Anyone familiar with the Bangkok real estate market, will know all too well that the condo development industry is intensely competitive. Previously bullish market conditions and the seemingly never-ending demand for condos, meant that anyone with a well-located plot of land, would immediately consider developing a residential project.
These condominium projects while offering varyingly different concepts and designs, all ultimately target the generic demographic group:
“Active working professionals between the ages of 25 to 45.”
However, a slowing market led by a weakening economy and tighter lending curbs enforced by the Bank of Thailand, has recently forced local developers to re-evaluate their development strategies.
Going into this uncertain climate, new launches will need to capture the imagination and appeal to increasingly sophisticated buyers.
So how can developers continue to appeal, standout and ultimately succeed in this fiercely competitive market?
Developers have reached a consensus that intimate knowledge of the end-users’ needs and requirements, putting special attention to the buyers’ lifestyle is of vital importance to a project’s success.
With some established property consultancies, going a step-further and reinforcing the need for projects to appeal to a highly targeted market segment, rather than an unidentified or generic mass-market.
A prevalent example, of adapting a project’s concept to meet the needs of a highly targeted group of end-users, are the Japanese-styled projects launching in Thonglor-Ekkamai. These condo projects offer Onsens, Golf-Simulators and even Japanese-styled bathtubs to appeal to the Japanese expat community clustering in the area.
Taking it a step further and modelling niche developments around highly targeted markets?
While Onsens and Golf-Simulators can be considered cultural market adaptations, ultimately these are bonus amenities with a broad appeal, that allows developers to score PR points!
A momentous market trend is underway, whereby developers are diverging from the standard accepted concepts and developing niche projects with a targeted appeal.
With an estimated population of 12-million inhabitants, Bangkok is a notoriously difficult city to keep a pet. Most condos in the city, strictly enforce no pet policies, leaving pet-parents to either restrict themselves to a handful of pet-friendly condos, town houses, or secretly sneaking-in their dog or cat.
Major Development seems to have identified this unique market segment, developing pet-friendly projects that cater to the needs of pet owners.
A significant standout project would be Maru located in Ekkamai, that specifically caters to pet-owners and that offers a concept with Japanese-sensibilities (To cater for the local Japanese expat community).
Active “Health and Fitness” Young Professionals
While most projects claim to target “young professionals”, Ananda’s Ideo Suhumvit 93 takes it to another level, specifically appealing to a vibrant and health-conscious crowd.
The project’s concept revolves around active residents dubbed “dynamic urban lifestyle” by the developer; offering over-the-top fitness facilities such as a Lap Pool, “Play Scape” Basketball Court, and Gym area.
Thailand’s faces an aging population and demographic forecasts state that “20% of the country’s population will be over the age of 60 by 2022”.
This local demographic trend combined with Thailand’s popularity as a retirement destination, means that developers are presented with a unique opportunity to expand into a whole new market segment that blends residential, hospitality and healthcare.
While Bangkok’s has still not welcomed any major niche development, catered to the needs of the elderly, it is largely predicted that such projects are in the pipelines of several major developers.
The markets are limitless, and additional niches that could be explored include…
– Mixed-Use Projects Offering Residential, Office and Leisure.
– Family Oriented Condo Projects (Offering large 3-Bed+ Units)
– Eco-Friendly Projects with Extensive Green Spaces
On a final note, these niches are only a small example of potential market segments that developers could ultimately target to give their projects a definite competitive edge. The potential is unlimited and ultimately the concept of future condo projects, lie in the hands of developers big and small!