Disruption, not decline, will be the lasting legacy of COVID-19 on the Thailand property market

COVID-19 Impacted the Thailand Property Market Dot Property Group Report: How Has COVID-19 Impacted the Thailand Property Market?
The Dot Property Group Report: How Has COVID-19 Impacted the Thailand Property Market? can be downloaded for free

There is no shortage of anecdotal answers regarding how COVID-19 has impacted the Thailand property market. Some of these are negative, some are positive and others contradictory. This lack of clarity is what inspired us to create the Dot Property Group Report: How Has COVID-19 Impacted the Thailand Property Market? Click here to download your FREE copy.

In this report, we provide a holistic view of the market by pairing our insights on demand from Thailand’s key locations with separate developer and agent surveys. This ensures proper context of the situation from multiple perspectives.

The greatest impact COVID-19 has had on the Thailand property market comes in the form of disruption. There is no denying real estate sales are down throughout the country because of the pandemic. Nearly 90 percent of agents and 91 percent of developers told us as much when asked. However, trends in demand show something beyond an across-the-board decline.

Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than the Bangkok condominium market which remains Thailand’s single largest residential sector. As you would expect, overseas demand declined during the pandemic. On the other hand, domestic demand for condo units in the Thai capital was essentially flat.

This coincided with a notable increase from both groups for housing in Bangkok and the surrounding areas. For example, domestic demand for suburban homes rose by 12.3 percent during the pandemic (April 2020-March 2021) when compared to the preceding 12-month period.

Bangkok housing demand COVID-19
Demand for Bangkok housing rose across the board during the COVID-19 pandemic

In terms of what people were looking for in Bangkok condominium units, that has changed as well. More than 70 percent of all overseas demand was focused on two price groupings: condos THB3 million or less and units THB10 million or above. This was an 11 percent increase from pre-pandemic totals.

More than 80 percent of developers and agents told us it is taking property seekers longer to make a buying decision. Some of the challenge is logistical, such as overseas buyers being unable to travel. A portion of it is related to economic factors, like banks in Thailand being more hesitant to issue loans.

Thailand property market COVID-19
Most developers surveyed saw sales decline with potential buyers requesting more time to make a decision

But another factor is the disruption of what property seekers are looking for in terms of size, price and location. COVID-19 has changed what is being valued in a home or investment property. Individuals are now taking more time to explore all available options. Evolving priorities and lifestyle modifications are also why places like Hua Hin and Samui saw demand increase during the pandemic.

Prior to the latest COVID-19 outbreak in Thailand, even the markets hit hardest by the pandemic, Phuket and the Eastern Seaboard, were seeing demand start to rise. There may not have been a consensus on when the Thailand property market would return to pre COVID-19 levels among the developers and real estate agents we surveyed, but most foresaw it happening by 2023.

While the focus is on when the Thailand property market will get back on track, most people believe this is a short-term dip. It is far more important to understand how COVID-19 has disrupted what people are now looking for. The key to success moving forward is adapting to this disruption. And that will be the pandemic’s ultimate legacy.

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The Dot Property Group Report: How Has COVID-19 Impacted the Thailand Property Market? was compiled using data from Thailand-Property, Dot Property Thailand and Hipflat. International demand was gathered from Thailand-Property.com where the bulk of traffic comes from foreign users. Domestic figures are collected from Dot Property and Hipflat, two websites with predominantly local traffic.

While many online real estate marketplaces use pageviews to represent demand, we focused exclusively on enquiries, or when a user requests more information from a seller about a specific property. This is a tangible action that constitutes genuine interest and better reflects actual demand as opposed to a more general browsing.

Data was separated into two distinct 12-month periods. The first is between April 2019 and March 2020, or pre COVID-19. The second stretch is between April 2020 and March 2021, or during COVID-19.

Click here to download your free copy