Chinese tourists (and their habits) surge into Thailand

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Re: Chinese tourists (and their habits) surge into Thailand

Post by StevePIraq » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:32 pm

And don't mention the Brits who go to Spain
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Re: Chinese tourists (and their habits) surge into Thailand

Post by Nereus » Thu May 03, 2018 4:02 pm

Not sure if this is the correct forum, Mods please move if not:
Chinese fuel luxury property boom in Bangkok ... recent_box

In chic central Bangkok, a foreign buying binge is fuelling a red-hot market for ultra-luxury real estate.

At 98 Wireless, a luxury condo opened last March in the capital, one buyer from Hong Kong snapped up a 70 million baht apartment without more than a moment’s thought. “It was an impulse purchase for him,” says Uthai Uthaisangsuk, an executive at the project’s developer, Sansiri Plc. For the price of a cramped studio back home, the investor had bought an opulent two bedroom spread with Ralph Lauren furniture, three bathrooms outfitted with Carrera marble, butler service and a chauffeured Bentley limousine.

Scenes like this have become more common in the capital, where foreign money is pushing up prices at the top of the real estate market, even as developers struggle to sell more pedestrian properties. With the economy still recovering from a 2014 slowdown, household debt makes it tough for the average Thai person to qualify for a home loan, so companies like Sansiri and Country Group Development Plc are selling luxury to foreigners.

“Developers are having problems selling to locals,” said Ratchaphum Jongpakdee, general manager for Thailand at real estate firm Colliers International Group Inc. “But they have no problem selling to foreigners.”

Buyers definitely get more bang for their buck in Bangkok than in Hong Kong (comparing things like living space and bathroom fixtures). But what’s surprising is that, even though condominium prices in the centre of the Thai capital have doubled in the last five years, they’re still cheaper than in less-travelled cities like Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, or Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, according to real estate advisors.

The price-gap could be set to close, though. Once a niche tourism destination for backpackers, Bangkok in 2016 surpassed London to become the world’s most visited city, hosting 19 million overnight travellers, about two for every resident. The boom has put the city on the map for investors, especially mainland Chinese who are coming in droves.

Last year, land prices in the city centre jumped a record 30%, with foreign investors making up almost a quarter of the capital’s high-end property sales, according to commercial real estate firm CBRE Group. In the last quarter of 2017, the price of luxury condos rose more than 10%, outpacing every other market segment, data from Bangkok’s Real Estate Information Centre shows.

Fuel for the fire has come, ironically, because of China’s attempts to stop the outflow of money from its borders. Caps imposed last year on how much capital people can take out of the country have had the unintended effect of funnelling cash into property markets like Thailand’s, where prices are relatively cheap.

A scarcity of buildable land in the city centre is a limitation on developers. For investors, though, it’s a big reason high-end apartments should continue to appreciate, according to Patti Tomaitrichitr, an analyst at Macquarie Securities Thailand Ltd in Bangkok.

“It’s not easy to find a good plot in a good location right now, so prices will keep going up,” she said.

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