Market research: the need to get real

market research
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A few weeks ago, real estate firm CBRE Thailand published a very timely article that highlighted the ongoing need for accurate, timely and comprehensive information and market research within Thailand’s property and real estate industry.

The firm said that, in many cases, information is not made public and highlighted the need for consultants, and indeed everyone in the industry, to collect and analyse data from the market

Whilst I commend the efforts behind this aim, I doubt it will happen anytime soon.

Aishwarya Bajaj, Analyst at CBRE Research and Consulting, noted that real estate market research can help all participants understand market conditions (in terms of supply and demand) and customers’ needs and desires.

“All participants in the property market need accurate market research to identify potential problems such as oversupply of a particular product in a particular area, opportunities for new products, or new locations.”

Bajaj added that in a competitive property market like Thailand, property developers also need to be market leaders and not market followers, because what has worked in the past may not necessarily work again as market conditions or customers change.

In some countries, such as in Singapore, there is a vast amount of publicly, and instantly, available data online. This includes transaction information such as sale prices of properties.

Pictured above is data for sales this month from Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, highlighting how transparent data can help buyers make more informed decisions about prices, for example.

In theory at least, property market transparency in Thailand should lead to more efficient markets with buyers, sellers, users, and lenders all having access to similar information.

Though even in transparent markets, housing bubbles can occur when speculative buying occurs in the marketplace, and this is more likely to occur in markets with less transparency.

“Due to Thailand’s policy of not disclosing transaction data, it is difficult to find out what prices have been achieved for resales in completed developments or land transaction prices in Thailand.“

Bajaj said that steps have been taken by public and private sectors in Thailand to try to provide more data however, this data is still not as open compared to other countries -where price data on actual transactions is easily available online.

In the past I have written excessively about the lack of consistency between real estate research reports covering the same areas during the same timeframe.

This is because the authoring agencies generally only focus on the transactions they’ve handled or know about.

If you add all this research together you might just get a general idea of what happened several months ago at best.

Andrew Batt
The author of this article is Andrew Batt, the founder and editor of Andrew has been writing about property and real estate issues in Thailand and Southeast Asia for more than 10 years. He has worked for PropertyGuru Group, DDproperty, Dot Property Group, Hipflat and AsiaRents. He has also produced content for leading Thailand property developers and real estate agencies.

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