The expat apartment market in Bangkok is performing well, even as more rental units in condo buildings hit the market. Despite the number of expats working in Bangkok only seeing modest growth, the segment has high occupancy, according to research from CBRE Thailand.
“The most popular choice is to rent an apartment or condo because there are few houses or townhouses to rent in most expatriate areas. There is limited competition with serviced apartments, but only for studio and 1-bedroom units, not larger units,” says CBRE Thailand Research and Consulting Analyst Malin Phlernjai to the Bangkok Post.
Most expats chose to live in the Sukhumvit, Lumpini, and Sathorn areas of Bangkok. This group prefers renting a unit as they will only stay in Bangkok between 2 and 3 years. The reason apartments are appealing is because tenants are able to go to building owners for repairs and requests. This isn’t always possible in condos being rented out by an individual owner.
“In a condominium, the individual owner is responsible for the maintenance inside the unit and the building’s property manager is only responsible for the maintenance of the common areas. This means it can be difficult for tenants to get individual owners to repair items quickly,” says Malin.
At the moment, there are 10,500 expat-standard apartments in Bangkok’s CBD areas and the occupancy for these is 97 per cent. This is compared to the 74,400 condo units in the same areas. Of this total, CBRE estimates that 30 to 40 per cent of the condos are rented out by their owner.
There are 400 apartment units under construction in the most popular expat locations in Bangkok. This is significantly less than the 22,200 condo units under construction in the same areas.
“The prospects for single-ownership apartments are good, especially for 2- and 3-bedroom units. Tenants prefer single-ownership buildings to condos and few new 2-, 3-, and 4-bedroom apartment and condominium units are being built,” says Malin.
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