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Spirited Property Market in Bangkok

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As Bangkok yet again finds itself in the midst of political turmoil and mass protests, questions regarding the extent to which the situation will impact the capital city’s property market are likely to be raised.

Thailand, however, is well versed in overcoming disasters, both man-made and natural. Following the three-month-long “red-shirt” demonstrations in 2010, the market, as analysts predicted, naturally plummeted in the following quarter. Yet in a matter of months property prices and transaction volumes had resumed to 2009 levels, defying many analysts’ expectations.

A similar return to form was witnessed in the aftermath of the 2011 floods, with a number of major developers recording year-on-year profit in the second quarter of the following year, while supply of luxury property in key investment destination, such as Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya, in some cases surpassed figures recorded in 2011.

Earlier this month, prior to the protests reaching their current fever pitch, industry experts announced that they expected demand for Bangkok residential property to slow due to buyers’ lack of interest in purchasing during the time of unrest. Apa Ataboonwongse, vice-president and secretary-general of the Thai Condominium Association, told the Bangkok Post that she estimated property sales would decline in the final quarter of 2013. Based on this logic, analysts must now expect a market downturn in the remaining two months of the year.

One of the other noticeable trends associated with Bangkok-related turmoil in the past has been major developers’ shift in focus from the capital to other areas of the country, especially at the high-end of the market. This trend has already taken hold in the last 12 months, so we could potentially see further developments emerge in the country’s other key hubs if the situation continues to escalate.

While it remains to too early to predict the eventual outcome and subsequent side effects of the current political debacle, chances are the Bangkok property market, if impacted at all, will have no problem recovering and it will soon be back to business as usual.

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