The problems with property research

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COMMENT: Some problems with property research in Thailand are that it’s always at least three months out-of-date, and that one single report will never cover the entire real estate market.

When you contrast Thailand with Singapore, where a property purchase in the city-state yesterday will appear online for all to see today, there’s simply no comparison.

For Thailand’s buyers and investors, it makes making an informed decision almost impossible.

Some portals offer a reasonable indication as the pricing trends, but these are only asking prices, and in many instances, you can drop up to 15 percent from those figures, depending on the property, location and condition.

A perfect example of the problems of property research and how you cannot truly trust a single report has happened this week.

One real estate firm has suggested, in print, that new launches in the central part of the city during the first three months of this year, accounted for almost 70 percent of all new launches.

Just one day before, another real estate firm published a report suggesting that same percentage, some 70 percent, of new launches were happening outside of the current mass-transit networks and in suburban areas of the city.

And that’s the problem with property research.

No agency has the ability to visit the numerous, and there’s more than 50, land offices within Bangkok alone to check the actual sales prices of recent transactions, even if they were permitted by staff to look at them.

Real estate agencies and developers use their own internal data for the most part, and obviously not all agencies are equal in terms of what they report.

Some will only report on the deals that they are involved with, or ones where they are the sole sales agent.

For consumers this is simply not fair.

The best we can hope for is an idea of what’s happened more than three months ago, and then we need to understand what sector that particular agency or developer is reporting.

The problem with property research in Thailand is not an easy one to solve, and not one that we can expect to see changing anytime soon.


What are your thoughts? Do you take notice of research reports? What can be done simply and quickly to make the problems of property research disappear? It will surely be best for everyone?

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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