AP readies low-rise launches

AP readies low-rise launches

SET-listed developer AP Thailand is pinning hopes on the low-rise housing market in the second half, with a massive line-up of 26 projects worth 26 billion baht in Greater Bangkok and five provinces.

Vittakarn Chandavimol, chief of corporate strategy and creation, said the low-rise market in the first half was robust and consisted of real demand amid a broader property slowdown.

"Our presales in the first half were largely driven by low-rise houses," he said. "We will keep launching new projects in this segment for the rest of the year."

AP is likely to launch the largest number of low-rise projects in the industry in 2020. The developer opened 14 projects worth 15.5 billion baht in the first half.

Five of the 26 projects in the second-half pipeline will be in five provinces: Nakhon Si Thammarat, Chiang Rai, Ayutthaya, Khon Kaen and Rayong.

"The Rayong site will be launched in October, but we will monitor the situation and market sentiment after the province found that a coronavirus patient visited last week," Mr Vittakarn said.

The projects in provinces will be rolled out under a new brand, Apitown, with a mix of low-rise products comprising single detached houses, townhouses and duplex houses priced at 1.9 million-9 million baht per unit.

The plots will be 30-40 rai with a project value of at least 1 billion baht.

"As a new player in the provinces, we have studied the market's local competitors and Bangkok-based developers that entered earlier to learn what their success points were," Mr Vittakarn said.

He said the company will choose to enter provinces offering jobs with strong housing demand.

Although AP delayed launching four condo projects to next year, the presales and revenue targets were kept at 33.5 billion and 40.55 billion baht, respectively, by the end of the year.

In the first half, AP recorded 15.08 billion baht in presales, comprising 12.8 billion baht from low-rise houses, representing 85% of the total, while 2.2 billion baht came from condos despite no new projects being launched.

At the end of the second quarter, the company had a sales backlog of 56.15 billion baht, 13.23 billion baht of which came from low-rise houses being recognised in the second half. The remaining 42.9 billion baht was from the condo segment, with 15.6 billion baht to be realised in the second half.

"If economic conditions and unemployment do not recover, the property market will be impacted," Mr Vittakarn said.

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