Strong demand for luxury condos

Real Estate July 11, 2014 00:00

By Somluck Srimalee
The Nation

3,874 Viewed

Up to Bt400,000 per square metre MahaNakhon, two other top-end projects benefit from strong demand amid limited supply of prime land; major focus placed on interior design

Three luxury condominium projects worth more than Bt25 billion in total will be completed in Bangkok in 2016, with sale prices ranging between Bt250,000 and Bt400,000 per square metre.
The projects are being developed by three listed companies: Sansiri, Quality Houses and Pace Development.
Prices for the projects are high due to strong demand for luxury condominiums in the capital amid limited prime land available for the development of such projects.
“We decided to buy 3 rai [0.48 hectare] at soi Nana for Bt2.4 billion, or an average price of Bt1.7 million per square wah [4 square metres] early this year because we saw the demand to buy luxury condominiums in this location, whereas the supply in this market is limited given less availability of freehold land to develop luxury projects,” said Quality Houses president and CEO Rutt Phanijphand.
The cost of the land bought by the developer is the highest for any deal concluded in Bangkok so far this year, and tops the amount paid by Sansiri for land at the junction of Wireless Road and Ploenchit Road when the developer closed a deal worth more than Bt1.5 billion to purchase 1,100 square wah, at Bt1.5 million per square wah.
Rutt said Quality Houses would develop a 40-storey luxury condominium comprising 300 units on the soi Nana site, with each unit having more than 100 square metres of usable space.
The company plans to offer a starting price of Bt25 million per unit, which would represent an average of Bt250,000 per square metre.
The project will be open for booking at the end of this year. Construction will commence next year, with completion targeted for late 2016, or possibly early 2017.
Meanwhile, Sansiri is developing a luxury condominium on its Wireless Road/Ploenchit Road site under a fashion design theme, namely, using a luxury designer and brands for the interior materials in all parts of the development. 
Construction is under way, with plans to open presales when the project is completed in 2016.
“We target a starting price of Bt400,000 per square metre when the project is completed and opens for sale in 2016,” said Sansiri CEO Apichart Chutrakul.
The project will use interior materials from luxury fashion brands in Italy and will be the first fashion condominium project in Thailand, he said.
“This project will be our masterpiece project when it is launched onto the market,” company president Srettha Thavisin said after the design was finalised in 2012.
Meanwhile, MahaNakhon, which is Pace Development’s mixed-use project combining a luxury condominium, luxury hotel and luxury retail complex, is also scheduled for completion in 2016.
The project, which was launched back in 2010 with a value of Bt12 billion, has currently sold up to 60 per cent of its value.
This is split 50:50 between foreign buyers seeking a luxury home in Bangkok, and domestic demand from buyers who purchased both for investment and residential purposes, said CEO Sorapoj Techakraisri.
Prices at MahaNakhon have climbed by more than 20 per cent since presales began three years ago, from starting prices of Bt200,000-Bt300,000 per square metre to Bt250,000- Bt400,000 now, depending on the floor.
Construction of the landmark project is expected to be completed in 2016.
“The luxury market was impacted less [than other segments] by the country’s economic slowdown and political turmoil. This is proven by the fact that from May 22 until June 20, we were able to sell Bt200 million worth of units in our MahaNakhon luxury condominium to buyers from Europe and the US,” he said.
Meanwhile, a survey by Jones Lang Lasalle has found that almost 3,500 high-end condominium units are expected to complete by year-end, and that 80 per cent of them are already sold.
Aliwassa Pathnadabutr, managing director of CBRE Thailand, said that in today’s competitive market, developers creating a high-end or luxury product needed to match customers’ requirements, especially in terms of unit size, lay-out, quality of specifications, and building architecture, as well as decorative style.
CBRE Thailand believes there is still room for innovation in new product development, she said. High-quality projects are mostly situated in good locations, where prices will not fall. 
For instance, a number of completed condominium developments located on the main Sukhumvit Road were sold at 20 per cent higher than the launch prices.
However, the development of a luxury residential project needs to be in a prime location combined with unique design, in order to serve unique demand from customers.
“It is not only about location, as different design is also necessary for this market,” said Pace Development’s CEO Sorapoj.
That is why MahaNakhon used German architect Ole Scheeren, while Sansiri designed its luxury condominium on the Ploenchit/Wireless junction by using an Italian fashion designer for the interiors.
“A [luxury] condominium is now not only a residence, as it also represents what you are,” said Sansiri’s Srettha.
When the three luxury condo projects are completed, the capital will see a big shift in design, with the focus not just on architectural design, but also on interior design – with fashion and art to the fore.