Ultra-small homes unlikely to appear in Bangkok

THE Bangkok property market is unlikely to see the introduction of ultra-small homes such as those that raised a few eyebrows in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, Robert Collins, CEO of Savills Thailand said recently.

Tiny homes are called coffin apartments in Hong Kong and it seems the coffin recently got smaller because ten “space capsule” units came on the market offering just 2.2 square meters of living space for HK$5,100 or 23,036 baht a month.

However each pod comes with a television, air-conditioning and a memory foam mattress. It also has special lights which “create the feeling of being in space.” A kitchen and a toilet are shared by the occupants of the 292-square-meter (960-square-feet) apartment.

robert-collins-ceo-savills-thailand-1Nine apartments in Shenzhen, in southern China’s Guangdong province, measuring around six square meters each were all sold in a single morning recently. Fortunately, the new homeowners receive an extra six square meters free of charge in the form of a kitchen-cum-bathroom setup. The homes sold for an average price of 150,000 yuan or 777,751 baht per square meter.

Mr Collins said that people in these other Asian cities are unlikely to buy property in Bangkok even though it is much cheaper because they live and work there and in many instances it is all that they can afford.

“It’s only that case because of extremely scarcity of land, particularly Hong Kong and Tokyo, which has led to ultra-compact residential offerings being conceived in the first place.

“They are probably slightly gimmicky and in Bangkok, where there is an oversupply of one-bedrooms, it’s unlikely this market will ever need to cater to something like that.”

However Mr Collins has noticed that small numbers of very wealthy Hong Kong residents who already have a central business district residence in their home city do come and buy very large condominium apartments in the center of Bangkok close to the tourism and shopping areas.

“This is because of the scale of opulence which they can’t get back home at what is considered to be really a fraction of the cost and they enjoy the sense of space and the services that come with it.

“But that trend, whether we start seeing it at the incredibly, intensely small end, I think is unlikely – you are dealing with a much more frugal and stretched economic individual who is perhaps looking at that level.”

Where Chinese buyers are concerned, Mr Collins said they are still playing in markets such as New Zealand, Canada and UK with these countries being way higher on the list than Bangkok.

“Bangkok is too close, it doesn’t offer certain lifestyle choices and aspirations they are after.”

Savills Thailand is also not seeing any Indian buyers with the local Indian community here of course buying Bangkok properties but that is a completely different scenario.

“There is not a new wave of modern buying (from India),” Mr Collins added.


Top: A green part of downtown Bangkok. Photo: ThaiResidents.com

By Nina Suebsukcharoen




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