China property developer Country Garden, its largest, has entered Thailand and is planning a strong of developments in Bangkok next year.
Understandably, this will be great news to the 80 percent of current foreign buyers who originate from either Hong Kong or China, and the huge number that are expected to invest in Thailand property in future years.
This will be less welcome news for Thailand property developers.
According to Nikkei Asian Review, the developer is also looking for sites in Pattaya and Phuket.
The news website, quoting an unnamed industry source, said: “Many people in Thailand are not aware of Country Garden, and those in the know associate it with a suburban China property developer of mediocre properties.”
The respected news brand added that Bangkok continues to see a property boom that some fear may be turning into a bubble. The most dynamic features are condominiums near mass transit systems, and residential developments in outlying areas of Greater Bangkok.
Market watchers, it said, are not surprised by Country Garden’s interest in the Thai property boom.
Buyers from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan continue to be attracted by good value offerings.
It reported that about 37 percent of Thai property developer Sansiri’s foreign demand last year came from Hong Kong, and 31 percent from China.
“Country Garden’s [initial] projects in Thailand should be smaller scale so that it doesn’t invite Chinese government scrutiny,” said Alan Jin, an analyst with Mizuho Securities Asia in Hong Kong speaking to the news website.
This may not be the last China property developer to enter Thailand, and it’s almost a certainty that developers and real estate agents without the necessary Chinese contacts and language skills will miss out on business.
In reality that’s the majority, and it may already be too late for them to catch up.