According to Knight Frank Thailand, suburbs have contributed greatly to the growth of Bangkok's condominium market, accounting for some 70% of launches, or 22,465 units, in the first half of 2013.
This growth was most pronounced close to the extensions of mass transit lines.
The company's research of the first half of this year found that the capital's new supply had increased by 18% since last year to 32,244 units, mostly in the peripheral area. The city fringe area accounted for 25% and the central business district 5%.
The growth in the peripheral area was fuelled especially by the extension of the Skytrain's Sukhumvit line from On Nut to Bearing, covering the east side, and from Krung Thon Buri to Bang Wa, covering the south across the Chao Phraya River to Thon Buri district.
Much activity was also seen in the proximity of the MRT Purple Line extension that links northwestern Bangkok from Bang Sue district to Nonthaburi province. This area saw 13 projects with 5,486 units launched.
The area around the Skytrain extension to Bearing included 3,136 newly launched units from 12 projects. Together, the areas surrounding mass transit extensions accounted for 9,123 units, or 46% of the total new supply.
Risinee Sarikaputra, director of research and consultancy, said that demand for units from Krung Thon Buri to Bang Wa represented the highest take-up rate of 51% of the total supply during the launching period.
This reflects the entry of many leading developers to this market segment, which is considered to be a strategic location for development, as the two major mass-transit lines can service residents in this area.
The area around outer Sukhumvit Road from On Nut to Samut Prakan also became a key development zone. This area showed good sales performance, with 49.7% of units sold.
The growth reflects the availability of land, where prices are not as high as in the inner Sukhumvit area. Also, the area affords convenient access to the city centre by road or mass transit, and it boasts ample public facilities, shopping malls, retail outlets and an exhibition centre. This, coupled with relatively low existing supply, points to great supply growth in the future.
The unit take-up of the overall market was good. Among the newly launched units, the rate was 56%, representing 18,234 units sold. In the peripheral area, the take-up rate was robust at 52.8%, representing 11,864 units sold.
Demand in the peripheral market encompasses the medium-to-low-end segment, targeting buyers who had rented apartments. While buyers can now shift to condo ownership and pay monthly instalments comparable to their rent, unit sizes are compact. However, buyers gain the convenience of being situated along the Skytrain or MRT route.
The average peripheral selling price was highest along Krung Thon Buri-Bang Wa, at Bt106,083-Bt109,111 per square metre.