THE AVERAGE price of land in the Rama IX-Ratchadaphisek area of Bangkok has increased significantly over the last five years, from Bt200,000 per square wah (4 square metres) to Bt600,000 currently.
This is due largely to the completion in the past two years of a number of new office buildings that have opened for business this year, along with residential projects completed during the period and a host of other condominium projects worth more than Bt20 billion combined that will be launched in the area during the remainder of this year. “The selling prices of condominiums on Rama IX have risen from between Bt65,000 and Bt70,000 per square metre in 2008 to between Bt180,000 and Bt200,000 per square metre this year. This follows the opening of a number of offices in this location last year and this year,” said Surachet Kongcheep, associate director of research at Colliers International (Thailand).
A survey by the real-estate company found that condominiums launched on Rama IX from 2008 through to June this year comprised 13,069 units, with 85 per cent of them already sold.
Moreover, demand to buy condominiums in the location is still strong, which has presented a welcome opportunity for a number of developers to launch new projects on Rama IX- Ratchada during the final months of this year. For example, Charn Issara Development is forging ahead with a project at the high end of the residential market, planning to launch a new luxury-housing project, the Bt1.8-billion Issara Residence Rama 9, in the final quarter.
Supalai, meanwhile, is introducing its latest condominium project, the Supalai Veranda Rama 9, which is worth Bt4 billion.
Pruksa Real Estate plans to launch the Chapter One ECO Ratchada-Huai Khwang condominium – worth about Bt5 billion – next week.
Rise Estate, a subsidiary of All Inspire Development, is introducing the Bt1.5-billion Rise Rama 9, while Sansiri’s The Base Garden-Rama 9, valued at Bt2.28 billion, was introduced to the market last month.
Supalai managing director Tritecha Tangmatitham said Rama IX Road had become a new central business district (CBD), with a number of new office buildings opening along the road and residential demand showing strong growth thanks to the mass transit in and around the location, such as the MRT underground and the new Orange Line route from the Thailand Cultural Centre to Min Buri district, and from the Thailand Cultural Centre to Taling Chan district.
Songkran Issara, chief executive officer and managing director of Charn Issara Development, said the company’s luxury detached-housing project – the Issara Residence Rama 9 – had generated positive feedback from the market because of its location close to mass transit and the new CBD.
The main reason the area from Ratchadaphisek to the Rama IX junction is such a popular location for office property, as well as for residential projects, is its proximity to the MRT underground rail system, while the government is also investing in the new Orange Line, construction of which will commence next year.
The area also continues to have more freehold land available for the development of residential projects than areas such as Sukhumvit and Rama I, close to Siam Square, where space is limited and the price of land is higher than that suitable for homes costing no more than Bt200,000 per square metre.
Jones Lang LaSalle (Thailand) managing director Suphin Meechuchep said the location had been attracting property firms since the capital’s mass rapid transport system commenced operations in 1999.
Then, when the Stock Exchange of Thailand decided to build its headquarters there three years ago, financial firms were challenged to expand into the area, she said.
The area will likely be a thriving new CBD now that Sukhumvit, Sathorn and Silom have high density and limited land available for commercial and residential development, she added.
An area transformed
The area has been changed from a night-life location into one with the modern Central Rama IX shopping centre, Esplanade community mall, and modern office buildings under the ‘green’ concept, such as the AIA, SET@93 Ratchada and Super Tower, Suphin said.
According to a Colliers International (Thailand) survey, new office space at Rama IX-Ratchada totals 345,360 square metres in projects that have been completed and are open for use.
Moreover, a further 59,820 square metres of office space is under construction and will be completed by the end of this year, giving the area a total of 405,180 square metres of new office space.
This will boost the number of people working in area, which in turn will increase residential demand, presenting developers with a challenge and opportunity to expand their investment in and around the location.
Meanwhile, the Rama IX-Ratchada stretch of road also has two shopping centres – Central Plaza Rama 9 and Fortune Town – as well as a number of other facilities to serve today’s urban lifestyle, such as hospitals, schools and universities.