Beyond Bangkok, demand for homebuilding rises 15-20%

Demand and purchasing power for homes grew in the first quarter this year, especially in the provinces, as the trend of rising prices pushed consumers to make faster decisions, says the Thai Home Constructions Association.

The association found demand rising 15-20% in homebuilding markets in the North, Northeast and South, while growth was marginal in Greater Bangkok.

Factors supporting growth in the provinces were economic vigour and demand from Bangkokians for a second home in the provinces, as well as the expansion of homebuilding firms beyond the capital.

Association president Sitiporn Suwanasut said the recovery in homebuilding was proceeding quicker than expected, so firms with the capacity to expand in the provinces would directly benefit from the larger market sizes and lighter competition than in Bangkok.

But a major problem for the industry is the shortage of labour, particularly in Greater Bangkok, as many workers from the provinces or other countries went home during the floods.

Mr Sitiporn said the labour issue was hurting companies large and small, but big firms could use prefab technology to reduce their dependence on labour.

The association predicts continued momentum in the second quarter, with the full-year outlook hinging on whether the floods return.

In another development, a survey by the Real Estate Information Center found that Chon Buri had the highest property development outside of Bangkok, with 534 developed projects and 87,500 units worth 246.8 billion baht, or an average price of 2.82 million baht.

Of the total, 69% have already sold and the rest are likely to sell within six months or so.