Rich families who own most of the new property projects in Khao Yai may suffer the most from a possible drop in land prices if the new Nakhon Ratchasima town plan does not allow any property development.
The Hills Residence Khao Yai by Park Avenue Estates Co on Vachiralongkorn Road starts at 6.9 million baht a unit.
These big landlords have owned plots sized from tens to hundreds of rai for many years, say property experts.
Some bought plots when prices were as low as 1,000 baht per square wah or 400,000 baht per rai 30 years ago.
Recently, a three-rai plot adjacent to the popular tourist destination Palio Khao Yai was sold for 18 million baht a rai.
Among the rich Khao Yai landowners is Pinthongta Shinawatra, a daughter of exiled prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. She is developing a hotel on Thanarat Road at kilometre 10.
A villa project, The Hills Residence Khao Yai, is having its soft launch this month. It is located on 70 rai on Vachiralongkorn Road at kilometre 7 in Pak Chong district, having 82 units priced from 6.9 million baht.
The 700-million-baht project has been developed by Park Avenue Estates Co, owned by Sarun Chaipanee, who is a son of Wisaruj Chaipanee, a former shareholder of property developer Sarin Property Development Co.
Early this year, the wealthy Srivikorn, Chearavanont and Chokwatana families launched condo and villa projects in Khao Yai worth more than 4 billion baht.
Another large project is Toscana in Wang Nam Khieo district, developed by the Ruangkritya family.
Two condo projects _ Sucre Khao Yai Foresta and Sucre Khao Yai Aqua _ are being developed by Sucre Asset Co, a property firm owned by Prapas Chutimaworaphan, the executive chairman of TS Flour Mill Plc.
The Baan Rablom condo, launched last year, is a 42-unit project developed by Baan Rablom Co, a property firm owned by Ngamphan Vejjajiva, a sister of former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Nalinrat Chareonsuphong, managing director of the property consultant Nexus Property Marketing, said developers in Khao Yai comprise two large types.
One includes developers with businesses and land in Khao Yai. They include Bonanza Group and Greenery Resort Group, plus small developers and big families owning land banks.
The second type comprises large property firms including Noble Development Plc and Sansiri Plc.
Werapol Chongjaroenjai, vice-president of the Korat Real Estate Association, said almost all projects in Khao Yai were launched in Bangkok's famous shopping mall Siam Paragon, unlike projects in other areas of Nakhon Ratchasima that were opened in the province.
"The projects are vacation or retirement homes for the rich. Almost all the buyers live in Bangkok," he said. "If the new Nakhon Ratchasima town plan stays the same as in the recent draft, then property development cannot be done."
According to the draft, the development of subplots, housing projects, condominiums, hotels, resorts, villas, golf courses and factories will be not allowed near Khao Yai National Park.
Over the past six months, eight condo projects have been launched in Khao Yai with a combined 1,292 units, according to the Real Estate Information Center (REIC).
As of last year's third quarter, there were 494 condo units, of which 43% were two-bedroom units, followed by 138 one-bedroom units, 116 studios and 28 units with more than three bedrooms.
The overall take-up rate was 82%, said REIC director-general Samma Kitsin.
Only two low-rise projects were launched in the past six months, providing 82 single houses, 22 townhouses and 16 other types.
Also as of last year's third quarter, there were 1,079 low-rise units, of which 74% or 799 were subplots, followed by single houses (223), townhouses (29) and duplex houses (28).
The property consultant Colliers International Thailand reported more than 550 residential units were launched and completed last year. There were also 100 units launched in this year's first quarter, bringing the total to 4,650 units.
Surachet Kongcheep, Colliers' senior research manager, said Khao Yai has become a location for luxury houses, villas and condos in recent years.
Nearly 700 condo units from five projects were launched last year in locations along Thanarat Road, which was the highest number on record.
Locations along Phan Suk-Kud Khla Road also broke a record in 2012 with more than 470 units launched, mostly at two projects by Sansiri Plc.
Only 80 units were launched in locations along the road to Wang Nam Khieo, but the number skyrocketed to nearly 390 in the first three months of this year.
The average take-up rate of condo units in Khao Yai was 73%, with Thanarat Road recording the highest rate, 77%, followed by the areas along Khao Yai-Wang Nam Khieo Road and Phan Suk-Kud Khla Road.
Selling prices on Khao Yai-Wang Nam Khieo Road were highest at nearly 80,000 baht a square metre on average, followed by Thanarat Road (74,000 baht) and Phan Suk-Kud Khla Road (68,900 baht).
More than 530 villas per year were launched from 2007-12, so the total supply last month was greater than 4,300 units, Mr Surachet said.
A large supply of about 3,430 units or 74% of the market was launched after 2006, especially from 2010-11, when more than 600 units were launched in both years.
The take-up rate of landed development units in Khao Yai was 65%. Phan Suk-Kud Khla Road had the highest take-up rate at 80%.
About the author
- Writer: Kanana Katharangsiporn
Position: Business Reporter