Foreign interest in purchasing luxury residences in Thailand, including condominiums, houses and villas in prime locations, has surged since the return of international tourists in the second half of 2022, according to property consultancy CBRE.
Sales transactions through CBRE have increased by more than 200%, confirming the trend. In response to the growing demand, developers are gearing up to launch new luxury and super-luxury residential projects in 2023, with a particular focus on single houses.
CBRE Thailand represents roughly 30 leading residential projects with a combined project value exceeding 40 billion baht, said Artitaya Kasemlawan, head of residential sales projects.
Of these projects, 58% are luxury and super-luxury housing, while luxury condominiums account for 40% and villa developments make up the remaining 2%.
Projects in the pipeline for a launch this year are mostly single-house developments, a type that remains in high demand.
One example is Nirvana Collection Krungthep Kreetha, which offers super-luxury single houses with a usable area ranging from 553 to 1,005 square metres, complete with an elevator and private swimming pool. With units priced between 80 million and 150 million baht, the development is located on New Krungthep Kreetha Road, adjacent to the Nirvana Porch Community Mall.
Another super-luxury project, Arch Sukhumvit 39, is located in the heart of Sukhumvit Soi 39 and offers privacy and exclusivity, with only 12 houses available. Priced between 65 million and 130 million baht, they feature large living spaces, 4-5 bedrooms and parking for 4-6 cars.
Vi Ari, a super-luxury project located close to the Ari skytrain station, offers six houses and priced from 82 million baht.
Hyde Park Garden is adjacent to Harrow International School and close to Don Mueang airport. A variety of house designs cater to families of all sizes, with prices ranging from 35-80 million baht.
Mayfield Pinklao, a premium townhome project with green open spaces located opposite Central Pinklao, is priced from 13.9-19.8 million baht and is set to launch soon.
Also expected to attract interest is The Aroon II, a premium high-rise condo just 100 metres from Bang Khun Non MRT station, a connection point for three train lines close to Siriraj Hospital.
Looking at the demand side, foreign travellers returned to Thailand in significant numbers last year, with 11.2 million arrivals. Of these, 64% came from Asia, 23% from Europe, 5% from North America and the rest from the Middle East, Oceania and Africa.
Among the projects CBRE represents, most of them in the luxury market and above, 89% were purchased by Thai buyers and 11% by foreigners from 2022 to early 2023, said Ms Artitaya.
Main market Asia
"The majority of foreign buyers looking for condominiums and houses come from Asia, particularly China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Myanmar, Singapore and Japan," she said.
"Most of the clients interested in buying villas come from Europe, such as Russia, the UK, France and Germany."
Most foreign buyers have a budget for condos of 15-30 million baht. They are looking for downtown condos in business areas such as Silom, Sathon, Lumpini, Sukhumvit, Pathumwan and the riverside. Some 87% of this group purchase properties for their own residences, said Ms Artitaya.
For housing projects, most foreigners have a budget of 51-80 million baht and prefer locations in eastern Bangkok, downtown and the eastern suburbs. Roughly 85% buy units for their own use, she said.
Foreign buyers are interested in villas priced 15-30 million baht in desirable locations such as Phuket and Hua Hin, with 71% making a purchase for their own residence, said Ms Artitaya.
Chinese buyers top the list among foreigners in the luxury segment. Most look for luxury condos with 1-2 bedrooms priced between 15-30 million baht in the Silom and Sathon areas, mainly for their own use.
Chinese buyers are also interested in four-bedroom houses in eastern Bangkok.
She said another interesting market is Myanmar buyers. In the past year, CBRE has handled transactions for Myanmar owners buying residences priced from 5 million to more than 100 million baht.
These buyers reside in Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand, with 91% intending to buy properties for their own residence.
Most Myanmar buyers are interested in luxury two-bedroom condos with a budget of 15-30 million baht in the Lumpini and Sukhumvit areas, said Ms Artitaya.
In the housing market, they prefer four-bedroom houses in the eastern and central Bangkok areas.
Resort sales up
Meanwhile, sales of resort properties through CBRE in 2022 increased by 24% compared with the previous year, said Prakaipeth Meechoosarn, head of Phuket property sales.
"The most popular residential properties are villas or resort homes, which posted a sales increase of 69%," she said.
"Foreign buyers have become more active in the Phuket residential market, while domestic demand remains similar to the previous year.
"There was a 93% increase in foreign buyers, and this encompassed various nationalities investing in Phuket condos, including Russians, Canadians, Italians, French, Chinese and British."
CBRE believes the tourism and long-stay market in Thailand will become more active this year from the second through the fourth quarter.
This activity will continue to have a positive effect on demand for residences as second homes and investments, said Ms Prakaipeth.