If you envisage staying in Bangkok for the foreseeable future and have long term plans to permanently settle down and live in the city, it makes perfect sense, if you have the money, to consider your options about whether or not to buy a condo here as an investment. Relatively shortly the MRT will have implemented the Thai government’s plans for the development of the underground rail system to better serve the need of those living in Greater Bangkok.
New condominiums are being built along the major extension routes of the MRT and BTS lines and the Bangkok property developers have been eager to introduce a strategy of moving out of the city centre. Knight Frank reported that of the 69,071 new condo units launched last year, around 62 per cent of them were located outside the central districts of Sathon, Silom and Sukhumvit, which substantiates the fact that people are looking further afield to buy their condos.
Added to that, Bangkok will see a huge rise in its wealth when in 2015 the Asian Economic Community (AEC) is launched, which will provide the 500 million people of Southeast Asia with a single market and the free flow of goods, capital and skilled labour. This event alone suggests that Bangkok will step up several rungs to become a dominant global force in terms of trade in which property prices are bound to escalate. But as a single market it would be entirely wrong to make any comparison with the EU as the AEC has no plans to forge ahead with political integration.
By the end of next year when commercial integration takes place within the AEC the MRT is to expand in two directions: from Bang Sue to Tha Phra and from Hua Lamphong to Bang Khae the line will then have a total of seventeen stations. And the plan for the Skytrain routes will see the extension of the Sukhumvit line from Bearing to Samut Prakan, which will offer greater scope in the housing market.
In this respect it is interesting to note that in 2010 when the BTS was extended from On Nut to Bearing, there were 2,525 new units that came on to the market. It is also worth noting that over the past ten years, even without the fillip of the AEC and the extension of Bangkok’s rail networks, real estate prices almost doubled.
These figures are indicative that developers are establishing projects further down the extension routes as land prices rise in the city centre escalate. It is estimated that 2,817 units are to be launched in 2014. The upshot is that if you plan on remaining in Bangkok for the next few years, at least until there is some measure of how the actual property market will change after 2015 and a number of stations have been added to the network, the above does show two main indicators that provide a fairly rosy view of how you can potentially enjoy a healthy capital appreciation on your property over the next few years.