Bangkok-based developer Sansiri expects foreign buyers to lift Thailand’s sluggish property market, reported Financial Times.
This comes as sales to local buyers are not expected to increase higher than the 28 billion baht (S$1.14 billion) registered last year.
The developer believes it could sell even more units to overseas investors if not for the limits on the percentages of freehold apartments that can be owned by foreigners in Thai condominium projects, revealed Sansiri president Srettha Thavisin.
Sansiri hopes to increase its sales to foreign buyers to 10 billion baht (S$407.48 million) this year from 5.7 billion baht (S$232.25 million) last year. The company noted that 37 percent of last year’s foreign demand came from Hong Kong and 31 percent from mainland China, with demand from Japan, Taiwan and Singapore also prominent.
Foreign buyers, especially those from Hong Kong and mainland China, have offered a welcome relief to Southeast Asian property markets experiencing weak domestic demand. A Knight Frank research showed that Singapore and Malaysia’s residential markets have been weak last year, while Indonesia and Thailand witnessed a slowdown.
And while demand from Chinese buyers have been dampened by the government’s strict capital control policies on offshore property investments, Srettha does not expect the rule changes to significantly affect the company. In fact, it has not yet seen a drop in Chinese buyers.
“Selling to foreigners is a big business,” explained Srettha on why the company quadrupled its office network in mainland China while opening a new office in Hong Kong. “If we don’t take care of them, then word of mouth is going to be a big destroyer for us.”