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Real estate trends to watch in 2023

Real estate trends to watch in 2023

Thailand has entered 2023 with a positive outlook both economically and for the real estate sector in general. The property consultancy CBRE Thailand has identified key trends to watch in the residential, office, retail, hotel and industrial and logistics sectors.

“The year 2023 started with much more optimism than in previous years, on the back of significant improvements in sentiment in the final quarter of 2022,” said Roongrat Veeraparkkaroon, managing director of CBRE Thailand. “Individual and corporate clients have a greater degree of confidence about prospects for the year ahead.

“People have a clearer understanding of how they will manage their home and work life, and developers and investors have more confidence that their projects directly address the new requirements of their customers.”

The most positive trend, she said, is that we are no longer preoccupied and distracted by Covid-19. “We have weathered the storm and now approach life with different expectations of where and how we live, work, and play.”


2022 was another quiet year for the Bangkok downtown condominium sector, with over 95% of new units located in the midtown and suburban areas targeting the low- to mid-end market. Domestic buyers showed a preference for low-rise housing, preferring lower density, larger and more adaptable spaces. This year, developers will be even more active in launching low-rise projects that target real demand.

In the downtown condo market, CBRE expects developers to continue concentrating on clearing their ready-to-move-in inventory before assessing the potential to launch new projects in the second half of the year.

CBRE expects developers to continue launching condominium projects in midtown and suburban areas, and a trend to watch is mixed-use projects with residential and commercial elements.

“End-users have clear expectations and requirements that developers must meet to generate sales. Buyers continue to place great importance on space, functionality, privacy, open green spaces, wellness and technology,” said Artitaya Kasemlawan, head of residential sales (projects) at CBRE Thailand.

“Developers of luxury and super luxury housing projects will need to provide adaptable spaces to allow for multiple family members to work from home, space to facilitate multiple generations living under one roof, as well as allocate sufficient car parking with EV charging.”

“For the resale condominium market, buyers are more willing to buy older, larger units requiring renovation, as they often provide a unit size not typically found in more recent developments,” added Praphinleeya Phuengkhuankhan, head of residential sales (ad hoc).


While much of 2022 saw a continuing trend for domestic companies to renew existing leases, particularly among large space occupiers, multinational companies in Bangkok have made significant progress in reviewing their future needs, and some have already committed to relocating to new premium grade A office space.

Against a backdrop of a significant increase to international standards and green office buildings, multinationals that have established new office workplace policies, particularly hybrid working, are capitalising on the opportunity to upgrade the quality of their workplaces.

Doing so allows them to meet corporate ESG requirements and also address retain and attract talent and provide a workplace environment that will encourage time spent at the office.

CBRE expects more leasing activity in 2023, with Thai companies committing to relocate from buildings they have occupied for over 20 years to embrace hybrid working in buildings that set a new standard.

“Engaging with staff and implementing workplace strategy will be key for occupiers to embrace the future of work,” said Sarut Virakul, director of offices, CBRE Thailand. “While rising fit-out costs will also be a key consideration for occupiers, landlords will be motivated to offer highly competitive leasing packages in attempts to persuade large scale business to relocate.”


The retail sector witnessed more cooperation between landlords and tenants during the Covid-19 years than in most other sectors. This level of understanding benefits both sides as the sector never stops evolving.

While the importance of incorporating technology, particularly in the online arena, has never been more evident, CBRE expects that customers will continue to demonstrate the importance of bricks and mortar and offline retailing.

There are six large retail development projects under construction and another seven announced, but the trend to watch will be the development of mid-scale retail developments to fit the needs of suburban residents.

“Although the importance of online shopping, payment and fulfilment will continue to grow, landlords will continue to invest in their bricks and mortar real estate to re-attract footfall,” said Jariya Thumtrongkitkul, head of retail at CBRE Thailand.

“While online retailing offers convenience and offline offers experience, both are equally important and need a seamless integration.”


Demand for industrial land will continue in 2023 as developers rush to expand existing industrial estates and develop new ones to keep pace with demand as the China Plus One policy persists.

Renewed and refreshed incentives from the Board of Investment will be needed to keep pace with competing countries in the region for investment.

With continued investment in key infrastructure, particularly in the Eastern Economic Corridor and professionally managed industrial estates, Thailand is well placed to capitalise on the demand that was suppressed during the last few years.

“We expect that data centre operators, semiconductor and vehicle manufacturers — both traditional and electric — will continue to view Thailand as a very viable option to locate their businesses,” said Adam Bell, head of industrial and logistics at CBRE Thailand. “Thailand is strategically very well placed to attract more FDI in support of these growing industries.”


The tourism sector enters 2023 with optimism that it can build on improved hotel performance and inbound international arrivals, boosted by the knowledge that Chinese tourists, both individuals and groups, are once more free to travel abroad.

While the focus will inevitably return to international tourists, it is worth remembering the vital role domestic tourists played while Thai borders were closed and arrivals restricted. Hotels will have to continue to up their game as existing properties reopen, given that over 10,000 rooms are planned to be completed by the end of 2025, which will increase the supply in Bangkok by 12%.

Although many hotels experienced higher average daily rate (ADR) performance in December 2022 compared with pre-pandemic December 2019, occupancy rates were still lower and overall performance for 2022 was well down versus 2019 given the significant difference in international arrivals.

Hotel owners and operators will be focusing on hotel cost controls, particularly those that incorporate long-term ESG strategies, as well investments in technology and staff retention, with so many of those that lost their jobs being reluctant to return to the industry.

“Owners and operators will dedicate time and resources to ensure they are best placed to capitalise on the expected increase in international arrivals to improve the bottom line after suffering losses in recent years,” said Atakawee Choosang, head of hotels at CBRE Thailand.

“There may be opportunities for investors to acquire properties, as we have seen the price gap between sellers’ and buyers’ expectations narrowing as market sentiment improves.”

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