An aerial view of the British Embassy on Wireless Road, Bangkok. Sale of the plot will account for the bulk of CBRE's transaction value this year.
Property consultant CBRE Thailand expects the value of its real estate transactions this year to grow by more than 50% from around 29 billion baht last year, largely because of the sale of the UK embassy plot on Wireless Road earlier this year.
Managing director Aliwassa Pathnadabutr said the company's average growth in property transactions was around 6-7% annually after peaking during 2004-2008 with growth of more than 10% per year.
"Excluding the UK embassy plot, our sales transaction value this year will rise by 6%, the same as years before," she said. "The UK embassy plot is our largest deal since we were established 30 years ago."
On Jan 31, 2018, the British government announced the sale of the UK embassy plot to a joint venture consortium of Hongkong Land, a member of the Jardine Matheson Group, and Central Group for a record price of over £420 million (18 billion baht).
CBRE was the sole agent for this deal.
Ms Aliwassa said the UK embassy plot was one of eight large land pieces CBRE sold during the first five months this year, with a combined transaction value of around 24 billion baht.
The second-highest transaction was a two-rai site worth 1.2 billion baht on lower Sukhumvit Road between Nana and Asok area.
Last year CBRE recorded a total transaction value of 28.97 billion baht, which rose by 6% from 2016. Of the amount, 8.79 billion baht was from 806 leasing transactions.
The remaining 20.2 billion baht was from sales of 970 property transactions, including residential sales worth 16 billion baht and land sales worth a combined 4 billion.
The number of new condominium projects for which CBRE was the sole agent in the first five months was lower than in the same period last year. Despite this the sales performance was better, with many projects selling out.
"There is demand for condos in the middle- to upper-end segment, but supply designed to meet consumer requirements is limited," she said.
"Key factors [for developers to produce according to requirements] are land cost and location."
She said the amount of new condo supply to be launched in downtown Bangkok in the second half will be higher than in the first half.
The number of new condo supply being launched in downtown Bangkok is expected to total around 8,000 units by the end of 2018.
Last year newly launched condo supply in downtown Bangkok totalled 12,544 units, up from 8,321 units in 2016 and 10,890 units in 2015. The take-up rate of existing supply, including newly launched and under-construction units, was 74.7%.
"Foreign demand helped absorb the supply," she said.
"We have seen 30-40 condo projects in Bangkok launched for sales overseas since last year."