The property market slowed sharply in the second quarter, with new land registrations down more than 50% from the same period last year, said the latest data from the Bank of Thailand.
New housing starts and property transactions also slowed due to weak consumer confidence and uncertainties over mass-transit expansion plans. New property registrations in Greater Bangkok fell 30.9% year-on-year in May, with single-home registrations off 19.7% and condos and apartments down 52.2%.
New land development applications dropped 54.2% in the second quarter as developers awaited clearer signals on transit extensions.
Prices also fell slightly, with detached homes down 3.5% from the year before and townhouses down 0.7%. Land prices, however, rose slightly by 2.7%, lifting the overall price index 0.2%.
Commercial bank lending to developers as of March 31 was off 1.5% from the year before but home mortgage loans still rose 14% in the period.
Meanwhile, the Real Estate Information Center (REIC) says it expects about 70,000 units of new housing to be registered in greater Bangkok this year, about 10% lower than last year's total.
Samma Kietsin, the centre's director, said that registrations of new residential units in the first half of the year totalled 32,146, down 11.8% year-on-year from 36,458.
However, he said that registrations normally increased in the second half, so it was unlikely they would fall below 70,000 for the full year.
In the first half, 26,341 units, or 81.9%, were low-rise, while the other 5,805 units were high-rise condominiums.
Among the low-rise units, single houses took the highest share of 60.8%, or 19,529 units, while the rest were townhouses, commercial and semi-detached units.
The centre said housing registrations in the second quarter hit 16,515, down 20.9% year-on-year. About 63.6%, or 10,511 units, were single houses.
REIC said 228 new real estate projects with 27,290 housing units were approved in the first half of the year, an average of 120 units per project. Approvals were down from 253 projects with 29,834 units in the same period in 2006.
The number of approved projects dropped in all regions except the eastern part of the country.
Bangkok Post, August 14, 2007