CBRE sets B300m sales target for Elite partnership
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CBRE sets B300m sales target for Elite partnership

Government stimulus schemes, a successful vaccination rollout, easing of travel restrictions and a partnership with Thailand Elite Card can triple the growth of residential sales from foreign buyers by the end of this year, says property consultant CBRE Thailand.

Charinya Youngprapakorn, head of advisory and transaction services for residential projects at CBRE, said residential purchases by foreign buyers through CBRE dropped to 5% of the total last year, attributed to the pandemic.

That figure could rise to 15-20% this year, said Ms Charinya.

"Key factors encouraging foreign investment are government policies, including a long-term visa for foreign investors, an extension of property leases to 60 years, or a certain quota for housing project purchases with specific regulations," she said.

Once outbreaks are controlled using mass vaccination drives, tourists will return in the second half of the year as the country reopens, said Ms Charinya.

After tourism recovers, the property market will see interest from foreign investors again, particularly in the high-end segment, which usually bounces back faster, she said.

CBRE is preparing marketing strategies and building an integrated platform to accommodate the return of high-income foreign investors.

One effort is a partnership with Thailand Elite Card Co, with which it signed a memorandum of understanding last month to offer one-stop services to foreign property investors, starting from May 1, 2021.

Thailand Elite Card has 13,600 members worldwide, with most of them from China, Japan, the UK and the US.

"Some of them are interested in investing in Thai real estate, but lack knowledge about rules and regulations as well as reliable market information to help them make the right decision," said Ms Charinya.

CBRE represents exclusive residential projects worth a total of 29 billion baht and offers resale listings of more than 4,000 units.

It set a sales target of 300 million baht for the campaign with Thailand Elite Card by the end of 2021.

Other factors include promoting healthcare services, medical services and public health.

These should help bring back foreign investors to the real estate market when travel restrictions are relaxed in the second half, she said.

Last year CBRE saw a 22% drop in overall sales of residential properties compared with 2019.

In the first quarter this year, it recorded residential sales growth of 43% quarter-on-quarter, and 76% year-on-year.

"Thais are the main buyers for us in 2020-2021. Only 5% are foreigners, consisting of a diverse group of investors from Asia, the US and Europe, with Chinese the largest segment," said Ms Charinya.

During the pandemic, investors looking to speculate or buy to rent have been less active, while the end-user market has seen steady demand, she said.

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