Thailand’s largest condominium developer LPN Development believes the revision of condo laws will negatively affect most developers due to an increase in costs to build larger units.
Last week the Lands Department said it planned to amend the current condominium law to change the definition of a condo, including a requirement that a condominium complex should have at least three storeys and each unit should be no smaller than 30sqm.
According to Lands Department director-general Anuwat Maytheewibulwut, some developers have converted low-rise buildings such as townhouses or detached houses into condominiums, which can be sold to foreigners. Several developers made very small rooms of 10-20sqm, lowering the living standard of the residents.
LPN Development managing director Opas Sripayak disagreed with the Lands Department as he believed that city condo buyers are concerned more with price than size.
“The best way to improve people’s living standard, for us, is to make affordable options for them,” said Opas. “We don’t think larger units are necessarily better than small ones, if we can develop smaller rooms to be more functional to support people’s lifestyles.”
He also added that if developers have to build a room of 30sqm instead of current sizes of between 22-25sqm, the prices would have to be inevitably increased, or else, the projects would have to be located out of town.
“The real demands of Bangkok condos are buyers who can afford a condo priced between THB600,000-900,000 (US$19,500-29,250) per unit. The increase in prices will drive them away from the city. And I don’t think this would be the government’s intention.”
If the law remains uncurbed, Opas still believed that property developers would build condominiums with per-unit utilisation space lower than 22.5sqm.