Bangkok Post – Property developers” sentiment plunges

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Concern extends to the second half

Staff of a property development company talks with a visitor to a house and condo fair in March. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Staff of a property development company talks with a visitor to a house and condo fair in March. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

The sentiment index for housing developers in Greater Bangkok dropped in the second quarter to its lowest level in 15 quarters, dating back to the third quarter of 2020 during the pandemic.

Vichai Viratkapan, acting director-general of the Real Estate Information Center (REIC), said it was the largest quarter-on-quarter decline in sentiment for launching new projects or new phases, dipping 9.9 points to 49.1 from 59.

“Developers were concerned about the slowdown in the housing market, not only in the second quarter but also over the second half of the year,” he said.

“Key factors continue to be lending curbs and high household debt of more than 90% of GDP, which is stunting mortgage approvals.”

Mortgage approvals were dampened by high interest rates, a slowing economic recovery and a high cost of living, which affected home purchasing power, particularly in the middle to low-income segments, said the REIC.

In the second quarter of 2024, the housing developer sentiment index for the current situation was 45.2, down from 48.3 in the first quarter, which had improved from 47.6 in the fourth quarter of last year.

The index was below 50, indicating a negative view, for six consecutive quarters since the first quarter of 2023.

Sentiment on performance fell 4.0 points quarter-on-quarter to 39.5, while the employment index dipped by 3.7 points to 48.7, the development cost index declined by 1.4 points to 38.9, and the gauge on investment decreased from 48.6 to 47.6.

The only index to rise was sentiment regarding sales, increasing by 1.4 points to 47.3.

The sentiment of listed developers was 52.2, down from 52.5 in the previous quarter but remaining above the median of 50, suggesting listed developers maintained a positive view of the industry, according to the REIC.

For listed developers, the highest index was for sales, which improved to 59.6 from 52.5, followed by investment, rising to 57.7 from 55.

The index for performance increased from 47.5 to 50.

Declines occurred for launching new projects or new phases, down from 65.0 to 57.7, while the index for development costs dipped from 40.0 to 36.5, and employment declined from 55.0 to 51.9.

The sentiment of non-listed developers sharply declined to 34.6 from 41.9, indicating this group was severely lacking in confidence because of several negative factors. Their sentiment in almost every category decreased.

The lowest index for non-listed developers was for performance, tallying only 23.8, down from 37.5, followed by sales at 28.8, investment 32.5, launching new projects or new phases 36.3 and employment 43.8.

Only the index for development costs rose, reaching 42.5.

The expectations index, which refers to sentiment for the future six-month period, was 51.4, down from 57.3 in the first quarter of 2024 and 62.1 in the second quarter of 2023.

The largest decline was for sales, plunging 12.0 points to 54.4, followed by performance, dropping to 51.

Investment fell to 54.1, new launches declined to 64.4 and employment dipped to 50.2, according to the REIC.

Only sentiment for performance improved marginally by 0.2 points to 34.6, which still represents a very low level.

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