The Best Time to Buy a Condo in Bangkok
As Bangkok stays under partial lockdown and business activities remain curtailed owing to the pandemic, many property developers have already made plans to defer some of their new developments.
In some cases, this has been an involuntary choice as many of the building construction workers who are, typically, from Cambodia or Myanmar have left Thailand. The voluntary cases are more common though as business strategies dictate the need to preserve cashflows—and there is little point in continuing to build condos if the number of buyers has reduced.
However, if you are planning to buy a condo in Bangkok, this may all be positive.
Developers need to unload older stock
To start with, developers of condos will have an overhang of existing inventory, that is condo units they have not been able to sell. Ideally, they wish to sell most of them before they launch new projects. Most developers do not, initially, wish to lower prices so are likely to offer “value-adds”. These may be things such as (extra) furnishings (sofas, beds, fridges), or white goods (washing machines, refrigerators, dish washers or water heaters) or air-conditioners. Sometimes developers will offer so-called “cash-rebates” in the form of coupons or certificates which can be taken to the local curtain shop or homes furnishing store and redeemed at no cost to the condo buyer.
The intent is clear: stimulate demand without resorting to apparent price reductions, and clear up their unsold condo inventory.
Concurrent with this (and unfortunately this will not really help foreigners unless they have a Thai partner), many developers are lining up “mortgage packages” in conjunction with local banks on what will be relatively favourable terms.
It’s worth to try for a price reduction
Most buyers, foreign and local, however will prefer price reductions. Developers will usually not publicly announce this, partly so as not to unduly upset those who have already bought in the development. But partly also to appear to be “holding” their pricing for the benefit of any other projects they have in the pipeline in market.
This, of course, does not mean that if you like a condo and make an offer the developer will not accept. They, obviously, have their “bottom line” price. So, it’s worth shopping around and seeing which blocks you like and comparing what “deals” are available.
It is, of course, unclear how long the current situation will last but one effect will be that the forecast higher supply of condos particularly along the BTS and MRT lines will be scaled back.
There may never be a better time to look at buying a condo in Bangkok…