Bangkok Expat Housing Shortage Pushes Rent Higher


Bangkok Expat Housing Shortage Pushes Rent Higher

As Thailand’s political, cultural and economic capital, Bangkok has drawn thousands of expats over the last decade.

With a tropical climate, strong transport links, an eclectic food culture and an economy successfully fighting back against the global economic crisis, Bangkok has much to recommend it.

The majority of expats working in Bangkok are employed by multinational companies like Sony or are part of the city’s thriving financial sector.

Expat workers are also often drawn to the communications, transport, tourism and real estate sectors.

However, with the number of expatriates working in Thailand increasing, the competition for high-end apartments and condominium units has risen considerably. The housing shortage is particularly problematic for expats moving overseas with their families as two/three bed houses are the hardest to come by.

In the second quarter of 2013 there were roughly 65,000 work-permit holding expats in Bangkok, a 10 per cent increase on the previous year, and the number continues to rise.

According to international property consultant CBRE Thailand, there are areas which are extremely popular with expat families, such as Lumpini, and while accommodation has increased in such areas by nearly 80 per cent over the past five years, units with more than one bedroom are in the minority.

Consequently, rental prices could start to climb considerably over the next few months.

As stated by James Pitchon, CBRE’s executive director, ‘Since the early 1990’s, there has been very little increase in total amounts of rent paid by expatriates for their residential accommodation, but this looks like it is about to change.’

CBRE estimates that of the 22,000 condominium units currently being built in popular expat areas, only 30 per cent will have more than one bedroom.

Do you live in Bangkok? Have you noticed rental prices changing?

What do you think of this housing shortage and the possible rent implications?

Let us know your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter or in The Expat Hub Forum.

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