It is still early days but, as yet, we have still not seen much change in the rental and sales market. Many tenants who are coming to the end of their contracts are still opting to renew or are still willing to take on another one year lease in Bangkok. Bangkok has always been a very transient city – people come and go all the time. Suvarnabhumi Airport Director Raweewan Netarakavesana has stated that services at the airport have operated as usual and that travelers are free to come and go as long as they carry the correct travel documents (valid passport and air tickets). The curfew has been lifted in the popular tourist destinations of Pattaya, Samui and Phuket and we are yet to notice any kind of dip in the rental property market to date.
Prospective tenants are, of course, curious and they are asking questions. How long before the owners start to reduce the rental rates? Will the owner take this offer? Why won’t he accept it? etc. The answer to these questions at present is that there seems very little need for the owners to reduce their rental rates drastically. There is no desperation on their part nor do we expect any soon/at all. Good value rooms are still being rented in almost every part of Bangkok, in many respects it’s still “business as normal” for owners and tenants alike.
As already stated, it is still very early days and it is very difficult to know how long the coup will last or indeed what will happen in the future. In reality however, the political problems in Thailand have been going on for quite some time now. Some may even welcome the coup amidst increasing violence between the political parties.
When it comes to sales, Sorapoj Techakraisri, echoes this sentiment. He is the chief executive of the SET-listed Pace Development Corporation and is quoted in the Bangkok Post as saying “Politics has had a minimal effect on buyers in the super-luxury segment. Their chief interest is the project’s construction progress,”
The project is the luxury Ritz-Carlton residences: 60 per cent of the project value has been sold at 300,000 Baht per SQM and 1 billion baht has been made within the first four months of this year alone.
While this may surprise many Westerners, it seems that Thai people and Thai investors are more hardened to coups. This is, after all, the 12th successful coup since 1932 with another 7 attempts. They currently account for the vast majority of condominiums sold in Bangkok. Whilst some Western investors will look elsewhere, many other Western investors with savings in their homeland may feel this is a good time to buy with the Dollar currently fetching highs of around 32 Baht, the Pound at almost 55 Baht and the Euro at 45 Baht respectively. There has been a swing over the last year and it may result in investors concluding that the time has come to dip their toes into the Thailand property market.
Whilst the coup may dent the tourist figures, and though the situation remains uncertain, any buyer or renter waiting for the property market to collapse could be waiting for a very long time…
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