The Asean Economic Community will offer new expansion opportunities for Thai property developers, though they will also face tight competition from regional investors, property experts warned yesterday.
Chainid Ngowsirimanee, chief executive officer of Property Perfect, said that once the AEC goes into effect in 2015, the residential market for local property firms would expand from 65 million people in Thailand to a regional market of 600 million. However, this will also open the local property market to foreigners.
He said local property firms that were strong enough could easily expand their presence regionally, depending on each country’s foreign-investment regulations, once the AEC goes into effect, he said.
Several Thai property firms have already started expanding overseas. For instance, Pruksa Real Estate is now in Vietnam, India and Maldives, Land & Houses has entered California, Sansiri is in London and Central Pattana is investing in Italy and China.
Thamrong Panyasakul-wong, president of the Thai Condominium Association, said that though AEC will offer wider opportunities to Thai property firms, they should also be prepared for tight competition from foreign investors, especially in the hospitality industry.
“The AEC can be both good and bad for Thai property developers depending on the firms’ financial health,” he said.