Property outlook worsens

Property outlook worsens

Contraction has been revised to 25-32%

The residential market is unlikely to recover to pre-Covid levels until 2025 as the market contraction has been revised to 25-32% from 1.5-11%, driven largely by the battered economy and housing demand.

Vichai Viratkapan, acting director-general of the Real Estate Information Center (REIC), said the market nationwide in the second quarter saw a continuing year-on-year decline in housing transfers with a drop of 22% by unit number and 8.6% by value.

"The pandemic situation in the second quarter was worse than in the first quarter, resulting in an economic regression. It shows no sign of recovery in 2021," he said. "This has an impact on new supply, new mortgage loans and housing transfer."

The second quarter recorded housing transfers totalling 62,072 units worth 194.4 billion baht.

Despite improving from the first quarter, the year-on-year decrease of unit number was the sixth consecutive quarter since the first quarter of 2020.

The unit number and value in the second quarter was also lower than the five-year market average by 31.2% and 16.5%, respectively.

He said the momentum will continue in the third quarter before slightly escalating in the fourth quarter.

"Despite a pickup in the fourth quarter which is close to the average level, 2021 is poised to experience a drop of 5.7% and 6.2% in unit number and value, compared to 2020," he said. "It will take at least four years to resume to the five-year average of 2015-2019."

Due to the consecutive drops in the second quarter, REIC revised down its forecast of residential market growth this year from a decline of 1.5% and 11% in a base-case and worst-case scenario to 25% and 32%, respectively.

In the first half of 2021, housing transfer nationwide totalled 120,023 units worth a combined 377.5 billion baht, down 28.8% and 10.7%, respectively, from the same period last year.

The five-year average of 2015-19 was 90,233 units worth 232.86 billion baht.

Piya Prayong, chief executive of Pruksa Real Estate, a subsidiary of SET-listed Pruksa Holding Plc, said housing presales in Greater Bangkok had a year-on-year growth of 16% to 149.48 billion baht in the first half of 2021.

The key driver was single detached houses with 36% growth to 62.72 billion baht, while townhouses and condos had a single-digit increase of 7% to 34.97 billion baht and 4% to 49.68 billion baht, respectively.

"The growth in presales resulted from tremendous effort by every developer to boost sales," Mr Piya said.

Housing inventory saw a year-on-year decline of 3% to 212,558 units as of the second quarter.

Pruksa reported 14.16 billion baht in presales in the first half, a 48% growth from the same period last year.

Key driver was single detached houses priced from 5 million baht as this segment had strong purchasing power and was not impacted by the outbreak.

Presales in the second quarter had a consecutive rise since the fourth quarter last year with 7.2 billion baht.

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