Housing developer sentiment set to decrease in first half

Housing developer sentiment set to decrease in first half

Housing developer sentiment in the first half this year is expected to drop after a recovery in the fourth quarter last year because of the recent outbreak, says the Real Estate Information Center.

Vichai Viratkapan, the centre's acting director-general, said the new wave is likely to lower developer sentiment in the first half from the fourth quarter of 2020.

"The government's stimulus measures improved developer sentiment in the fourth quarter from the third quarter," he said.

The centre's survey of developer sentiment in Greater Bangkok in the fourth quarter last year found it recovered to 46.3 from 42.8 in the third quarter.

Listed developers had higher sentiment than non-listed firms, with tallies of 49.2 and 42.1, respectively. The figure for listed firms rose from 43.1 in the third quarter, while for non-listed firms it dropped from 42.4.

That marks seven consecutive quarters of the index below 50, the median, since the second quarter of 2019. This was attributed to the loan-to-value limits that were applied in early 2019.

The expectations index, or confidence over the next six months, was surveyed before the recent outbreak. It was 54.4 in the fourth quarter, up from 52.9 the quarter before.

The index was higher than the median, meaning developers are hopeful for a market recovery in 2021 if the economy perks up thanks to stimulus measures.

Mr Vichai said for listed developers, their sentiment for sales, employment and new launches was higher than the median, but non-listed firms had no confidence on any issues.

"Listed developers will continue dominating the Greater Bangkok market, including investment and market expansion," he said. "Non-listed firms remain wary in 2021 despite the potential of a vaccine."

The centre also forecast new residential supply being launched in Greater Bangkok this year of 89,000 units, comprising 37,000 condos and 52,000 low-rise houses.

"If the recent outbreak is prolonged, the total amount will reduce to 79,000 units," said Mr Vichai.

The centre predicted three scenarios for the market this year, comprising growth of 5-10% in the best case, a gain of 0.5% as a base, or a drop of 10%.

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