Jittery locals delay property purchases
Thai buyers delayed property purchases because they were not confident about prices and worried about mortgage lending, according to a consumer sentiment survey by property portal DDproperty.com.
The website's country manager Kamolpat Swaengkit said the pandemic changed buyer behaviour as 75% of 1,002 Thai respondents delayed property transactions.
"One-third had higher uncertainty about property prices and difficulty in securing home loans," she said. "Meanwhile younger respondents, or those aged 22-29, looked more for financial information, while price was a bigger concern for high-income earners."
Mrs Kamolpat said some 15% considered the pandemic a good opportunity to make property investments as developers offered promotions and campaigns, such as fee and expense reductions on transfer dates, and free stays for two years before loan repayment starts.
The survey also found 79% and 73% used social media platforms and property portals, respectively, when searching for property-related information.
Blogs and online articles were more popular among young and middle-income earners.
However, those aged 50-59 who were potential buyers did not use blogs or online articles when considering property purchases, she said.
The top three factors searched by Thais when buying or renting homes were price, financing and location.
Young Thais searched more for financial information, while investors looked for location and property type.
Price per square metre, size of unit and facilities in projects were top internal factors Thais considered important. At the same time, design and construction were necessary for the younger generation.
While subsidies or promotions were a bigger concern among low-income earners, property investors and higher-income earners are interested in potential rental yield and rentability, said Mrs Kamolpat.
When buying a property, tenants, those living with parents and low-income earners considered home loan eligibility more important, but high-income earners regarded infrastructure and amenities in the area more important, the survey found.
In addition to price, size mattered for people of all ages, as 51% of those aged 22-29 as well as aged 50-59 considered this a factor, while 55% of those aged 30-49 and 53% of over 60 were sensitive to size.
The top five factors attracting homebuyers when working from home were a combination of environment (82%), stable WiFi connection (65%), functions and facilities (64%), air and heat ventilation and smart energy savings (50%) and size (43%).
A majority of those surveyed expect the government to reduce interest rates for mortgages. One-third want a reduction in down payment and a tax deduction for first-time homebuyers.
"We surveyed Singaporeans on our website there and found they are looking for Thai property with good prices," she said. "This is an opportunity for Thai developers."
Frank Khan, executive director of property consultant Knight Frank Thailand, said individual investors in China and Hong Kong expect a decrease in condo prices in Bangkok as some developers offered 20-30% discounts.
"They were interested in completed, ready-to-transfer condos in prime locations," he said. "Some looked for a townhouse in Bangkok's outskirts to stay during retirement."
Mr Khan said foreign property brokers predict a slowdown in the market lasting until the third quarter next year.