COVID-19 impact is far-reaching. Aside from the obvious healthcare concerns it has raised, it has defined a ‘new norm’ and has battered economies and livelihoods globally. Nearly all industries have been affected one way or another, including Thailand’s property market.
Research collected by Thailand Consumer Sentiment Study in a recent study, ‘The COVID-19 Situation Affecting Property-Related Decisions’ has revealed the impact the virus has ensued on the Thai property market stating that three in four Thais have delayed their property purchase as a direct result of the pandemic.
A viewpoint shared across all age groups signifying the biggest concern the virus has raised. Additionally, a third have faced issues with securing a home loan that is likely caused by weaker job security and less funding for a deposit.
Interestingly respondents from the study felt that they were well informed about the outbreak with very few citing the inability to attain sufficient information that could influence their buying decision. This indicates how well connected we are as individuals and societies to share information and on a real-time basis.
The study reinforces this notion as it concludes that three out of four Thais use social media and property portals to source information relating to the property market, a significant shift from when property agents were the sole providers in relaying market news.
However, property agents are still the eyes and ears of the real estate market and their knowledge and experience are required as content for social media platforms, blogs, and online articles even though readers might not necessarily be aware of this.
Social media platforms do allow users to access individual experiences and viewpoints that might be glossed over in marketing collateral. There is a real desire for raw material and content and not just images that are edited and filtered. Users are increasingly aware of such techniques that do not fool them when forming an opinion or making a decision.
One respondent in their thirties stated that they would look for a property online and visit the brand website to gather further information suggesting the importance and accessibility of information.
This stresses how developers need to invest in their brand and marketing to lure in investors who previously would have visited the site first as part of their research strategy but no longer do so due to the pandemic.
Lastly, the younger demographic of Thais has said that they are most likely to discount properties in COVID-19 infected areas suggesting that the pandemic has not entirely deterred their property search.
Likewise, while the vast majority are hesitant to dabble in the property market at such an uncertain time, 15% consider this as a good time to make a property purchase capitalising on developer offers and promotions that have been introduced to help boost sales.
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