok Commercial Asset Management Co president Sumate Maneewattana said Chinese investors were interested in buying undeveloped land on Bang Na-Trat Road near China City, a distribution centre for Chinese and Thai products.
Most of them have set up joint ventures with local partners to buy the land for industrial plants and warehouses to provide products to China City, he said.
This demand has driven up land prices in Bang Na by 10-20 per cent this year compared with last year, he said.
Besides China City, Bang Na is the site of a number of retail businesses soon to open, such as Mega Bangna, which will hiuse Ikea’s flagship outlet in Thailand, and SB Furniture.
Meanwhile, the demand for undeveloped land in Hat Yai will also increase when Malaysian investors expand their businesses in the South of Thailand.
“Many Malaysian investors are interested in buying agricultural land for palm plantation to support the strong demand for palm oil,” Sumate said.
Collier International (Thailand) managing director Patima Jeerapath said demand for residential properties from foreign investors had returned to Thailand since the last quarter of last year, thanks to prices that are still lower than elsewhere in Asia such as mainland China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
He said investors from Hong Kong, Singapore, India and mainland China were also interested in buying hotels in Bangkok and tourist destinations such as Phuket,Hua Hin,Pattaya and Koh Samui because they believe that Thailand will be the centre of the hospitality business in Southeast Asia when the AEC is effective in 2015.
“We believe that the demand for hotels and offices will rise when foreign investors expand within the AEC by using Thailand as their regional hub,” he said.
Rising demand in both the residential and commercial property markets will drive up land mprices in the central business districts and tourist destinations by an average of 5-10 per cent this year compared with last year, he said.
Source: The Nation