Sena unveils rent-to-own condo scheme
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Sena unveils rent-to-own condo scheme

Sena managing director Kessara Thanyalakpark
Sena managing director Kessara Thanyalakpark

SET-listed developer Sena Development is launching a rent-to-own programme for ready-to-move-in condos, aiming to close sales of 1,000 units worth 1.4 billion baht by the end of the year.

Kessara Thanyalakpark, managing director of Sena, said this programme would convert monthly rental payments into savings, which would then be deducted from the home prices when customers receive the unit transfer.

"The programme can help solve several pain points homebuyers face," she said. "Some want to own a unit but are not ready to borrow, while some of them are concerned about the current economic situation."

Some homebuyers need more time to clear their debts or establish good financial records before applying for a mortgage loan. Others may not have sufficient funds to pay for a down payment when the unit they want to buy qualifies for a lower credit line.

The programme also suits first-time jobbers as many of them are unsure about where they want to settle down or live.

Some are not ready to commit to a 30-year debt while others may not have sufficient income at present to qualify for a mortgage loan.

"One of the most interesting aspects, which will benefit homebuyers, is their rental costs can be accumulated as savings towards ownership," Ms Kessara said. "The interest rate is just 1.8% per year and they will pay only 4,100 baht per 1 million baht."

Eligible customers for this programme have to be screened by non-bank loan provider Ngernsod Jaidee, one of Sena's subsidiaries, which will check the customer's financial health and provide personalised financial planning.

When customers are qualified by Ngernsod Jaidee, which will take only two days for consideration, customers can immediately move into the unit they want after paying a deposit, which will be roughly equal to three months of payments.

The contract will be made for a maximum of three years, during which time customers can request the transfer of the rental unit when they are ready to buy or when they receive mortgage loan approval. The amount they have paid as rent will be deducted from the unit price.

"Customers can change their mind any time. We will find new customers for them," Ms Kessara said. "However, we encourage them to proceed with the unit transfer."

Sena started this programme, called Livnex, last year and signed contracts with 100 customers worth 200-300 million baht. None of them are non-performing loans so far.

There are 19 condo projects in 18 locations in Greater Bangkok in this programme, with unit prices of 5 million baht and lower. It will be capped at no more than 25-30% of total units at each project.

"If successful, we will consider allowing a change in project and expanding to foreign buyers in the next phase," said Ms Kessara.

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