Flood fears among factors pushing condo sales
The popularity of condominiums continues to grow in suburban Bangkok, especially Samut Prakan and Nonthaburi, as improved transport links including the MRT's Purple Line and an extension from Sukhumvit 107 are under construction.
Housing Business Association president Issara Boonyoung said that although launches of new residential projects in Greater Bangkok in the first seven months of this year grew by only 1 per cent to 51,892 units, compared with 51,356 in the same period of last year, 68 per cent of these new units, or 35,750, were condos. This is up 46 per cent from the 24,447 condos launched in the first seven months of 2011.
Meanwhile, launches of low-rise units, both detached houses and townhouses, dropped 40 per cent to 16,142, or only 32 per cent of the total.
This is the first time since the |economic crisis of 1997 that new condominium projects have amounted to nearly 70 per cent of new launches in the Greater Bangkok market.
"Normally, condominiums have a share of 55-56 per cent," Issara said.
He said the rising popularity of condos was for three reasons. The first is expansion of the mass-transit system from the central business districts (CBDs) to the suburbs. The second is safety from flooding, to which low-rise homes are more susceptible, with last year's inundation influencing home-buyers' decisions.
The last reason is that the price of land in the CBDs has soared, especially affecting low-rise housing, so customers on a budget are looking for condominiums near the commuter-rail routes.
New registrations dip
Meanwhile, new housing registrations in the first half of this year dropped from 72,638 units in the first six months of 2011 to 72,163, down 0.65 per cent, Real Estate Information Centre director-general Samma Kitsin said.
He added that 43 per cent of |new registrations, or 31,258 units, in the first half were condomi-niums, up 7 per cent from the same period of last year. The next 29 |per cent were townhouses, re-|cording 20,630 units, down 17 per cent. New registrations of detached houses numbered only 12,365, or 17 per cent of the total, down 13 per cent.
Shophouse registrations numbered 6,096 units, 8 per cent of the total and down 5 per cent from the same period last year. The fewest registrations were for duplexes, at only 1,814 units or 3 per cent of the total, a drop of 18 per cent.