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Bangkok’s Second-Hand Condo Market

Posted by BKK.CONDOS on 12/04/2020
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As a follow on to “The Best Time to Buy a Condo in Bangkok” article mainly looking at what developers will do with their unsold condo inventory in Bangkok, what about pre-owned condos?
 
Are we likely to see price and rental reductions once the pandemic recedes and the market starts to pick up? A difficult question to answer and one which actually depends on the type of condo owner.
 
Broadly speaking we have Thai and foreign owners of condos in Bangkok, each of which can be simplistically split into two main categories of the purposes of this article.
 
Thai owners, or investors, make up the largest demographic of the condo market. They can be split into two main types:
 
▪ relatively rich Thai owners who buy condos to keep their money in “bricks and mortar”, expecting to, over time, get capital appreciation as values rise. They almost certainly buy in cash and some are prepared to leave their condos empty without tenants for years and years and are, usually, in no hurry and under no pressure to sell;
 
▪ Thai owners who have borrowed money from a bank via a loan or mortgage. The rental income from a typical condo covers the monthly mortgage repayments so they are, effectively, buying a condo for free! Some of these investors have acquired a second or third condo, essentially building an investment portfolio with the bank’s money. If their tenants are financially sound (tenants such as major corporate) and continue to pay rent, these investors should have no problem.

Interiors of a condominium unit in Bangkok
Interiors of a Bangkok’s Pre-Owned Condo

However, issues may arise where a tenant has had to leave Thailand and defaults on his lese or can no longer pay the “full” rent. If, as a result, the owner cannot afford to continue repayments to the bank then he/she may be forced to sell one or more of tier condos quickly—perhaps at a favourable price;
 
Foreigners who, as we all know, cannot get finance/mortgage to buy a condo in Bangkok can be split into two groups also:
 
▪ those who use their condo as a primary residence, have sufficient monthly income and are under no pressure to sell, and:
 
▪ those who may have commitments in their home country. These may be loans or mortgage or unexpected expenses which have arisen due to the pandemic. Or it may be the foreigner owns property in his home country and his tenant wants to break their lease or requests a rent reduction if he has lost his job or has been asked to take a salary reduction. As a result, this type of foreign owner may need to sell his Bangkok condo.
 
So, if you are looking to buy a condo in Bangkok try and find an owner who may be cash stressed in the short term and is wiling to agree a slightly lower price for a quick sale.
 
You never know, you might get a great deal!

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