Slowdown won't keep Chinese from calling Bangkok 'second home'

Slowdown won't keep Chinese from calling Bangkok 'second home'

Many Chinese visitors call Bangkok their second home, according to the Noble Development Plc chairman. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Many Chinese visitors call Bangkok their second home, according to the Noble Development Plc chairman. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Chinese will keep buying Bangkok property despite the slowdown in Asia’s largest economy amid the trade war with the United States, according to Noble Development Plc.

A desire to diversify investments out of the yuan and growing flight links with Bangkok will support demand, chairman Thongchai Busrapan said in an interview Tuesday.

"Our market is so tiny compared with huge demand from China," he said, adding the capital has become a "second home" for many Chinese.

Noble’s view runs counter to the argument that a glut of condominiums and stricter mortgage-lending rules are creating a buyer’s market in Bangkok as the Thai economy weakens. An index of Thai property developer shares has fallen about 10% in the past year, exceeding the slide in the overall stock market.

Concerns persist about weak sentiment and the impact on demand of more stringent loan-to-value requirements, Citigroup analysts Sureeporn Sirisansaneeyawong and Kritapas Siripassorn said in a note. Stock valuations look attractive but "there is no near term catalyst," they said.

Noble said its first-quarter condominium sales to foreigners jumped to 1.7 billion baht and are set to hit as much as 6 billion baht in 2019, more than double the previous year’s figure.


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