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Full Version: Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Road remains top expat location
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The expatriate community in Bangkok grew by over 13.8 percent from December 2004 compared to December 2005. According to the latest CB Richard Ellis residential rental report, there are now 61,913 foreigners with work permits in Bangkok, excluding diplomatic staff. The report stated that 22 percent of the total number of expatriates were Japanese, followed by Indians (12 percent), Chinese (9 percent), British (9 percent) and American (7 percent).

These numbers are expected to grow, especially within the Japanese community due to the growth in the number of Japanese companies manufacturing in Thailand.

The supply of apartments in Bangkok’s Central Areas increased slightly in 2005 to 9,953 units, a 1.4 percent increase over the third quarter of 2005. A total of 142 new units in three building were completed in the fourth quarter of 2005: namely Sofitel Residence Asoke on Soi Sukhumvit 19, BT Residence on Soi Sukhumvit 8, and Blossom Ville on Soi Sukhumvit 63/4. Apartments are single ownership developments rather than multi ownership condominiums.

Sukhumvit is still the most popular area due to its wide variety of retail and entertainment facilities. This area accounts for 69 percent of the total stock in downtown Bangkok. Grade A apartments comprise 1,526 units, a 15 percent share of the total stock. Key characteristics of grade A apartments are easily accessible with a good location, design, layout, interior, property management and adequate facilities for residents. Overall occupancy rates increased to 90.6 percent and rents for grade A apartment properties rose by 1.4 percent at the end of 2005.

“Today roughly 60 percent of expatriates receive a housing allowance from their companies. The balances of expatriates are on lump sum salaries,” according to Mr. Theerathorn Prapunpong, head of Residential Leasing Services at CB Richard Ellis. “These tenants want modern accommodation with hotel-style bathrooms and European kitchens.”

Much of the rental stock in Bangkok is more than ten years old and only new or recently refurbished developments are able to achieve the best rentals.

CB Richard Ellis expects rentals for new accommodation to increase. Expatriate numbers are expected to grow. There will be 513 new apartment units completed in 2006 and 2007. There will also be 5,279 condominium units. Many of the new condominium units are aimed at the local market with much smaller sized units and will not compete directly with apartments. Based on recent completions, more than 50 percent of new luxury condominium supply will be owner-occupied and the balance available for rent.

Thailand Property Report
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