By Vichai Viratkapan, Ph.D.
Bank Inspector And Acting REIC Director-General
In 2018, Thailand’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 4.2 per cent from the previous year, primarily as a result of robust consumption as well as improving private and government investments. The macro-economy’s growth also pushed the Thai real estate industry, and it has experienced a marked improvement from the previous year. Housing transfers increased from 15.4 per cent to 364,000 units, with a value of USD 25.4 billion, increasing by 24.5 percent. It was found that the major housing market was still focused on Bangkok and 5 vicinity provinces, including Nonthaburi, Samut-prakarn, Pathumthani, Samut-sakorn and Nakorn-pathom. In 2018, there were approximately 196,630 units or 55 percent of total unit transfers, and USD 17.1 billion or 67.6 percent of value transfers, in these six provinces. However, the housing markets in the provinces have been mainly focused on the major regional and tourist cities, such as Chiangmai, Nakorn-ratchasrima, Phuket, etc.
According to an REIC market survey, there are a number of newly launched properties in the market, around 120,000 – 150,000 units a year, of which 60 percent were focused in Bangkok and it vicinity provinces. However, the supplies have absorbed more than 150,000 units year a because of the real demands of home-buyers and long-term investors.
At present, condominiums have been significant in the development of housing type properties. In the previous year, condominiums shared approximately 35 percent of their total unit transfers, with 40 percent of total value transfers countrywide. Whereas condominiums in Bangkok and vicinity provinces had a higher share of approximately 50 percent, both of total unit and value transfers.
The facts and figures as mentioned earlier can reflect sustainability of the Thai real estate market in the past years and the high potential of the coming years. Even though in 2019, the Thai real estate market will be confronted with the challenges of a volatile world economy and an expected slow-down growth of Thai economy, it is still a very distinctive market which can be expressed as follows:
Market size is attractive
Thailand’s housing market size has been around USD 20 – 26 Billion in a year. REIC forecasts the market size in 2019 as approximately USD 25 billion of housing value transfers, which is around 23 percent of the national budget. It shows that Thailand’s housing market has been a substantial and a sustainable market for coping with the economic situation in 2019.
Housing cost is worth it
The property value in Thailand has been still lower than many countries, while its growth rate is around 5-10 percent per annum. This implies impressive returns in terms of capital gain, for both home-buyers and long-term investors, especially when compared to fixed deposit interest rates in Thailand.
The Real Estate Industry is realized as key economic gearing
The Thai government always gives precedence and support to the real estate industry because real estate is recognised to be an efficient instrument in stimulating the economy by creating multiplier effects to the Thai economy. For this reason, the government will conduct all mechanisms to serve the sustainability of the real estate sector.
Thailand has high development potential
From 2015 to the present, Thailand has earnestly invested more than USD 75 billion to develop several new mega infrastructure projects, including railway and airport upgrades, high-speed rails, roadways and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) in Bangkok and major cities. Thailand will increase its competitiveness, and potentially become an economic hub of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in terms of trade and investment. It can imply a greater growth of housing demands in this country.
Today, real estate in Thailand is still one of the most interesting and high potential markets. It can be concluded that the market has been well sustained, and performs as a robust prospect for home-buyers and long-term investors.
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