… and who will come out on top in the battle of the portals and hybrids, 2020 and beyond?
How big is the Thailand economy? Is Thailand just for tourism?
The explosive growth in the economy has now placed Thailand as the second largest economy in Southeast Asia. With over 70 million people now residing in Thailand, the country boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world, and is now one of the great emerging markets success stories.
The common misbelief is that tourism is the main driver (9% of GDP), but industry and manufacturing in Thailand make up around 50% of the total GDP of the country. This has led to a booming Thai Baht (THB) along with a thriving growing economy.
Thailand is cheap? How much is a 3-bedroom villa by the beach?
Just like the question above, there is a common perception that Thailand is cheap. In the last decade the appreciation of the Thai Baht against all major currencies along with the large influx of tourists driven to Thailand, prices have risen exponentially. Thailand is now by no means cheap, and the core cities like Bangkok and Phuket has seen prices in real estate rocket over the past years. Thailand offers some of the most exquisite real-estate in the world, with some amazing beach side properties, and no, it’s no longer cheap.
Where do we go to buy property? My friend Dave knows someone…?
Since 2010, the way that people search for homes in Thailand has completely changed. Previously the ‘mom and pop’ stores that dominated the highstreets have slowly washed away. Most expats living in Thailand previously knew another expat that sold property. Everyone had a mate called ‘Dave’ that knew very little about real estate but was selling it as the foremost ‘expert’. These days are over and ‘arise’ the new era of PropTech companies.
What are PropTech companies and who are the players?
The word PropTech has been massively overused. Companies providing not much more than a marketplace (like Craigslist or Gumtree) have now defined themselves as PropTech’ companies. You would hope that organisations bearing this name would help evolve the process of selling real estate, but instead their core focus is on selling advertising to agents and property developers.
The Thailand market is very fragmented with no clear dominant player. Although there are leaders in both the local Thai market and international market, not one company has yet shown the way. Below is a breakdown of the top 5 players based on our observations.
Why is the PropTech market in Thailand so valuable? How much is it worth?
PropTech companies in western markets have evolved and now carry very large valuations. Currently we are in the era of valuations based on revenue and not core profit, driven by the IPO’s and domination of tech companies globally.
Comparisons can be drawn against western markets such as the UK, where Rightmove who is the clear leader is valued in excess of US$7.5 billion… yes, that’s Billion with a capital B. The company is trading at around 20x its annual revenue (2018). This trend exists across all core established western markets with REA Group in Australia and Zillow Group in America showing similar trends.
This has got many in the emerging markets very excited, with the rapid growth of the economies in Southeast Asia. With a quickly scaling population and growing GDP and every evolving property market, we expect there to be the rise of the new billion-dollar PropTech player to be a definitive guarantee as opposed to a what if. It’s not really if for Thailand, it’s now just a case of how quickly the market consolidates.
♥ Traffic – We estimate around 1.9m sessions, making this platform the most popular according to our statistics. Established in 2007, 13 years has seen DD grow to be the market leader, focusing on sales and rental clients.
♥ Brand Recognition – DD most definitely has the best brand recognition domestically. This is down to the large audience and the scale of the parent company Property Guru who also hold No.1 positions in multiple regions.
♥ Inventory – DD has a lot of properties listed by owners and agents. This is a minefield but defiantly has the largest stock count of all platforms.
x Transparency – DD favors paid listings as ‘exclusive’ which just means that the agent or owner has paid. This is not representative of what the consumer is looking for. Also multiple agents listing the same units at invalidated prices creates misinformation for consumers.
x Lack of Innovation – The market has been waiting for DD to innovate but it seems that they have just stood still. We’re not too sure if this is to do with the fact that Property Guru was about to IPO and they wanted stability, but the company has not really innovated in the market.
x Agent Focused – DD is purely built around revenue from agents and developers. They are effectively a marketing platform for these actors and their focus on helping consumers is limited.
Our Verdict is 8/10 – There is no denying that this is the biggest platform currently. Lots of traffic and visitors but a lack of innovation leads DD open to being toppled and that will be a slippery slope for the company moving forward. Consumers are bending towards products that offer more value that just pure listings so will be interesting to see how DD develop over the next 5 years.
♥ Growth – DOT has grown over the last few years to become a number 2 in the market. They have 2 brands Thailand property and Dot Property which is effectively the same platform in English and Thai languages. Between both platforms they serve a lot of users.
♥ Strong EN/TH – DOT has both dotproperty and Thailand-property brands which are both very strong in the respective Thai and English languages. This company is the only platform to lead in catering for both markets.
x Conflict – DOT is a real estate portal that serves agencies, but also owns its own agency called Homes Thailand that sells real estate in Thailand. Throughout the supply chain, the company chooses to empower their customers but also competes in the same business as their customers
x Quality vs Quantity – After speaking to multiple agents, there are many disgruntled with the quality of lead flow that DOT provides. Once logged into the platform, DOT then tracks user’s behavior on site, and sends potential leads without the consumers consciously requesting. Not sure how scalable this tactic is especially with global growing concerns regarding use of data.
x Agent Focused – Like the other portals, DOT is focused on empowering the agents and not the consumers (buyers or renters). Their revenue streams are linked heavily to developers
Our Verdict is 7/10 – DOT has seen an amazing growth strategy predominately fueled by its parent companies. Now the acquisition by Lifull puts the two largest aggregators (Mitula and Trovit) together, empowering DOT and Thailand-Property by sheer force. The core downside is the absolute conflict of interest (Homes Thailand) which the wider market is unaware of, but have limited choices to diversify.
♥ Transparency – FazWaz does not take payments from home owners, agents or developers to rank listings. Properties are rank by machine learning, that serves consumers what they are looking for as opposed to showing properties that people have paid to feature.
♥ Quality – The company has a centralized team that qualifies every buyer or renter that comes through their platform. Only leads that are fully qualified are passed to either the owner, developer or agent, so this results in a much better customer experience.
♥ Innovation – FazWaz mission is to ‘make buying a property as easy as renting one’. This has led to lots of innovative technologies that facilitates the sales process. The company is talking about dynamic pricing, live auctions and selling property online, in a bid to evolve the Thai real estate market.
♥ Consumer Focused – Because FazWaz is a hybrid model, their core user base is the home owners and consumers. This puts a consumer first focus on their business model which leads to added value through the supply chain.
♥ Search – Moving towards 2020, you would expect that map-based search is the default for all companies, but so far only FazWaz has managed to adopt this. With the golden rules of real estate being, “location, location, location”, FazWaz finds an easy way to help the users navigate.
x Market Share – FazWaz is relatively new to the scene (formed in 2015) and has been growing but is still relatively small in relation to the leaders.
Our Verdict is 8.5/10 – FazWaz is working to change the way people buy properties in Thailand and is a standalone offering in the market. The company is really innovating in providing solutions for real market problems. Currently, its still not one of the most trafficked platforms but if the growth continues down the same trajectory, FazWaz will probably become the dominant player in the Thailand ecosystem.
♥ Data – Baania has become the data kings of Thailand providing the most useful data to the market. There has been a real focus around this aspect providing as much information about projects, regions or the overall market.
♥ Inventory – Baania boasts probably the most up-to-date inventory on projects across Thailand. They literally have every project with up-to-date reviews, information on builds and much more
♥ Innovation – Baania is pioneering some interesting innovation that includes price estimates and locations scores. This are similar to what is available in the USA market, but updated to Thailand. A lot of their inspiration comes from Zillow / Trulia.
x Too Much Data – Similar to this being a positive it can also be a negative. Some users don’t want to be overloaded with data, and just want to simplify the buying process. Some of this should be restricted to professional investors who will find this information more useful
x North Focus – Baania has launched out of North Thailand, and the focus is clearly on the northern regions. They are coming more south but have yet to gain market share in the core markets such as Bangkok and surrounding regions.
x Unclear Focus – We are not sure if Baania knows their end game. Are they trying to be a portal, agency, bank or something else? Trying to be the everything of real estate, will probably confuse users and dilute this mission
Our Verdict is 7.5/10 – Baania is a clear one to watch. They are doing some really interesting things in the market, but face stiff competition from DD and DOT who have significant comparable market share. The do have a very compelling offering and if they grow market share, they could provide a real challenge to the leader’s dominance.
♥ Bangkok – Hipflat are certainly well known in the capital city. They pioneered search by project in Thailand and have historical gains in both search and branding that has allowed them to maintain a key status in the main region in Thailand.
♥ Projects – Hipflat rank online very well for buildings across Thailand. If your looking for a specific building or project you are almost sure to find the Hipflat site in some capacity.
x Innovation – Once the golden child of innovating the Thailand PropTech market, Hipflat has somewhat stood still in recent years. There was a shift towards blockchain (buzzword for 2017) but nothing more has really happened on the platform.
x Growth – Hipflat was once viewed as a number 2 positioned marketplace, but DOT has now far surpassed them. The numbers that we are viewing, Hipflat is bouncing up and down but not moving forwards.
Our Verdict is 6.5/10 – Hipflat was the poster child of Thai tech startups, has slowly fallen away from the top. The business really needs to shift around, to become competitive again. They still have some core advantages and will be interesting to see how they move forward in 2020. The lack of growth really diminishes their overall score.
Overall verdict – With DD owned by ProperyGuru and DOT owned by Lifull, in order for another player to compete and challenge for market dominance one of two things will need to be achieved. The most obvious is consolidation of lower players into a bigger entity to gain market share.
The later and more difficult option is for one of the companies to provide real innovation in a market lacking in transparency. FazWaz and Baania are definitely the ones to watch as they provide the biggest disruption to the current market. DD need to capitalise on their position and DOT needs to become more transparent about their business before alienating the market.Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
10 proven tips to sell your property quickly in Thailand
Selling property can be a headache, especially when you sell in an unfamiliar market like Thailand. However, it doesn’t have to be like that. There are several fool-proof ways we have gathered from experienced agents at Fazwaz Property Group in Thailand to help you increase your viewings and sell your property faster.
1. Have the right attitude
Thailand is a buyer’s market, not a seller’s market. There’s more supply than demand and buyers have plenty of choices when it comes to buying property. Consequently, properties that are overpriced are very hard to sell, said Bangkok-based property consultant Praveen PalSingh.
2. Be a detective and offer the right price
This is the most important point. Search around the property and see what prices per square meter other villas or condos in the building, or in that area, are selling for, said Bangkok property consultant, Anjana Arora.
You can look at online listings or use tools like interactive maps featured at Fazwaz.com to find the average price per sq m in your building or in your area.
“Make a property comparison on Fazwaz by circling other properties in the area to see what they are priced for and if your property is priced according to the market and location,” added Hua Hin sales director Stephen Van der Merwe. For example, this is an interactive map showing condominiums in Asoke area, Bangkok where Fazwaz’s head office is located.
3. List your property online
Sakunee Meethong from Hua Hin said it is a good idea to list your property on online property websites. These websites have a wider reach and provide more exposure than hanging a ‘For Sale’ sign in front of your house.
4. Use high-quality photos
Attractive photos attract clients. Ask yourself if you have updated and high-quality photos for your property, said Hua Hin sales director Stephen Van der Merwe. “If the property looks good online, it will attract more attention.”
5. Make your offer stand out
The best way to sell a property fast is to set the price below the market price or “make the unit stand out from other similar units for sale,” said Praveen PalSingh. This includes nicer views and better furniture and appliances, he said.
6. Highlight location
Don’t forget to highlight the location and nearby amenities, advised Chayanin Chumphukham, who specializes in the Chiang Mai market. Nearby schools, universities, parks, restaurants, hospitals, shopping malls, 7-elevens, highways, as well as famous attractions are something you should add to the description.
7. Be flexible with viewing hours
Chayanin recommends sellers to offer flexible viewing hours, which can increase viewings and the chance of selling your property. It’s a good idea to say yes to every showing request.
8. Work with experienced agents
You can sell your house faster if you work with more experienced agents. Luke Murray, a property consultant, encourages sellers to work with a real estate agent or company that knows how to market and target the right buyers. “Advice for homeowners would be to find an active agent that you trust and can work closely with. Choosing agents that work with larger companies often gives the unit more exposure,” he added.
“Speak to your Fazwaz agent about exclusive listings – we offer excellent exposure to all of our exclusive listings. This strategy has proven to be effective at increasing viewings,” added Hua Hin sales director Stephen Van der Merwe.
9. Reduce the price
Ultimately, the key factor to selling fast is the price. In markets that are very price sensitive, only projects that are popular and are in good locations still hold their prices. The rest needs to be competitively priced, said Pattaya Sales Director John Lees-Whitehead.
“We recommend that the owner reduces the asking price, this will automatically rank higher on our website and all of our marketing channels.”
10. Be patient and honest
The Thai property market can be different from the market in your country and there is no magic trick, said Bangkok-based consultant Maxime Lienard. It is not unusual for property in Thailand to remain unsold for a year, depending on the market conditions. We don’t have any control over the market, but you can control your property; he recommended sellers to be honest with their information, post flattering photos, fix any issues before potential clients point them out, and make the property ready to buy as soon as possible.
These are 10 tips real estate experts around Thailand want to tell you, so you can attract more potential buyers and sell your property in a short space of time when you list your property for sale.
Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Forecasts for Bangkok property 2020
A supply influx of new office space is on the way while the overall retail industry faces low consumer confidence. But, in 2019, the number of Chinese tourists to Thailand has started recovering, says CBRE, an international property consultant.
Bangkok Office Market
The office market in Bangkok continues to perform strongly for this, but CBRE identifies challenges that are heading our way in the near future from the large amount of new supply. As of Q3 2019, over 125,000 square metres of new office space has been completed so far with another 70,000 square metres expected to come on line by the end of the year. But CBRE maintain that the increase in supply is still in line with a steady new take-up of 200,000 square metres per year.
But, they warn, a million square metres of office space is now under construction and scheduled to be completed over the next three years with majority of the new developments located along the mass transit lines. Co-working spaces have played a major role in becoming key source of office demand in the recent years.
Rents have continued to increase this year at the rate of 3-5% year on year since majority of the office buildings with high rental rates have been occupied. CBRE expects rents to continue to increase in the near future but at a slower pace.
Bangkok Retail Market
Across the board, the Thai retail industry has remained stagnant this year as Thailand faces a period of low sentiment and a decrease in spending power. CBRE says this is due to the increase in household debt. The Consumer Confidence Index hit its lowest point in 39 months, dropping by 10% year on year. In addition, the household debt was reported to have broken a new record since 2017 at nearly 79% of total GDP.
In the second half of 2019, the government has launched new policies and campaigns to stimulate domestic spending including welfare cards, interest rate cut, and the “Chim-Shop-Chai” (Eat-Shop-Spend) scheme where the government gives away e-money and tax breaks for domestic travellers.
Bangkok’s total retail supply, as of Q3 2019, was 7.8 million square metres, increasing by 4.39% year on year. Notable projects completed in this year include The Market Bangkok, Donki Mall, Samyan Mitrtown and Bangkok’s first outlet mall, Central Village.
CBRE says that not only have offline retailers moved towards omni-channel retailing, many new online retailers have also been expanding into offline outlets in physical retail space as showrooms and ‘click & collect’ points.
“In order to survive in a market with a large number of future retail supply in the pipeline, retail developers will need to embrace the fast-moving technology and create new unique selling points for their retail centres.”
Bangkok Hotel Market
Thai tourism has shown that it is as strong and as resilient as ever. International tourist arrivals for the first nine months of 2019 have increased by 4.3% year on year, reaching 32.5 million. In Q3, the number of Chinese tourists, Thailand’s biggest market feeder, has started to recover with a 17.3% year on year increase, rebounding from its drop last year.
Indian tourists have also shown promising increase, growing by 26.7% year on year. CBRE attributes much of the Indian success to the Visa-on-Arrival campaign and the addition of direct flights by low-cost carriers.
The average occupancy rate of downtown Bangkok hotels for the first nine months of the year, according to STR, was 77.8%, down by 2% when compared to last year.
But CBRE forecast that the Thai baht’s appreciation will continue to be a key challenge to the tourism industry.
To search for the largest selection of properties around Thailand go to FazWaz.comKeep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Three massive condo developments along Phuket’s up-market Layan Beach
by Bill Barnett – c9hotelworks.com
Two new condo developments are going ahead in the Layan Beach area of Phuket’s up-market west-coast beach strip. And there’s another one underway next to the Dream Beach Club at the northern end of the Layan beach strip. All in all, another 1,200+ keys added to the available rooms along the Bang Tao/Layan Beach area.
On the northern side of Bangtao Beach, next to Maan Tawan and nearby Banyan Tree Phuket is the upcoming Sunshine Beach development. With a plan for 771 hotel and residences units on 12.6 rai, the high-density project is targeting Mainland Chinese buyers with pricing points reportedly starting from 4 million baht. Construction is expected to start in June of this year and complete in 2022.
From our discussion with sales staff the developer has claimed they have reached an agreement with the government for beach fronting facilities in the National Park strip in front of the project.
While in Layan next to Lotus Gardens is the upcoming 400 unit Layan Green Park. Pricing points run from 2.5 million baht. Unit configurations will range from studio, to one, two and three bedrooms. Guaranteed returns of 10% for a period of 10 years are being promoted.
Phuket’s Layan area is seeing a surge in new real estate led projects and rising land values. At the same time as these two projects are underway, next to the Dream Beach is an oceanfront luxury project promoting sales of Grand Beach Villa and Ocean View Suites tagged as ‘N5’. The developer of the project is VIP Thailand who have another project in Rawai.
Based on our research the primary source market tragets of these three projects are mainland Chinese and Russian buyers. Local concerns in the Cherngtalay area over mounting traffic, water shortages and strain on municipal infrastructure are becoming issues.
Traffic in and around the central Cherngtalay shopping district is becoming increasingly clogged with little hope for respite other than improved traffic management.
Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Top 10 things NOT to do in Thailand (2020)
The Top 10 types of expat in Thailand (2020)
Top 10 tips for riding a motorbike in Thailand (2020)
Top 10 Things NOT to do in Thailand – the basics (2020)
Top 10 English news sources in Thailand (2020)
Thailand is making you fat
Top 10 ways to save our water
Top 10 must-see towns in Asia
Thailand is the leading ASEAN nation in annual suicide rates
Retiring in Thailand, most of the things you need to know
Indian visitors to Thailand help break tourist arrival record
Forecasts for Bangkok property 2020
Solar eclipse today across Thailand. Here’s how to watch it.
Crunching the numbers on Phuket’s hotels – 2020
“Chinese pneumonia” detected at Chiang Mai airport
Baht will continue to remain strong throughout 2020
Electric vehicle registrations in Thailand rose 380% in 2019
Arrested Lop Buri murder suspect was a provincial headmaster
Thailand’s PM2.5 micron elephant in the room – OPINION
Nearly 300,000 Bangkok school students stay at home today as a measure to reduce air pollution
School headmaster arrested and charged over the Lop Buri gold shop shootings
Thailand is making you fat
Strong waves drags pickup and jet ski into the sea in Chonburi
Survey shows that Thais feel “less safe”
Two Israeli tourists pickpocketed by Pattaya ladyboys
Thai PM mulls private car ban in pollution-stricken areas
First US case of Coronavirus spooks stock market, death toll up to six
Celebrities take to social media and point out Government incompetence over air pollution problem
Pattaya man in coma after being shot in argument with ex-girlfriend’s father
Opposition will ask NACC to probe Thai PM on three counts
กุนยิงเซฟสามแต้ม ! ไฮไลท์ เชฟยู 0-1 แมนซิตี้, เชซุส บอกโทษอีกแล้ว
ไม่ถึง 15 นาทีมีสกอร์ ! คลิป: ฟาน ไดจค์ โขกเต็มหัวให้ ลิเวอร์พูล ออกนำ แมนยู 1-0
แฟนหงส์ยิ้มกริ่ม ! ไฮไลท์ แมนซิตี้ 2-2 คริสตัล พาเลซ, ซาฮา ตัวแสบยิงเจ๊า
เฮย์เด้น เป็นฮีโร่ซัดชัย ! ไฮไลท์ นิวคาสเซิล 1-0 เชลซี, สิงห์หงอย โดนทดเจ็บ
สบาย สบาย ! คลิปไฮไลท์: เมย์ รัชนก ชนะ Michelle LI 2-0 เกม Indonesia Masters 2020 (QF)
ทำไมผู้ชายถึงทิ้งคุณไป หรืออาจจเป็นเพราะ 5เหตุผลนี้
ไล่บัลเบร์เด้! ไฮไลท์ มาดริด 0-0 (4-1) แอตมาดริด – “ราชัน” สังหาร “หมี” ดวลเป้า
ฮาวทูแพ้ ! ไฮไลท์ สเปอร์ส 0-1 ลิเวอร์พูล, ฟิโน่ ซัดโทน-ทิ้งเลสเตอร์อีก 16 แต้ม
VAR คอนเฟิร์ม ! คลิป: หงส์แดง ได้ประตูออกนำ สเปอร์ส 1-0 จาก ฟิร์มิโน่
แก๊ง 3M ช่วยกันยิง ! ไฮไลท์ แมนยู 4-0 นอริช, ผีแดง ทะยานขึ้นที่ 5
15.30 น. ถ่ายทอดสดวอลเลย์บอลเกาหลีใต้-ไต้หวัน รอบตัดเชือกคัดโอลิมปิก
ไทยร่วงหมดแล้ว ! ไฮไลท์ เมย์ รัชนก พ่าย WANG Zhi Yi แบบสุดมันส์ 1-2 เกมใน Malaysia Masters 2020
ซีเกมส์คืออะไร! ไฮไลท์ ทีมชาติไทย 5-0 บาห์เรน : ชิงแชมป์เอเชีย U23
- Food Scene15 hours ago
Thailand is making you fat
- Hot News3 days ago
More coronavirus cases detected in China, global alert for Chinese New Year
- Phuket3 days ago
82 year old Frenchman killed in motorbike crash with ATV in Phuket
- Bangkok3 days ago
40-love. Police track down porn producers at a Bangkok university tennis court
- Thailand4 days ago
Dutchman jailed for 100 years in Thailand for money laundering is released
- Central Thailand4 days ago
30 million in lottery windfall to central Thailand winning tickets
- Politics4 days ago
Piyabutr acknowledges that Future Forward will probably be disbanded
- Bangkok2 days ago
Bangkok IT mall fire sparks evacuation