NCH looks to low-rise amid slump

NCH looks to low-rise amid slump

Mr Somnuek says low-rise development offers more flexibility than condos.
Mr Somnuek says low-rise development offers more flexibility than condos.

With the economy in limbo, SET-listed developer N.C. Housing Plc (NCH) anticipates flat growth this year as it focuses on low-rise houses with five new projects worth a combined 3.5 billion baht.

The presales and revenue targets were set at 2.7 billion baht and 1.6 billion, respectively, the same as last year, when the former missed the target.

Managing director Somnuek Tanthathoedtham said the property market this year faces many negative factors including the global and domestic economic slowdown, the coronavirus outbreak and a sluggish tourism sector.

However, with property incentives for houses priced 3 million baht and lower already in place, N.C. believes this will help boost market sentiment, drive housing demand and beef up the property market in the second half.

With that in mind, all five of the new projects are scheduled for the second half on plots the company already purchased.

They will be located in Bangkok's northern zone in Lam Luk Ka district of Pathum Thani, and western zone in Phutthamonthon, Nakhon Pathom and Pattaya.

Most will be townhouses and duplex houses priced from 2-3 million baht a unit, respectively.

"We're focusing on low-rise housing as it is more flexible than condos. When market sentiment is unfavourable, low-rise development allows us to extend the construction period and delay launching new phases," said Mr Somnuek.

This year it will use a three-pronged approach: affordable houses, a customer-centric approach by building partnerships with financial institutions and technology firms, and more home innovation.

The company has housing stock worth a combined 4-5 billion baht from nine projects that are mostly low-rise houses in Greater Bangkok.

It has unsold condo units ready to transfer in Pattaya and Chiang Mai, with 40 units worth 100 million baht and 17 units worth 50 million, respectively.

To prepare for a possible slowdown in the market this year, the company has a cash flow of 100 million baht to cover all expenses.

N.C.'s debt-to-equity ratio is its lowest in history at 0.5 times.

NCH shares closed on Tuesday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 0.73 baht, unchanged, in trade worth 40,820 baht.

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