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Coronavirus, and Thailand’s property market

The Thaiger

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Coronavirus, and Thailand’s property market | The Thaiger
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The Coronavirus outbreak poses challenges for Thailand’s real estate market as potential Chinese condominium buyers remain stranded in China. Analysts believe Chinese condominium transfers in 2020 will be at least 25% lower than average because of the challenges. Meanwhile, some believe that the outbreak may bring opportunities for non-Chinese buyers and in the long-run, the Chinese may be looking for an overseas refuge in the event of these types of emergencies.

Market remains weak

The pandemic, which started in China, is hurting the condominium market as Chinese nationals account for half of the international buyers in Thailand, or 57.6% of the total foreign condo owners in 2018.

Vichai Viratkapan, acting director-general of the Real Estate Information Centre says that 50% of Chinese condo transfers are expected to disappear in the first 2 quarters of this year and the total transfer value by the Chinese will miss the mark of the usual 29 billion baht by about 25% (around 7 billion).

However, since Chinese property buyers only make up 6% of the total international and domestic housing transfers in Thailand, the total housing transfer number in the country is likely to be similar to last year.

Thailand adjusts GDP growth target due to coronavirus

On Monday (February 17), the Office of the National Economics and Social Development Council said Thailand’s GDP growth rate is predicted to be about 2% this year, a record low in the last 6 years. They forecast the rate will be achieved if the pandemic ends before April or May, tourist arrivals reach 37 million, and the world economic growth grows 3.2%, among other factors. Otherwise…

The Chinese are reluctant to complete transfers

The virus has continued to affect hospitality operators, including hotels and condominiums that service tourists, nationwide. Since China has suspended tours, put restrictions on movement, and locked down cities, home to over millions of people, it also poses a threat to real estate developers as their clients are unable or unwilling to fly.

“Currently multiple off-plan condominium developments are approaching completion, and Chinese clients are unable or unwilling to transfer. Chinese clients who made a reservation in Q4 2019 are requesting a refund and withholding their investment,” said Marciano Bijmohun, Business Development Director at FazWaz Property Group.

He believes every condominium that is in transfer status will see the percentage of non-transfer units rise in the coming months.

“These non-transfer units will cause a big financial hit to developers.”

If a client refuses to transfer, does not comply with the terms and conditions stipulated in the sales and purchase agreement, and decides to release the property, their deposits will be forfeited.

“However, there is some good news, these non-transferred units can be offered with a discount to new clients.”

Also, as China has been susceptible to a few disease outbreaks – from bird flu and swine fever and the current coronavirus – it may prompt Chinese buyers to look for second homes outside of China.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Illegal Chinese casino in Pattaya operating after curfew – VIDEO

Greeley Pulitzer

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Illegal Chinese casino in Pattaya operating after curfew – VIDEO | The Thaiger
PHOTOS: The Pattaya News

Police from several units, including the Transnational Crime Unit of Chon Buri, led a raid last night on an illegal casino in Pattaya where nearly a dozen people were gambling. It was located above a Chinese Restaurant.

Police went to the Fu Manow Chinese Restaurant at about 10:15pm after a tip that there was an illegal gathering happening in a secret VIP room above the restaurant. Such a meeting violates the current national curfew period of 10pm to 4am, under the Emergency Decree to help stop spread of the the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Police found a posh VIP karaoke room on the second floor along with 10 people gambling. 7 Chinese men, 2 Thai women and a Russian woman were gambling with about 100,000 baht, playing several different Chinese style gambling games on a custom table.

The owner of the restaurant, 50 year old “Beijing Heilongjiang” (clearly a pseudonym) was immediately arrested. He faces multiple charges including providing gambling facilities, violating the Thai emergency decree, curfew violations and possibly other charges as well.

The ten unnamed gamblers will also face significant charges including violating the Emergency Decree, gambling and curfew violations. All 10 were arrested and taken to Pattaya Police Station.

Illegal Chinese casino in Pattaya operating after curfew - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Illegal Chinese casino in Pattaya operating after curfew - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Police warn Pattaya residents that those who violate the Emergency Decree and continue to hold gatherings and parties that threaten public health by potentially spreading the Covid19 Coronavirus will be “dealt with severely”.

Violation of the Emergency Decree carries penalties of fines of up to a 100,000 baht and/or up to 2 years in prison.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Technology

Mobile users can now register for 30 days of free data

Greeley Pulitzer

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Mobile users can now register for 30 days of free data | The Thaiger
PHOTO: DTAC Blog

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission yesterday gave details on how to register for 30 days of free mobile internet and a broadband speed upgrade. Registration begins today. The move supports the government’s policy of social distancing and encouraging people to work from home, while helping people cut utility bills during the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

But you need a Thai ID card to get your free internet and speed upgrade.

The measure is being financed by the Universal Service Obligation Fund, which comes from telecommunication licence auctions and contributions from telecom and broadcasting companies.

For free mobile internet, registration runs from today to April 30. All Thai nationals can register for 10 free gigabytes of mobile data for a single mobile number, so long as it was opened or registered on or before March 31.

Those who use monthly packages with more than 10 GB or unlimited data, and the numbers registered by companies and “juristic persons” are not eligible.

To register, a users should type *170*[their 13-digit national ID number]# and tap “call.”

The user will shortly receive a text message confirming or rejecting the registration. In case of rejection, a reason will be given. If the registration is successful, users can start using the free internet in a few minutes.

The NBTC’s secretary-general shared tips on how to make the most of the offer in a video clip on the agency’s Facebook page yesterday.

He says a user should first check how much data he currently gets under his package by typing *165*1# and tapping “call.” Then, he should also check the remaining time of the package (*165*2#).

For example, if the package ends on April 15, the user is advised against registering today. Instead, he should wait until his package ends and register on the following day, so he can use the free internet for the full 30 days.

For broadband internet users, service providers will automatically upgrade speeds to 100 megabits per second, so users don’t need to register. The speed upgrade is valid for 30 days from today.

Those who use ADSL or older techonologies will receive an upgrade to the highest speeds supported by equipment.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai army puts off military purchases until coronavirus outbreak passes

Greeley Pulitzer

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Thai army puts off military purchases until coronavirus outbreak passes | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

The Royal Thai Army says Thailand “needs to heal” after the Coronavirus pandemic is over in the country so plans to delay purchases of military equipment in the 2020 defence budget. They say the change is in order to prioritise national recovery efforts in the wake of the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.

A Defence Ministry spokesman says cuts to the 2020 budget for military hardware and projects are being considered. The Ministry says they’re well aware of what needs to be prioritised for future situations.

“The military’s mission is to protect and help the people, and support the government in solving national problems while maintaining the availability of troops and equipment to protect the nation.”

A spokesperson says that any procurement project that is able to be delayed, without affecting foreign contracts, must be delayed.

“The Army is currently considering which projects will come under the 2020 budget, and will continue to discuss the projects in the 2021 budget.”

The spokesperson clarified that some 2020 budget funds have already spent and military contracts under the budget may have binding contracts.

Speaking about the upcoming controversial purchase of Chinese made submarines under the 2021 budget, the spokesperson said that the Royal Thai Navy is considering the matter and “related legal consequences carefully”, realising that budget “must be used to restore the nation and economy”.

SOURCE: The Nation

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