New Bangkok zoning from late 2019
Plan focused on raising inner city density
A new Bangkok city plan scheduled to be applied from the end of next year will lead to greater use of land for property development, notably in locations along the new mass transit lines and their extensions, resulting in more affordable residential prices, says a planner.
Sakchai Boonma, director of the City Planning Department in the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), said there are many changes in the new Bangkok city plan, which is being drafted.
"A majority of the changes will be regarding changing zone colours, for example from green to yellow, which means an increase in land use for property development as the new city plan aims to promote more efficient use of land," he said Monday at a seminar.
As the new city plan aims to develop Bangkok as a compact city, BMA will try to encourage the majority of people in Bangkok -- middle-income earners -- to live near the inner city by maximising land use in locations along the 12 mass transit lines.
Some of them will include locations along the Orange Line from Thailand Cultural Centre to Bang Kapi and Min Buri.
City zoning in some locations along this line will change from orange (medium-density residential zone) to brown (high-density residential zone).
Northern Bangkok will see the most drastic changes as many mass transit lines are planned, comprising the Light Green Line (Mor Chit-Saphan Mai-Khu Khot), the Yellow Line (Lat Phrao-Samrong), the Brown Line (Khae Rai-Lam Salee) and the Pink Line (Khae Rai-Min Buri).
In Taling Chan, city zoning in some locations will be upgraded from white and green (rural and agricultural conservation area) to green (low-density residential development), meaning an increase in land use.
In Min Buri, Nong Chok and Khlong Sam Wa, there will be some changes in city zoning that will reduce floodway areas by one-third, as there will be mass transit lines running to the locations.
"We changed the city zones in line with mass transit lines," said Mr Sakchai.
"The new city plan will make Bangkok more dense, as currently people live outside the city because property prices in the inner city are so high."
New regulations will come with changes in city zoning.
"The department is drafting the fourth revision of the new Bangkok city plan," he said.
"If anyone wants to see or review it, give advice or voice their disagreement, they should do it from today or within 90 days after the new city plan opens for public hearing in mid-2019."
Pornarit Chounchaisit, president of the Thai Real Estate Association, said a change in city zoning under the new city plan will increase land use in locations, along with new mass transit lines, and may not lower property prices as expected.
Prasert Taedullayasatit, chief executive for premium items at residential developer Pruksa Real Estate, said in 5-7 years Bangkok will see dramatic changes as new developments under construction raise density in inner city locations.
"The new city plan should be in line with this anticipated change, otherwise middle-income earners will be forced to live outside the city," he said.
"We are not worried about large plots of land in the inner city as they are in big investors' hands."
He was worried about small land plots on smaller roads as the current city plan does not promote maximising land use as is done on main roads.
"No landowners whose plots are near mass transit lines will reduce prices," Mr Pornarit said. "The land and building tax can help."
Aliwassa Pathnadabutr, managing director of property consultant CBRE Thailand, said residential prices in the inner city have risen by 50% in five years. For the low-end segment, they rose 8% per year, with an increase of 10-12% per year for the high-end segment.
"Demand is strong, yet unaffordable for a unit in the city area," she said. "Developers should review land prices they are paying are so high or not as it will affect the residential price for a unit they will develop. This will have an impact on sales rate as well."