Industry analysts expect the Greater Bangkok property market will pick up in the second half of 2015.
The growth will be driven by mass-transit lines that are due to start running in the next few years.
Samma Kitsin, director-general of the Real Estate Information Center (REIC), said Greater Bangkok’s property market, notably from 2015-17, would be driven largely by the Purple Line linking Bang Yai and Bang Sue, which will start operation by the end of 2016.
According to the REIC, new housing supply in Greater Bangkok in the first two months of 2015 totalled 9,090 units, comprising 5,390 low-rise units and 3,700 condo units.
The latter saw a 50% drop from the same period a year earlier, while the former was stable.
The REIC expects housing market sentiment to perk up after the long Songkran holiday and revert to normal in the third quarter, as large developers launch more projects during the period.
Mr Samma predicts a revitalised provincial property market in 2016 and 2017 as the government invests in infrastructure projects.
Thongma Vijitpongpun, chief executive of SET-listed Pruksa Real Estate Plc, said his company’s presales in the first two months of this year were in line with targets and should improve from the second quarter onwards.
“The recent cut in the economic growth forecast [by the Bank of Thailand] to 3.8% from 4% will have a minimal impact on homebuyer decisions, as a 0.2% or even 0.5% cut does not make people feel the pinch,” he said.
Housing demand will continue to grow as long as there is no serious situation like an economic crisis or political violence, Mr Thongma said.
One of the key issues is home loan approvals for non-salaried people, who have no payslips to show their financial status.
Pruksa has frequently talked with commercial banks to help find ways to give home loans to such customers.
Non-salaried people account for 60% of the company’s customers. Often they are entrepreneurs and small-business owners.
“The young generation prefer having their own business to being an employee,” Mr Thongma said yesterday at a seminar on housing finance. “But when they want to buy a house, it is difficult for them to obtain a mortgage.”
He said state-owned banks such as GH Bank and the Government Savings Bank had a better understanding of this customer group, visiting the customer’s business to evaluate financial capability.
Most of these buyers purchase condo units in the range of 1-3 million baht.
Mr Thongma said the mortgage rejection rate for Pruksa’s customers in the first two months was at a satisfactory level of 10-15%, on a par with last year’s.
“If property tax is charged at 1,000 baht a year, Thais will accept that,” he said.
“But if the rate varies year by year on property value, they may be reluctant to buy.”