By Mandy Chen
The beautiful country of Thailand is located in the heart of Southeast Asia, with its strategic location generating an abundance of businesses and trading opportunities with China and other ASEAN countries, especially with the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Initiative*. Thailand also seeks to capitalise on China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to further develop its infrastructure in the EEC. These mega-development plans will certainly boost Thailand’s economy to the next level. Also, with the help of the Thailand government i.e. the Board of Investment, offering a wide range of tax incentives, it is indeed a great opportunity for foreign investors to invest in Thailand.
For centuries, Bangkok has served as the main entry point for foreign traders and businessmen in Southeast Asia. Welcoming more than 20 million overseas guests in one year, Bangkok has been voted the world’s top tourist destination according to MasterCard’s annual Global Destination Cities Index 2018. With its strategic location, unique advantages and the city’s appeal, Bangkok is set for huge growth in its real estate sector, attracting overseas investors keen to tap into the city’s economic potential.
Bangkok is currently ranked seventh amongst the top 10 fastest growing emerging world cities, according to research done by Oxford Economics 2018. With the influx of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) coupled with the government’s 2.2 Trillion Baht transportation infrastructure investment to turn Thailand into the AEC logistics hub, Bangkok’s property market is constantly growing; particularly in the inner-city locations where the prices continue breaking records year after year. In the past years, Bangkok has undergone several major infrastructure developments including the expansion of mass transit lines (BTS Skytrain and MRT Subway).
Generally, in Bangkok, the prices of high-end residential properties are still lower than those in other Asian markets, especially Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan; hence providing a potentially lucrative property investment opportunity to long-term investors. According to the online Chinese real estate portal Juwei.com, Bangkok is on the top list for Chinese investors.
If you’re thinking about buying properties in Bangkok, here are few popular districts in Bangkok you can look into.
1. Siam and Chit Lom
This area is where the majority of the high-end shopping malls are located. Amongst these popular malls are Siam Paragon and Central world. The Erawan Shrine, one of the popular tourist destinations is also located here. People living around these areas are mostly expatriates.
Siam is the interchange between two train lines, i.e. BTS and MRT. Due to its convenient location in the centre of Bangkok, properties around the area go for higher prices. The average selling price of a new luxury condominium at Chit Lom Langsuan could start at THB 260,000 per sqm and go higher. These areas have gained popularity amongst both Thai and foreign investors. The prices are continuously increasing due to the rarity of available plots of land remaining for development.
Lumpini Park is the largest park in downtown Bangkok and its surrounding streets (Wireless Road, Soi Langsuan, etc.) are some of Bangkok’s most expensive neighbourhoods. Properties at Wireless Road, for example, have been known to reach prices as high as THB 500,000 per sqm. It is one of the most exclusive areas in Bangkok; where the wealthiest in Bangkok reside.
The reason for these higher values is that Lumpini, while incredibly centralized, is much calmer and greener in comparison to some other locations. Wireless Road’s embassies and high-end hotels help keep the neighbourhood safe, less noisy, and spacious as well.
Silom and Sathorn districts are where most of Bangkok’s financial institutions and multinational companies are based. There are many offices around Sala Daeng BTS. As such, the areas are popular with both wealthy locals and expatriate communities who work in Bangkok.
Due to these areas serving as Bangkok’s main central business districts (CBD), prices are obviously higher. Those who live in Silom and Sathorn enjoy easy access to the rest of the city centre. A variety of international restaurants and other amenities are always within walking distance.
The average selling price in Silom district is estimated between THB160, 000 to THB274, 000 per sqm. Whereas in the Sathorn district prices range THB105,000 to THB250,000 per sqm. These prices also depend on the grade of the property.
4. Nana and Asoke
Asoke, one of Bangkok’s busiest business districts, is home to glass-and-steel office buildings, high-end serviced apartments, hotels, and plenty of restaurants. It also connects both BTS and MRT interchanges. Terminal 21 shopping mall is directly accessible from Asoke BTS.
In Nana, you can find many halal restaurants which attract numerous Muslim tourists, especially from the Middle East.
Both areas are also well known for their extraordinary nightlife scenes; perhaps the largest concentration of bars and clubs in downtown Bangkok. Sukhumvit Soi 11 at Nana is at the heart of all these activities. Due to their vibrant entertainment venues, these areas are popular with foreigners of a wide range of nationalities. The average selling price ranges from THB 140,000 to THB280, 000 depending on the location and the grade of the property.
5. Ratchathewi/Phaya Thai
Ratchathewi district is directly north of Bangkok’s commercial hub (Siam) and west of Thailand’s political centre (Dusit), with the districts occupancy rate being one of the highest in the city.
Ratchathewi is a lot more localized and you won’t find as many expats as you would in Sukhumvit or Silom. The area is close to government offices like the United Nations and is just a stone’s throw from central Bangkok.
Victory Monument and the nearby Soi Rangnam, in particular, are Ratchathewi’s most desirable residential areas. The King Power Complex, Bangkok’s biggest duty-free mall, is located in this area.
Phaya Thai is connected to both the BTS and Airport Rail Link. Located north of Siam, Phaya Thai is a mixed residential and commercial district with inexpensive shopping and a great range of local restaurants. Phaya Thai is best known for Pratunam – an area packed with wholesale clothes shopping malls. Also, given its close proximity to Chula University, it has long been flooded with students. Average selling prices are between THB220,000 – 250,000 per sqm depending on the grade of the property.
Sukhumvit is one of the longest roads in the world. It not only extends from Bangkok’s core to its outer suburbs but eventually runs all the way to the Thai-Cambodian border.
Sukhumvit is certainly one of Bangkok’s most popular expatriate areas. Phrom Phong, Thonglor and Ekkamai are gaining popularity year after year, especially with the Japanese community. Thonglor and Ekkamai’s “hi-so” reputation as a result of the numerous restaurants serving international cuisine’s ranging from Japanese delicacies to delicious Argentinean steaks.
Phrom Phong/Sukhumvit 24 is rapidly becoming the neighborhood for high-end residential properties due to its centralized location and its adjacency to a mass transit line, Public Park, shopping center and hotels such as Marriott and Hilton.
Ekkamai/Sukhumvit 63 is popular for wine and dining, and is considered one of the hippest areas in Bangkok. Gateway Ekkamai is one of the shopping malls right next to the BTS station.
Properties around these areas go for higher prices and are popular amongst Japanese expatriates. Occupancy rates are high and the prices have been growing significantly for the past few years. There are quite a number of new and high-end developments in process at Thonglor and Ekkamai. The average selling price is around THB220,000 to 300,000 per sqm depending on the locations and the grade of the property.
You can also own a condominium located in outer Sukhumvit for less than half the price of those in its “downtown” section. Average selling price in this district is around THB120,000 to 150,000 per sqm.
Some foreigners, retirees and second homeowners, choose to live near Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River. You can enjoy a gorgeous view from your luxury condominium located on the riverside.
Generally, property prices on the west side of Chao Phraya tend to be lower, because of easier access to Bangkok’s central business district (CBD) from the East Side of the river.
Residents living on the river’s west side have to either drive across a crowded bridge or take a river taxis in order to get to Bangkok’s city centre. Transportation in this area is via Sapthan Taksin BTS station or river taxis.
All riverfront buildings mainly consist of offices and 5 stars hotels such as Mandarin Oriental, Shangri-la, Millennium Hilton and Peninsula. Bangkok’s latest shopping mall, the Icon Siam, opened last year and was dubbed “mother of all malls,” attracting numerous tourists each day. Asiatique Riverfront is a night market, and also a popular destination amongst tourists.
In the meantime, both the public and private sectors are rejuvenating the area with countless different types of developments. Occupancy rates are lower in these areas as most purchase properties along the river for retirement purposes. Average selling prices for condominiums close to Icon Siam start at an estimated THB 290,000 per sqm.
8. Bang Sue and Tao Poon
Bang Sue Grand Station is one of Thailand’s mega projects and the biggest transportation hub in Southeast Asia. It will become the new railway and transportation hub of Thailand, replacing the current Bangkok Railway Station at Hua Lamphong. The station will sprawl over 300,000 sqm while serving as a connecting point for the Airport Rail Link, three urban train lines, and high-speed rails that travel outside of the capital. The station is expected to begin operation by Jan 2021.
The Sino–Thai Highspeed train is a joint venture between China and Thailand and will be built in the Bang Sue area providing routes from Kunming to China, via Laos and Thailand, with future extensions to Singapore, Malaysia, and The Philippines. For this reason, Bangkok will experience a higher population of visitors, which would increase the land value and draw more developments and investments to this part of Bangkok.
With these developments, Bangsue will become the new Central Business District and modern residential area of Bangkok. There are 2 train lines that connect to downtown Bangkok i.e. the MRT Blue Line at Bang Sue Station and the Purple Line at Tao Poon Station. Thai developers believe that this provides an opportunity to expand the growth of the real estate market and many new developments around this area. Property prices are significantly cheaper as compared to downtown Bangkok. Presently, the average selling price for condominiums in the Tao Poon and Bang Sue area are approximately THB90, 000 to 130,000 per sqm depending on the grade of the property; attracting a lot of foreign investors, especially from China.
9. Mo Chit and Chatuchak
The Chatuchak – Mo chit area is also close to Bang Sue and is a fast developing district. The Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok’s largest and most popular weekend market is very famous amongst both tourist and locals.
10. Bang Na
The east side of Bangkok has evolved with a full range of facilities to meet the needs of working professionals not only in Bang Na but also Bang Phli, Bang Bo and beyond, including Chon Buri. There are a number of public and private sector developments taking place that will increase the potential and value of assets in the future.
Many detached housing and townhouse developments already command relatively high prices. Bang Na is also home to many international schools.
With an IKEA is just 6km away from Bang Na BTS, one of the selling points of this area is the upcoming Megamall – The Bangkok Mall, with approximately 650,000 sqm of space, comprising of a shopping centre, cinema, product exhibition centre, amusement park, Water Park, condominium, residential units, serviced apartments and offices. Once it is fully open in five years, Bangkok Mall will become the largest shopping centre in Thailand and Southeast Asia.
Due to the area potential, numerous investors from China have already bought into this sector. In fact, a lot of developers are starting to buy land for their future developments here. Price for land in this area has increased tremendously; one of the highest growths in Bangkok last year. Average selling price for a new development starts from THB120, 000 to 130,000 per sqm.
Aside from location, there are also other factors such as the developer’s reputation and entry price to consider when purchasing a property in Bangkok. Properties located close to a BTS or MRT station will always fetch a premium as high as double or triple that of a similar property which isn’t located in such areas. Hence, it’s always advisable to consult your real estate agents to recommend the right investment product that matches your criteria.
NOTE: The above-mentioned information is served as a general guide and the prices quoted vary based on location, project type and are also subject to changes from time to time.