PF severely slashes project launches from 12 to 3

PF severely slashes project launches from 12 to 3

SET-listed developer Property Perfect Plc (PF) is slashing new residential project launches this year to three, down from a planned 12 projects, to save expenses amid a market slowdown.

Managing director Wongsakorn Prasitvipat said the company will launch one project per quarter, starting this quarter, until the end of the year.

All are single detached houses and duplex houses priced between 3-8 million baht.

"Driven by pent-up demand, the market resumed in May with the same presales from the pre-virus period in January and February," he said.

Earlier the company expected April would be worse than March, but the market started its recovery that month.

Without the Songkran holiday, homebuyers visited project sites for single houses and townhouses more frequently, said Mr Wongsakorn.

In April, low-rise housing presales rose to 80% of the pre-virus level. Presales in May grew to 130% of January, making presales in the first five months on par with its target, he said.

"Despite a recovery in May, we will monitor the market in June and July to see whether it will return to normal because sales in May might be from pent-up demand," said Mr Wongsakorn.

He said the decrease in new projects being launched will save on expenses, as each new low-rise housing project will require an investment of around 200-300 million baht.

If launches have poor sales, it may boost the firm's debt-to-equity ratio, which was 1.7 times at the end of last year, said Mr Wongsakorn.

"The mortgage rejection rate has risen to 30-35% from 15-20% as banks imposed stricter rules, even for grade-A careers such as pilots and tourism employees," he said.

Two of the new projects being launched this year will be joint ventures with Japanese partner Sekisui Chemical, while the other will be developed solely by PF.

The company yesterday launched a health-oriented home design in five luxury single detached house projects under the Perfect Masterpiece brand.

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