Buying new projects off-plan in Bangkok, definitely offers investors and homebuyers numerous advantages. These include, a delayed payment plan, opportunity to “flip” units before transfer and the associated capital appreciation benefits!
However, not all off-plan projects are good investments, therefore buyers are advised to conduct careful market research and to be ultra-selective when prospecting for opportunities.
Bangkok is an expansive city, with hundreds of developments and its own unique set of market standards. This article will offer 3 insights to ensure off-plan investors make better informed and more profitable decisions!
3 important things to consider when buying off-plan developments in Bangkok:
1. The newer the project, the more expensive.
In Bangkok, property prices can vary condo-by-condo, even with developments in the same neighborhood or vicinity!
A general rule of thumb, new projects in the Capital tend to be more expensive (On a per square meter basis) especially compared to completed or older projects in the area. This is due to a multitude of factors, notably increasing developable land prices and the Thai market’s preference for “new”.
This variance in price can be quite wide, therefore investors must be selective and carefully assess the project’s qualities and investment potential.
2. Not all units in a project are created equal.
A project’s specifications can vary greatly, due to numerous factors such as the location, target market segment and even the architectural concept; also anticipated buyers’ demand for certain layouts or features are important considerations for developers when pricing units.
As a result, individual units in an off-plan development can be priced at varying rates per square meter. This variance can be attributed to a variety of reasons:
Units in higher floors, are usually more expensive and are more desirable as they offer better views.
Direction/ Orientation of Unit
Depending on the condo’s location, certain orientations are better than others; in certain cases, some views can be blocked by neighboring buildings.
Off-Plan projects usually sell a selection of layouts from 1-Bed to 3-Beds in a variety of sizes. Some layouts may be more desirable or even “rare”, constituting a smaller percentage of the total condominium units available.
3. Timing is everything!
It is standard practice for developers in Bangkok, especially in large high-rise projects to gradually increase the prices of the remaining unsold stock. These price increases usually take place after a certain timeframe (I.e. 6-months) or the achievement of sales milestones (I.e. 25% of the project sold).
This price review can vary between 5-15% and could substantially increase or decrease investment returns. Once increased, developers do not revert to previous pricing levels to protect the development’s reputation.
Off-plan investors can therefore benefit from “pricing arbitrage” and better deals depending on the project’s progress:
1. Pre-sales Launch
Developers eager to have strong sales and a successful launch, often provide discounts or freebies at this stage.
2. Mid-Construction/ Pre-Transfer
Off-plans units are paid in installments, this delayed payment plan often entices buyers to impulse buy.
However, once the “dust settles”, many often review their financial or personal situation and prefer to sell their contracts. These “resales” can sometimes be offered at a discount to the developer’s remaining stock.
3. Post Transfer/ Completion
Upon completion and transfer, transferred units from private sellers on the resale market are subject to government property taxes, therefore inflating the prices accordingly. As a result, units marketed by developers are usually more competitively priced.
Buying Property in Bangkok
There are obviously more fundamental factors to consider when selecting a property investment in the Capital. These investments and buying factors include:
- Developer Brand and Experience
- Building Quality and Specifications
You can read more about these factors here: 3 Important Factors when buying Bangkok Property.