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Chewathai to thaw out nine projects

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MAI-listed developer Chewathai Plc (CHEWA) will launch nine new residential projects worth a combined 8.3 billion baht from next month to mid-2019 after freezing new launches for over a year.

Managing director Boon Choon Kiat said most of the new projects being launched next year were postponed from this year, including some condominiums awaiting environmental impact approval.

"For low-rise projects like single houses and townhouses, construction at the sites was delayed," he said. "We want construction of clubhouses and sample units to be completed before launching sales."

The new projects include four townhouse projects in Rangsit Khlong 4, with 275 units worth 720 million baht; Pracha Uthit 90, with 391 units worth 890 million baht; Sukhumvit Soi 62/1, worth 160 million baht; and Sukhumvit Soi 36, worth 270 million baht.

Mr Boon said townhouse demand in the Rangsit area is strong, with an absorption rate of five to 10 units a month. In the Pracha Uthit area, the townhouse absorption rate exceeds 10 units a month.

The condominium projects include four sites in Thong Lor Soi 20, with 130 units worth 950 million baht; the Kaset-Nawamin area, with 480 units worth 1.7 billion baht; Charansanitwong Soi 13, with 159 units worth 430 million baht; and Chokchai 4, with 806 units worth 2 billion baht.

The rest will be high-priced single detached house projects with 51 units worth 1.2 billion baht on Phutthamonthon Sai 1 Road, where the company will complete construction of some units before launching for sale.

"We will shift to focus on single houses and townhouses from next year onward and increase the low-rise portion from only 5% to 50%," Mr Boon said. "Asian people prefer a low-rise unit to a condo, which is just a temporary residence."

He said condos have seen oversupply in some locations, such as along the Purple Line. But supply is gradually diminishing as developers avoid adding new supply at prior locations.

"It is an auto-balancing of the market," Mr Boon said.

Chewathai aims to have 2.4 billion baht in revenue for all of 2018, up 20% from 2 billion baht last year.

In the first half, the company recorded 1.45 billion baht in revenue and had a sales backlog of 800 million baht.

CHEWA shares closed yesterday on the Market for Alternative Investment at 1.43 baht, unchanged, in trade worth 8.5 million baht.

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