Skytrain extensions drive condo building boom

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Skytrain extensions drive condo building boom

It’s hardly a real surprise, but new figures simply confirm that condos located near to the Bangkok BTS are, in the first instance, being built in rather impressive numbers and, in the second instance, being sold relatively easily.

Bangkok has a reputation for bad traffic, a reputation that stretches almost as far as the day it became the capital of Thailand in 1782.

So, a mass transit system such as the elevated BTS, now into its 14th year of operation, was not only welcomed in terms of easing traffic congestion (well, a little!), but it has proved a great boon for property developers prepared to stump up the sums needed to construct high-rise condo complexes alongside its length and breadth.

According to the property consultant Knight Frank Chartered, condos along the latest BTS extension of Talat Phlu-Bang Wa which is scheduled to open in December this year have had a higher than expected take-up rate.

Knight Frank noted that condo prices have risen quite solidly along all of the mass transit routes.

Condos nearby the Wongwian Yai BTS extension are now averaging 82,543 baht per square metre, which is almost 20,000 baht per square metre more than they were fetching just four years ago.

The take-up rate for condos along the Talat Phlu-Bang Wa extension is  massive 86.1 percent. In specific number terms, of the 3,195 new condo units built between 2009 and the end of June this year, 2,752 have been sold.

Along the Saphan Taksin to Wongwian Yai BTS line the same period has seen 3,477 units sold out of the 4,163 which have been built. This represents an equally massive 83.5 percent of the potential market.

Basically, the numbers show that people are now quite prepared to be based on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River, knowing full well there is a strong mass transit service that can get them to and from either side without the need to board a ferry.

There is also confidence in the long-term future of the underground subway system (MRT) extensions as seen by a 72.8 percent take-up rate along the planned Purple Line, which will not open until 2015 and is planned to run from Tao Pun and Bang Yai. In this corridor there have been 18,503 units sold out of 25,418.

At the other end of the BTS, the Bearing to On Nut section, the take-up rate here has also been strong. Of 14,609 units available, 67.9 percent, or 9,900 units have been sold.

All told, Knight Fank claims there have been 54,630 units built along the BTS and MRT lines since 2009.

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