Hong Kong Investors Heading For Thailand

Two months of increasingly chaotic protests in Hong Kong are driving investment money out of the city and into Thailand’s ultra-luxury condominiums, according to one of the biggest developers in the Southeast Asian country.

Some 40 per cent of the condos in a 52 storey Bangkok tower that opened last week have already been sold to buyers from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, according to Keerin Chutumstid, an executive at Bangkok-based Magnolia Quality Development, which owns a quarter of the property. Investors from China and Hong Kong have been the top foreign customers, he said.

“The protests give us an advantage for this project,” Mr Keerin said. “If you look at Thailand right now, compared to other countries, we have a good level of political stability.”

In Hong Kong, development and high-end investment are on hold. Last week, CK Asset Holdings and Sun Hung Kai Properties decided to postpone sales of new multi-billion-dollar projects, and transactions in the secondary market are down sharply, especially for luxury homes.

These circumstance may add another tailwind to the luxury market in Bangkok, where a tourism boom has put the city on the map for investors, especially mainland Chinese who have come in droves.

Bangkok real estate has also been attractive to international investors because, even after years of gains, prices are still often cheaper than in less travelled-to cities such as Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, or Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City.