Back to home basics

Property maven makes a comeback with a family-oriented condominium project amid the clean, crisp air of Khao Yai.

Property veteran Khunying Sasima Srivikorn has seen the Bangkok condo scene evolve over the past two decades from a second-home choice for the rich into a first nest for young workers.

Sasima: City houses too small for families

The new generation prefers homeownership right off the bat, usually a small one at first, rather than staying with parents, as they just want to live by themselves, said Khunying Sasima, 75.

She established the property firm Sasisombat Co last April in partnership with four friends of similar age after taking a five-year sabbatical from the business upon selling her shares in Golden Land Property Development Plc.

Khungying Sasima said condominium units 20 years ago tended to be big and expensive, as most buyers were wealthy and simply wanted a city condo to use as a second home in central Bangkok.

"But now condos have become small and affordable enough for young adults to own them," said the ex-chairwoman of Golden Land, an SET-listed developer that focuses on the high-end segment.

House sizes in the past were generally large too, as people lived in extended families, said Khunying Sasima.

But like condos, they have also grown small enough for single living or small families due to modern lifestyle changes in which young adults feel the need to move away from their parents.

Limited funds for purchasing combined with high unit prices driven by higher land prices and rising building costs make small condo units the choice for many buyers. And for some, smaller means less space to take care of.

But if a house in the city starts feeling too small in which to spend each weekend, then a second home in a resort destination could be a good alternative, said Khunying Sasima.

With seven grandchildren, the 75-year-old retiree just wants to spend time with them nowadays, but she still kept thinking about a vacation home to use as an escape from hectic urban life.

Most Bangkok children spend weekends either with their friends or at shopping centres and tutorial schools, as their parents have nothing else for them to do. But this really should be quality time for the family, said Khunying Sasima, whose youngest daughter, Taya Teepsuwan, recently resigned as deputy Bangkok governor.

She dreamed of a place where family members can gather and spend time together and which is attractive to children, where parents can observe their children's life and better understand them when they grow up.

That is when she got the idea for 360 Pano Khao Yai.

The condominium complex is the second property project of her comeback, after Phu Prapai Residence, located nearby with 14 villas, eight of which have been sold to close friends.

With quite higher unit prices compared with other Khao Yai projects and large unit sizes, the project targets family buyers seeking a second home in a nice-weather destination like Khao Yai, with its clean, crisp air.

Launched last month, most of the large units have been sold. Some 70% of the total 192 units have been sold.

She credited the success to her own long-established reputation in the industry, the 360-degree view of the project and its location atop a hill 450 metres above sea level.

The project will also have a children's centre and small zoo to occupy the little ones while their parents play golf.

"I want to build a community my friends and I can enjoy in our old age," said Khunying Sasima, who has had a second home in Khao Yai for eight years.

About the author

Writer: Kanana Katharangsiporn
Position: Business Reporter