The Nation



More residential launches as Ratchada-Rama IX area becomes financial hub

Ratchadaphisek Road through to Rama IX junction is set to become a major new financial hub in the heart of Bangkok, with the Stock Exchange of Thailand moving its headquarters to the location and other financial organisations also planning to establish new head offices there.

Meanwhile, all this development has attracted several leading residential property companies to the area.

The latest office building sprouting up in the area is the Bt6-billion AIA Capital Centre, with the grade-A office and retail building set to open its doors next year.

The project's design has been developed under global environmental standards set by the world-renowned US institution, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). It includes unique qualities that make it a "green" building on Ratchadapisek Road.

Besides the AIA Capital Centre and the new head office of the stock exchange, the same location has other office buildings under construction, such as the ninth tower of Grand Rama IX and the G Land Tower.

The buildings have a combined floor space of 800,000 square metres and entail an overall investment of more than Bt80 billion.

Following the office buildings due to open over the next two years, a number of leading property developers - Pruksa Real Estate, Sansiri, Noble Development, AP (Thailand), Land & Houses and Supalai - have launched residential projects to support the new demand for housing located close to people's workplaces in the Ratchada-Rama IX-Asoke area.

A survey by The Nation early this week found that more than Bt100 billion worth of condominium projects had already been launched in the area.

For example, Noble Development has launched the Bt2.8-billion Noble Revolve Ratchada 2, while Pruksa Real Estate has introduced the Condolette Midst Rama 9 condominium, worth up to Bt2 billion and comprising 433 units.

Pruksa's project follows the successful launch two years ago of its Bt1.35-billion Ivy Ampio condominium, which has been sold out. Ivy Ampio units are being transferred to customers late this year and early next.

Supalai has introduced 10 condominiums together worth more than Bt10 billion on Ratchadaphisek Road since the beginning of last year. They have been sold this year and will be completed during 2014.

Meanwhile, AP (Thailand)'s latest condominium, the Rhythm Asoke, is worth Bt1.5 billion and comprises 385 units.

MRT system a major draw

The main reason the Rama IX junction through to Asoke is such a popular location for office property, as well as for residential projects, is its proximity to the MRT underground rail system.

The area also continues to have more freehold land available for the development of residential projects than areas such as Sukhumvit and Rama I, located close to Siam Square, where space is limited and land prices are higher than those suitable for homes costing no more than Bt200,000 per square metre.

"The main problem for property firms is to find freehold land located close to the mass-transit system at a price no higher than for the development of condominium units costing up to Bt200,000 per square metre," said Pruksa Real Estate managing director Prasert Taedullayasatit.

The number of new condominiums and office buildings opening at the Rama IX junction through to Ratchadaphisek Road has boosted the price of land in the area to an average of Bt800,000 per square wah (Bt200,000 per square metre), up 33 per cent from Bt600,000 in 2011.

Condominium prices, meanwhile, have risen by an average of 20 per cent over the same period.

This has driven new project launches for condos costing more than Bt2 million per unit, or an average of Bt100,000 per square metre.

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