Home sales could use some romance

Economy May 19, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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The drop in property sales is not just because banks have become strict in approving mortgage loans, but also because fewer couples are tying the knot.

Thongma Vijitpongpun, president and CEO of Pruksa Real Estate, said at a press conference last week that a fourth of the customers who booked units at his residential projects ended up not buying. Of these would-be customers, about 18 per cent are unable to get an approval from the bank, while the rest end up cancelling purchases due to personal problems.
“Some of them might be planning to get married, but end up breaking up or changing their minds and as a result, they cancel the plan to buy a family home,” he said. 
Thongma said that for people whose application for mortgage is rejected, he can help them revise their financial statements, but personal problems, such as cancelling plans to get married, were beyond him. 
“If we can find them new partners, then perhaps that will be the best campaign to sell our units,” he joked. 
Since most reporters at the press conference were still single, many were quite receptive to this idea, saying they’d love to be hooked up if it helped sell his units. 
Surely, creating romantic alliances to sell homes may prove to be a seriously brilliant business idea. 
‘No predictions now’
The political unrest has not only affected the country’s growth, but has also discredited economists.
When asked about the political problems, Aat Pisanwanich, director of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s Centre for International Trade Studies, said he did not want to make any predictions because the ongoing problem has already damaged his reputation. 
Previously, Aat had predicted that he political turmoil would come to an end within the first quarter of the year, but it shows no signs of ending any time soon. 
“I will not say anything related to the ongoing political problem, because my previous prediction has already been proved wrong. I could lose my credit as an economist after so many years,” he said.
Contributed by Somluck Srimalee and Petchanet Pratruangkrai