The expansion by Thailand leading property firms of their investment in the provinces during the course of 2012 has resulted in a doubling of land prices in many areas of Thailand.
The main provinces and areas subject to the expansion drive are Rayong, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, Phuket, Pattaya, Hat Yai and Khao Yai.
Preecha Ariyanon, managing director of Term Sup Group, a developer in Rayong, said the price of land along the province's Sukhumvit Road had increased from an average of Bt20 million per rai (0.16 hectare) two years ago to Bt40 million now.
Land in Pluak Deang district has also doubled in the same period, to an average of Bt10 million per rai.
Local developers are, however, able to compete with the property companies from Bangkok that have expanded into the province, as they had acquired their land before prices started to surge, he said.
For example, Term Sup Group holds more than 4,000 rai in Rayong province at an average cost still below Bt20 million per rai. As a result, the company can develop residential projects at a lower cost than new competitors in the local market.
Yesterday, the company introduced a Bt1-billion condominium project, the Wisdon Grandiose Cono, comprising 330 units at a starting price of Bt1.6 million apiece. Each home will have 30 square metres of utilisable space.
Term Sup Group also plans a townhouse project worth between Bt1.6 billion and Bt2 billion as its next launch, Preecha added.
Rayong province has recently seen the launch of 10 condominium projects with a combined 1,000 units, worth Bt4 billion in total.
One of the projects is a development by Sansiri, which has launched the Bt600-million Condo Nernpra, with 328 units.
Low-rise housing is another new market for listed property firms expanding their investment in Rayong.
The Confidence, a subsidiary of Quality Houses, has introduced the Bt660-million Casa Seaside Rayong detached-housing project, while Lalin Property has launched a similar project worth Bt600 million.
Udon Thani province has also seen land prices rising sharply, from an average of Bt20 million per rai on Pho Sri Road two years ago to between Bt30 million and Bt40 million now.
This is down to leading developers Sansiri, Asian Property Development, LPN Development, Land & Houses and Supalai all having shown interest in expanding their investment in the province.
Meanwhile, land prices in Phuket and Songkhla have also soared from 2010 levels due to rising residential demand, said Business Housing Association president Issara Boonyoung.
The average price in Phuket rose from Bt20 million per rai to Bt40 million during the period, due to a number of Bangkok and local property firms expanding their investment in the province, he said.
Thanawat Poolsil, president of the Songkhla Real Estate Association, said demand for the development of residential projects was focused on two Songkhla districts: Hat Yai and Sadao.
The price of land in Hat Yai has risen by an average of 10% a year and is now about Bt50 million per rai, while Sadao district has witnessed a similar annual rise to Bt10 million, he said.