Paper firm's new condo taps resilient rich buyers
Craft paper maker Panjapol Fibre Container Co has shifted to residential development with the launch of a high-end condo project worth 1 billion baht in the Phloenchit area to draw on strong demand in the upper-end market.
Chotivit Tejavibulya, managing director of Panjapol Property Co, an affiliate of Panjapol Fibre Container, said the company was keen on residential development because demand in the high-priced segment remains strong despite sluggish economy.
"We will apply experiences from housing development in the high-end market of Singapore's Sentosa to develop a residential project in Bangkok," he said. "We will focus on the high-end market and the central business district area."
According to property consultant CBRE (Thailand), there were 2,000 condo units from seven projects launched in Bangkok's downtown in the first quarter of 2016, down from 2,800 in the same period last year.
CBRE managing director Aliwassa Pathnadabutr said newly launched condo supply in the inner city was limited by scarce land for new development.
"Despite the slowing economy, high-end buyers have seen less impact," she said. "Their purchasing power remains strong, but developers need to do the right product to serve this demand."
In the Phloenchit/Chidlom area, land prices soared to 2 million baht per square wah from 1.5 million a few years ago, while a small-sized plot on Soi Nai Lert was priced around 1 million baht.
She said developers that launched new condo projects in the first quarter were mostly medium-sized firms with experience in the field.
With a strong background from other dealings, they were able to buy valuable inner-city land.
Panjapol's first project will be Craft Ploenchit, an eight-storey condo on 387 square wah in Soi Nai Lert with 90 units sized at 36-134 square metres and priced at 200,000 baht a sq m.
Panjapol Property was founded with registered capital of 100 million baht two years ago when it acquired the Phloenchit plot, Mr Chotivit said.
Panjapol Fibre Container is one of the biggest paper makers in Thailand with a production capacity of more than 1 million tonnes a year.
Its property business includes two office towers for rent -- United Center on Silom Road and the Esso building on Rama IV Road -- as well as shophouses for rent and four properties in Singapore and Hong Kong.