The numbers of tourists and people moving to Chiang Mai is expected to continue to climb, Chiang Mai has seen a phenomenal year of rapid growth in size that seems to be running out of control. Large amounts of money are being moved into the market continuously and the number of tourists and residents has jumped. Traffic has become snarled and not much different from Bangkok.
Chiang Mai people will have to adapt themselves as next year people will need to learn to manage travel times and cope with higher costs of living.
As a Chiang Mai person, I think we may see a crisis situation if the local government and people are not ready for this growth, especially in handling traffic, safety and the image of the city.
According to the Bangkok’s Business Newspaper the number of condos and townhouses in Chiang Mai grew substantially in 2012.
Paisarn Phucharoen, Vice President of the Real Estate Association of Lamphun, Chiang Mai and Vice Chairman of the Board of Land and Houses Public Company Limited said that in 2012 Chiang Mai saw more than 50% growth in housing with total sales of 1,150 units at a cost of 3,399 million baht; a pace that has never been seen before. He credited this in part to the floods in Bangkok that saw many people purchase a second home in Chiang Mai as well as investment buyers. This year there has been a total construction area of 300,000sqm and this will double to 600,000sqm next year.
The booming condo market has seen big companies like Sansiri, Quality House, Land and Houses, plus the local developers investing in Chiang Mai. The condo market continues to settle inside the city but the price is increasing from 30,000 baht per sqm to 50- 60,000 sqm. Along the Super Highway the minimum building is 4,000sqm. In gated communities (Moo Baan), the land price is increasing from 1 to 2 million baht per rai (1600sqm).
Vasant Chawla, Managing Director of Quality Condominium Co. said the period 2011–2012 was a golden year for real estate business in the area with a lot of investment, trading and selling of land. He said it was becoming more difficult to find good buildable land because of the influx of capital invested by the large companies like Land and Houses, Quality Houses, Supalai, Sansiri and LPN.
Currently the land prices in Chiang Mai have increased more than 100% in some locations such as the Nimmanhaemin Road and Super Highway, Chiang Mai - Lampang Road. For the past 4-5 years the price has been steady at around 20,000 baht per sq wah but this year the price is already 50,000-70,000 and up to 100,000 baht per sq wah. This has forced expansion along the Ring Road and development moving to the third ring road with more showrooms and big commercial buildings. Even here prices have risen from 5,000 baht per sq wah a few years ago to 20,000-30,000 baht per sq wah today.
Currently, there are more than 10,000 condominium units in the city with an average price of 1.5 million baht per unit. The total value is more than 15,000 million baht. This does not include projects that are still waiting for government approval.
According to the Government Housing Bank (GHB), condo sales totaled 3,500 units or 8,000 million baht in 2011 with 3,000 of those units in the city distributed among 12 condo projects. 2012 saw 33 new condo projects launched.
An official from the Chiang Mai Land Office said that the floods in Bangkok inspired people to move to Chiang Mai, purchasing land, houses and condos. Within five years, the price of land in the city is expected to be much higher and there will be less land for gated communities. It is expected that more Chiang Mai people will live in condos and the average price of a unit will be in the region of 1.5 million baht.
Housing projects will expand to areas outside the city, like Mae Rim, San Sai, Doi Saket, Sankampaeng and Saraphi. According to the statistics of Moo Baan projects from 2010-2012, there are 392 Moo Baan and 60 condo projects.