THE POPULARITY of the Thonglor-Ekamai area among homebuyers has drawn a slew of new projects as well as individuals buying existing residential units for resale amid rising prices.
Vasin Mahaphon, 36, received an offer of Bt12.5 million for a 26-square-wah townhouse he had bought in Ekamai Soi 28 for Bt5 million in 2012 – a surge of over 100 per cent in six years. The property was renovated at a cost of Bt1 million.
“I moved to Ekamai Soi 12 from Nonthaburi province six years ago after purchasing a 35-square-wah townhouse for Bt5.2 million plus a renovation cost of Bt400,000, said Vasin in an interview with The Nation.
The strong demand for homes in the area later led to the idea of buying and renovating existing properties for sale, he said, adding that he had worked in Thonglor for 15 years before moving to the location.
Vasin began with the purchase of a 35-square-wah twinhouse for Bt8.2 million, followed by a Bt400,000 renovation. A year after, the house was sold for Bt12.5 million – a 45-per-cent price increase in 12 months.
As the rise in residential prices continued, Vasin turned to renting out his properties. Two units have now been taken up by tenants for monthly rentals of Bt60,000 and Bt70,000.
“Rents rise in line with market prices. Besides, the sale price of my units will also be much higher,” he added.
“The Thonglor-Ekamai area offers a range of facilities that sit well with my lifestyle. It offers many commercial premises, a vibrant night scene and easy access to the central business district. The area is usually quiet on weekends when I jog with my dog in the mornings,” Vasin said.
In view of growing demand, developers are launching a slew of projects in the area, including condominiums and low-rise residences (single detached house, twinhouse and townhouse) offering a total of 4,431 units at a combined investment cost of Bt46.09 billion in the second-half of the year. (See graphic)
A study by Collier International (Thailand) shows the launches of 7,440 condominium units in the location from 2009 to the end of 2017. The number would rise to 11,871 when the new projects are completed in 2022.
“We also found that sales of condominium units launched in 2017 have now exceeded 70 per cent of their total project value, including the sell-out of The Reserve Thonglor by Pruksa Real Estate Plc and W-Shinwa Co Ltd’s Runesu Thonglor, followed by 95 per cent of Sansiri Plc’s Taka Hause Ekamai 12.
“Those posting 70 per cent sales in project value are Maru Ekamai 2 by Major Development Plc; Ideo Q Sukhumvit 53 by Ananda Development Plc; Chalermnit Art De Maison Sukhumvit53 by Areeya Property Plc; and The Esse Sukhumvit 36 by Singha Estate Plc,” said Phattarachai Taweewong, senior manager/research department, Collier International (Thailand)
There will be a total of 3,286 condominium units worth over Bt50 billion launched in the area by the end of the year, the highest in a decade. As for the 14 existing projects offering 3,139 units, up to 78 per cent, or 2,436 units, have already been sold, according to the Collier survey.
Sale prices for condominium units at Thonglor-Ekamai average Bt220,000 per square metre, between Bt300,000 and Bt180,000 per square metre in the two sois respectively.
Chewathai Plc launched its latest condominium project, the Bt950-million Chewathai Residence Thonglor, last month in response to market demand.
“The location is popular with homebuyers, it is in the proximity of Major Ekamai, Gateway Ekamai, J Avenue Thonglor and K Village shopping malls as well as just 500 metres to Camillian Hospital and two kilometres away from Bangkok Hospital,” said managing director Boon Choon Kiat.
Land prices in Thonglor-Ekamai have been rising since 2013 with plots suitable for condominium projects, close to the main road, now costing over Bt2 million per square wah in Thonglor and more than Bt800,000 per square wah in Ekamai.
Driven by high investments in land purchases, the prices of new condominium units have surged to between Bt250,000 and Bt300,000 per square metre in Thonglor and Bt140,000 to Bt180,000 per square metre in Ekamai, according to the Collier survey.
Knight Frank (Thailand) recorded an inventory of 6,112 units, averaging Bt248,000 per square metre in Thonglor as of June 30.
“Thonglor-Ekamai offers high-end living in the city with a wide range of modern facilities such as community malls, spa, fitness, co-working space, art gallery, food restaurants, school, and education centres. Parks can also be found, away from the main sois. It is an ideal location for both Thais and foreign residents,” said Phanom Kanjanathiemthao, managing director of Knight Frank (Thailand).