Land prices soar as new projects launched
Low-rise housing also in demand; planned transportation link to Vientiane a key driver of boom
Land prices in the central business district (CBD) of Udon Thani have risen from an average of Bt20 million per rai two years ago to Bt40 million now, with condominium projects comprising more than 2,100 units being launched this year.
The area subject to the doubling in land value runs from Phosri Road to the main thoroughfare passing Central Plaza Udon Thani at Sri Chan Road, according to a survey by Century 21 Realty Affiliate.
Meanwhile, a survey by The Nation of new condominium projects being launched in Udon Thani, especially in Muang district, has found that 2,139 units worth Bt3 billion are in the pipeline. The first of these projects is the Aspire condominium by Asian Property Development, comprising 413 units worth Bt660 million, with the next in line being LPN Development's Lumpini Place UD-Pho Sri, with 1,400 units worth Bt1.9 billion.
Then there is the Kallapapruk City Plus by CP Land, which has 158 units worth about Bt250 million, followed by the Sky Land condominium by Sky Land, a local developer. This project will have 168 units worth Bt200 million.
"We know Sansiri is also interested in developing a condominium project in Udon Thani, as it is ready to buy land located close to the CBD," said an Udon Thani landowner source.
Besides condominium projects, property firms from Bangkok and local developers continue to launch low-rise projects for detached housing and townhouses in the province.
Land & Houses plans to launch a detached-housing project next year, while Supalai is interested in developing detached housing and a condominium in the province.
Local firms have been developing a number of detached-housing projects since last year, such as BP Land's 116-unit Sirin Park Ville, an 85-house project by Rung Rueng Development, a 30-unit project by Thitimas, and Udonsamakee's 102-unit housing estate.
Porntip Thanasriwanitchai, president of the Udon Thani Property Club, said property firms in Bangkok were starting to expand their investment in Udon Thani, which had boosted land prices, especially around the ring road that links the perimeter of the city to the CBD.
Meanwhile, the overall property market in the province is worth about Bt8 billion a year, she said, with one-third of it developed by 22 local developers, one-third by landowners hiring local contractors to build residences, and the remainder by local home-builders who offer designs to landowners.
Demand for residences in Udon Thani comes from local people who marry foreigners, as well the families of Thais working overseas and sending money back home, Porntip said.However, when the Asean Economic Community comes into effect in 2015, Udon Thani will also be a destination for investment by those looking to expand operations in Vientiane, she added.
The main reason for the Udon Thani residential boom is the government's policy to develop an infrastructure link between the Northeast of Thailand and the Lao capital.
For example, the plan to invest in a high-speed rail line from Nakhon Ratchasima to Nong Kai, and then through to Vientiane, will link the transportation system from the northernmost part of Isaan to Laos, and beyond to Vietnam and China.
This will boost provincial economic growth, especially in Udon Thani, which is situated at the centre of the northern Isaan provinces, said the Udon Thani source.
LPN Development managing director Opas Sripayak said the company had decided to expand its investment into Udon Thani after witnessing strong demand from both local and foreign buyers who live and/or run businesses in the province.
"Our project [Lumpini Place UD-Pho Sri] has 1,400 units costing no more than Bt2 million each. The project is designed to meet local demand for homes located close to the CBD," he said.The project will be open for booking on March 23.
Asian Property Development executive vice president Vitakarn Jantavimol said the company had seen there was demand in Udon Thani for condos priced no more than Bt2 million. Potential buyers are both Thais and foreigners seeking a condominium lifestyle that offers more convenience than a detached house or a townhouse, he said.
The Aspire's 413 units will be open for booking later this month.
Meanwhile, Sansiri president Srettha Thavisin acknowledged that Udon Thani is one of the provinces in which it is looking to expand, following the successful sell-out of its condominium project, the Base, in Khon Kaen province last year.
"Urbanisation has changed people's lifestyle from low-rise homes such as detached housing and townhouses to staying in a condominium, not only in Bangkok but also in the provinces," he said.