JAPANESE developers are increasingly drawn to the Thai property market, seeking out joint ventures with local real estate companies that could see at least Bt53.1 billion worth of condominium launches in the second half of this year, a survey by The Nation has found.
All the Japanese companies and their Thai partners are keen to develop condominiums that are close to existing and planned routes of Bangkok’s mass transit system.
Tokyo Tatemono Co, a major developer in the Tokyo metropolitan area, set up a joint venture firm with Thai-listed Raimon Land Plc to develop two condominium projects worth Bt9.1 billion in Sathorn and Phrom Pong.
Mitsubishi Estate Group plans to launch three condominium projects with its strategic partner in Thailand, AP (Thailand) Plc, worth Bt20.4 billion in Ratchathewi, Lad Prao and Asoke.
Another Japanese company active in the Thai property market is Tokyu Corporation. It plans to launch two condominium projects worth Bt5 billion under a joint venture firm with its Thai partner, Sansiri Plc, in Ekkamai and Sukhumvit Soi 50.
Katsuhito Ozawa, executive managing officer of Tokyo Tatemono, said earlier that the company believes Thailand’s stable economic growth will continue to create more demand for residential properties.
Tokyu Corporation’s director and senior managing executive officer, Toshiyuki Hoshino, said recently that the company had set aside an investment budget in Asean of US$100 million a year. This year, half of that allocation would go to Thailand, in the belief that the local property market would continue to enjoy strong growth, he said.
Hoshino said that for now, the company’s Asean focus was on Thailand and Vietnam, but that it would later look to expand into other countries in the region. He said that the company was also studying a possible move into the hospitality business in Thailand as part of discussions with Sansiri Plc, its Thai partner for residential projects in the country.
Japanese developers have been flocking to Thailand since Mitsui Fudosan Co teamed up with Ananda Development Plc in 2013. That partnership encouraged other Japanese firms to set up joint ventures in Thailand, such as those between Mitsubishi Estate group and AP (Thailand) Plc, Tokyu Corp and Sansiri Plc, and Nomura Real Estate Development Co and Origin Property Plc.
Housing units built by Japanese-Thai joint ventures from 2013 to 2017 were worth a total of more than Bt150 billion. Over that period, those projects provided more than 30,000 condominium units, according to the survey by The Nation.