Noble planning to shift towards low-rise segment

Noble planning to shift towards low-rise segment

Belmont Place in Manchester's Salford has 16 apartment units.
Belmont Place in Manchester's Salford has 16 apartment units.

With the low-rise housing market robust during the pandemic, SET-listed Noble Development plans to shift towards the segment, featuring six low-rise projects among the 17 in its pipeline.

Thongchai Busrapan, the company's chairman and president, said the Noble acquired new plots of land in the second quarter for townhouse development because the low-rise housing market has been simmering, even during the third wave.

"Next year, our revenue will see a mix from condos and low-rise houses," he said. "Revenue from low-rise houses will grow from a marginal portion to 30%, while that from condos, our main income, will reduce to 70%."

Noble plans 17 new projects with a combined sales value of 57.6 billion baht, which will be ready to launch from the second half through to 2022. Six of them worth a combined 12.9 billion baht are townhouse developments in Don Mueang, Ekamai-Ram Intra, Suksawat, Rat Burana and Ratchaphruek.

Four are joint ventures with BTS Group Holdings Plc, which owns many large parcels of land on the outskirts of Bangkok in areas such as Suksawat and Rat Burana.

Mr Thongchai said the launch of The Embassy at Wireless, valued at 9.8 billion baht, a joint venture condo project with Hong Kong-based developer Hongkong Land, will be delayed until next year because it requires positive momentum.

"The presales target of 16 billion baht might be downgraded if the situation in the fourth quarter this year does not improve," he said. "The worst-case scenario sees our 2021 revenue at 8 billion baht, missing our target of 10 billion."

In the first half of 2021, Noble reported total presales of 4.26 billion baht, up by 62% year-on-year. Net profit reached 786 million baht on revenue of 4.9 billion baht, up 22% and 10%, respectively.

To diversify its revenue, Noble invested in the UK housing market with the establishment of Noble Venture Investment with a local partner in April this year, said Arttavit Chalermsaphayakorn, the company's chief financial officer.

The first project was Belmont Place in Manchester's Salford. This apartment development, built in 2018 and valued at £2 million (92.1 million baht), has 16 units and 14 tenants. Three units were sold to overseas investors in China and Hong Kong.

"The UK housing market is very attractive for investment as the British government allows buildings such as office towers or industrial lofts to be converted to residential units after prices exceeded what locals can afford," he said.

Three other UK projects valued at £55 million are in the pipeline, said Mr Arttavit.

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