Office market draws external investors

Office market draws external investors

A robust office market has attracted non-developer Thai investors and foreign investment groups, with a large amount of new supply being added in Bangkok after 2024, according to property consultant Colliers International Thailand.

Phattarachai Taweewong, associate director of research and communications at Colliers, said new office supply in the pipeline scheduled for completion from 2025 will total more than 1 million square metres.

"During the past few years, those developing new office supply scheduled for completion in 2020-25 were mostly large investors," he said.

"We see foreign investors and Thais from other sectors planning new office projects."

According to Colliers, there are 28 new office projects -- both pure office towers and a mix of office, hotel and retail -- in the pipeline, which will be completed from 2025.

Two of them are under foreign investors, including JLK Holdings from Taiwan, which will develop a 32-storey office tower with a lettable area of 35,000 sq m on Sukhumvit Soi 7 near Nana skytrain station.

JLK bought a plot for 2.2 million baht per sq wah last year to develop an office tower at a monthly rent of 1,500 baht per sq m as it saw an investment opportunity, said Mr Phattarachai.

The other foreign investor is Asia Thaiyuan Construction and Development, a Chinese investor that entered in 2010.

Asia Thaiyuan Construction and Development is developing Smile Square, a mixed-use project, on New Phetchaburi Road where total office space will be 22,341 sq m.

Last year CAS Capital, a US-based property investment group owned by NY-listed investment manager Apollo Management, bought I.C.E. Tower, a suspended building and non-performing asset on Din Daeng Road near the Rama IX intersection, to continue development.

According to Colliers, six of 28 new office projects scheduled for completion from 2025 will receive investment from listed developers, including L.P.N. Development, Origin Property, Property Perfect, Supalai, Frasers Property and Central Pattana.

Another six will be developed by large non-listed real estate firms, comprising Magnolia Quality Development Corp, Nye Estate, Bhiraj Buri, K.E. Group and Fico Corporation.

"Fico Group just sold a newly completed office tower in Phrom Phong area to Singha Estate early this year, and is planning a new one on Sukhumvit Soi 49, suggesting the office sector is attractive," said Mr Phattarachai.

He said new office supply in Bangkok remains on the rise with an additional lettable space of 134,053 sq m from five new towers worth a combined 13.1 billion baht completed in the second quarter this year, with occupancy rates at 94.7%.

Investors from other industries that plan to jump into this market after 2025 include Siam Motors Group, auto parts manufacturers the Jurangkool family, fashion business Maneepin, food producer Laemthong Corporation and media firm Plan B Holding.

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