Signs of recovery emerging in most of Bangkok’s core real estate sectors
Thailand’s estate market has remained resilient amidst political and economic uncertainties
Major real estate sectors in Bangkok project a mixed picture. Whilst retail, condominium and hotel sectors are on their path of recovery, the office market has faced an increasingly challenging time with new supply outstripping demand, according to property consultant JLL.
Michael Glancy, Country Head of JLL, said “A number of investors have gone into a ‘wait-and-see’ strategy due to current global economic and political uncertainties that is partially reflected by subsequent fluctuations in the Thai stock market. However, the real estate market in Thailand has remained resilient and is not expected to see any major impact at this stage.”
“Whilst real estate demand generally correlates with economic conditions, it is expected that Thailand will continue to see positive economic growth in 2023, driven largely by a strong recovery in the tourism industry with over 11 million tourists visiting the country from January to mid June. In addition, despite increases, the interest rate in Thailand has stayed in a relatively low regime compared to many other countries and inflation is decreasing and approaching the target rate. All these are good signs for the country’s overall economy and real estate market,” he added.
Bangkok market snapshots
There are some 73,000 units in existing luxury condominium buildings across Bangkok at present. Of this, only 4.9% has remained unsold.
With limited new supply, the average selling price has signaled a recovery, growing by 0.6% year-on-year in the first quarter of this year to THB 211,500 per sqm. Likewise, the rental market has seen an uptick in demand led by the return of foreigners, pushing up the average rental by nearly 30% from January to-date.
While Thais have continued to be the top buyers, foreign demand is gradually recovering as travel restrictions have been lifted.
With overall market conditions returning to near normal relative to the pre-pandemic baseline, JLL anticipates that tightening luxury condominium supply, rising prices and growing rental opportunities will lure more domestic and international investors back into the market, and encourage new launches in coming quarters – a beginning a new development cycle.
The total stock of prime retail space in Bangkok is currently standing at 3.6 million sqm with the healthy average vacancy rate of 5%. Food and beverage is the top sector that is driving leasing activity in the Bangkok prime retail market.
Resilient domestic consumer confidence, rising footfall driven by the return of international tourists, and increasing availability of prime retail space has encouraged retailers’ for expansions and entries. In the first quarter of this year alone, more than 36 brands announced plans to open their new stores in Bangkok.
Whilst new development and renovation projects will lead to an increase in vacancies in the near term, these projects are likely to attract international brands and consequently boost leasing activity and push up rentals rates.
Recovery in the Bangkok hotel market across all segments has continued into 2023. In the first quarter of this year, Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) jumped by more than 310% year-on-year for the luxury and upscale segments, and almost 220% for midscale and economy hotels. The improvement in RevPAR was attributed to growth in both occupancies and average daily rates thanks to a strong recovery of Thailand’s tourism.
In the remainder of 2023, RevPAR in Bangkok is likely to grow further. However, the growth rate will decelerate as new hotel supply is growing. While hotels that were closed during COVID 19 are now fully reopened, an additional 8,400 keys in projects whose construction saw a delay during the pandemic are planned for completion by the year end.
The stock of prime office space in Bangkok’s Central Business Areas (CBA) totals over 1.4 million sqm at present. The flight to quality trend is accelerating as new letting activity has been concentrated in prime grade office spaces. Vacancies in the prime segment are on the rise, currently averaging 21.5%, due to an influx of supply from newly completed projects that require time to be leased and increase their occupancy. This trend will continue as the total stock of prime office supply will reach 1.6 million sqm by the year end, of which 228,000 sqm will be from new completions, the record high of annual new supply last seen in 1999.
Other key trends to watch
- Due to the flight-to-quality trend, particularly in Bangkok’s office and retail sectors, aged assets need to implement enhancement strategies to retain and attract occupiers in these increasingly competitive sectors.
- As large leading local and international corporations look to meet ambitious net zero targets, office occupiers in Bangkok are paying a rental premium of up to 13% for green certified buildings, a trend that will continue in years to come.
- Local developers have continued to represent the largest source of demand for freehold and leasehold land. This is reflected by the total value of land acquisitions by top Thai developers that increased from THB 56 billion in 2021 to THB 71 billion in 2022 and THB 77 billion in the first quarter of 2023.
For over 200 years, JLL (NYSE: JLL), a leading global commercial real estate and investment management company, has helped clients buy, build, occupy, manage and invest in a variety of commercial, industrial, hotel, residential and retail properties. A Fortune 500® company with annual revenue of $20.9 billion and operations in over 80 countries around the world, our more than 105,000 employees bring the power of a global platform combined with local expertise. Driven by our purpose to shape the future of real estate for a better world, we help our clients, people and communities SEE A BRIGHTER WAYSM. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit jll.com.