Thailand property: more unaffordable than Singapore

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By one measure at least, Thailand property and real estate is more unaffordable than Singapore.

Crowdsourcing data website numbeo.com, in its mid-year Index of countries around the world, lists Thailand property in seventh place in terms of price-to-income ratio – one measure of property affordability.

Venezuala topped this particular list (below) with a figure of 154.74, while Hong Kong (46.89) was more than double Thailand’s figure of 21.52.

Singapore was ranked in eighth position, just behind Thailand, with a figure of 21.18.

Numbeo.com said that its ‘Price to Income Ratio’ is the basic measure for apartment purchase affordability (and lower is better).

It is generally calculated as the ratio of median apartment prices to median familial disposable income, expressed as years of income (although variations are used also elsewhere).

Numbeo’s formula assumes and uses net disposable family income, as defined as 1.5 * the average net salary (50 percent is the assumed percentage of women in the workforce), a median apartment size of 90 sqm, and the price per sqm (that the formula uses) is the average price per sqm in the city centre and outside of the city centre.

Thailand is also ranked ahead of Singapore for ‘Mortgage as a percentage of Income’.

Numbeo defines this particular metric as a ratio of the actual monthly cost of a mortgage to take-home family income. The average monthly salary is used to estimate family income. It assumes 100 percent mortgage is taken for 20-years for a property in the city centre and outside of the city centre with an average price and measuring 90 sqm.

All its data is provided by users of the website, and thus provides an important indicator of on-the-ground experiences, although we suspect the data may relate more to non-Thais living in Thailand due to the website’s use of English.

Elsewhere, other Southeast Asian countries ranked lower than Thailand.

Vietnam was ranked in 9th place (20.07), the Philippines (10th, 19.45), Indonesia (24th, 13.84) and Malaysia (67th, 9.33).

So, why is Thailand property and real estate more unaffordable than Singapore, and also more than twice as unaffordable as the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States?

We believe the reason is a combination of relatively high prices here combined with relatively low incomes compared with elsewhere in the world.

Obviously, this is just one website and one measure of affordability, or otherwise, but when you take into account that Thailand was ranked 27th with a score of 18.19 just two years ago, it’s clear that by this measure at least, Thailand property and real estate is becoming more unaffordable.

Andrew Batt
The author of this article is Andrew Batt, the founder and editor of www.thailandproperty.news. 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.
Email: andrew.thailandpropertynews@gmail.com.

3 Comments

  1. Dear Orrin, thanks for your comments.

    As previously published, I (Andrew) write and edit most of the content for this website but there are others involved – hence the use of we because this is more than just me. That said, I am probably more known now for this website than for any of the other editorial and content management roles I have had in Thailand and more widely in Southeast Asia over the past 12+ years.

    With regards to the article, I think it’s quite clear. In real terms, property in Thailand is more expensive than in Singapore – according to the data from http://www.numbeo.com.

    Thanks again for taking time to share your comments.

  2. I continue to be confused by the use of “we” in these articles making it seem as if there is more than person behind this site. I have been reading for months and this website has one author, Andrew Batt. It seems as if “we” is used to make the market opinions of one man appear to be of more significance. I could be wrong and if this is the case I will humbly apologise.

    I am also confused by the commentor. What he is saying is very confusing. Can you please clarify? I am a bit jetlagged after a flight back to the UK but this comment is very much nonsense even in this groggiest of states I find myself in.

  3. I thinking never heard this before but know this comes from your source I think well documented! I never expect here I have applied mathematics 🙂 Very interesting applications, I travel now and but read Thailandproperty.news everyday. Bookmark!

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