Thai Condos Slump Amid Economic, Myanmar Woes


BANGKOK  —  Prasert Taedulyasatit, president of the Thai Condominium Association, said on June 18, that the Myanmar government’s strict control over condominium purchases in Thailand has affected sales.

Currently, Myanmar nationals are the second largest group of buyers after Chinese nationals.

It is expected that this restriction will further worsen the real estate market in the second quarter and continue the negative trend from the first quarter. Foreign demand is crucial, especially when domestic purchasing power is weak due to high household debt and the continued refusal to borrow. Nevertheless, customers from Myanmar still make up a small proportion compared to Chinese buyers, who remain the largest customer group.

Kajonsit Singsansern, CEO of Siamese Asset Public Company Limited, mentioned that the company has recently expanded its market to Myanmar customers, selling about 10 units priced between 5 and 10 million baht in the Rama 9 area. The main customers are still from China and Taiwan. Due to the weak domestic market, with a rejection rate of up to 50% for properties under 3 million baht, the company relies heavily on foreign buyers.


“We have to admit that the Thai economy is in a bad state due to various factors. The main problem is high household debt, which affects purchasing power in all sectors, including the real estate sector. It will be a challenge for the government to achieve 3% GDP growth this year, as only the tourism sector seems to be a supporting factor. If the digital currency project is launched by the end of the year, it could help, but that is still uncertain,” Kajornsit said.

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Piya Prayong, CEO of Pruksa Real Estate Public Company Limited, explained that Pruksa does not yet have many customers in Myanmar as the company is just entering the market. Therefore, the company is not significantly affected and is exploring other markets such as Taiwan and China.

The real estate market has seen weak purchasing power over the last five months due to the sluggish economy and the same old problems with high loan rejection rates of up to 40 percent. The government’s measures have not helped significantly, with the result that sales have fallen slightly short of expectations.

“We have therefore expanded our portfolio to include high-quality properties priced between 30 and 40 million baht. For the Thai economy as a whole, the government will have to work very hard if it wants to achieve GDP growth of 3 percent, as growth in the first quarter was only 1.5 percent. More cash injections and stimulus measures are needed as exports are still not doing well. Relying on tourism alone will not be enough,” said Piya.

Apisith Sunthornchukeat, Co-CEO of Origin Vertical Corporation Limited, a subsidiary of Origin Property Public Company Limited, noted that the market is still performing well overall for foreign buyers, especially as Chinese buyers continue to invest. However, the Myanmar market has slowed down due to strict control by the Myanmar government.

The company has suspended its operations in Myanmar and expanded into new markets such as Taiwan, India, Europe and America, where most customers prefer condominiums in prime locations such as Thonglor, Phrom Phong and Sukhumvit.