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Developers expand provincial investment amid market slowdown in Bangkok

Property firms are expanding their investment in the provinces in the first half of the year, against the backdrop of a declining market in Bangkok and its suburbs since the anti-government protests and political turmoil began to grip the capital early last month.

A survey by The Nation has found that developers are delaying the launch of residential projects in inner Bangkok this quarter, but they are expanding in the provinces, where there is still demand even though spending on the government's Bt2-trillion mega-infrastructure projects has been delayed by the political crisis.

"Although the Bt2-trillion infrastructure programme has had to be delayed until the country has a new government, demand to buy homes in the provinces is still strong at this time when compared with greater Bangkok, where it has fallen by between 15 and 20 per cent since [the start of] December, due to the political turmoil," said Pruksa Real Estate president and CEO Thongma Vijitpongpun.

Following the market sentiment, Pruksa plans to launch residential projects in other provinces during the current quarter. Among the provinces in its sights are Chon Buri, Rayong, Pattaya, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nakhon Ratchasima, Udon Thani and Chiang Mai.

Provincial launches this year will account for about 7 per cent of its 40-50 new residential projects worth between Bt40 billion and Bt50 billion, he said.

Supalai, meanwhile, plans to launch 10 residential projects worth Bt10 billion combined in the provinces this year, out of a total of new 23 or 24 projects nationwide.

The upcountry projects will be located in Udon Thani, Chon Buri, Rayong, Surat Thani, Songkhla, Phuket, Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon Ratchathani and Nakhon Si Thammarat.

"We will launch three or four residential projects in the provinces during this quarter, because even though the property market in Bangkok and its suburban areas has been negatively affected by the political turmoil, there is still demand in the provinces and presales are still going to plan," said Supalai director Tritecha Tangmatithamd.

CP Land, a property arm of CP Group, plans to launch 20 residential projects worth

Bt10 billion in the provinces this year, but it has no plans to launch projects in greater Bangkok for the time being. Quality Houses will launch six residential projects worth up to Bt6 billion combined in three provinces - Chon Buri, Chiang Rai and Prachuap Khiri Khan - this year, with three of them set for this quarter.

NC Housing plans to launch two projects in Chiang Mai worth Bt1 billion combined, with one of them being introduced next month.

Property Perfect plans three projects worth between Bt4 billion and Bt5 billion in Chiang Mai this year. One of them will be launched during this quarter.

Natural Park, meanwhile, has launched its latest condominium - a Bt3-billion project in Sa Kaeo's Aranyaprathet district - this month.

The Agency for Real Estate Affairs has forecast that the value of project launches in Bangkok and its suburbs this year will drop by 30-40 per cent from last year's Bt385 billion, after seeing that only 30 residential projects totalling 4,438 units worth Bt15.63 billion came on to the market last month.

That represented a 30-per-cent decline from November in terms of projects, 73 per cent in terms of units, and 69 per cent in terms of value.

However, the agency maintains its forecast that new residential projects launched in the provinces this year will be worth between Bt330 billion and Bt340 billion.


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