Signs of revival for Asian property markets

Signs of revival for Asian property markets

The bottom of the market may already have passed, and demand is now picking up in some property sectors in Asia, including Bangkok, where properties in good locations have recorded strong sales, according to James Duan, managing director of Fragrant Property (Thailand).

Part of the Taipei-based Fragrant Group, Fragrant Property has operations across the Asia Pacific region. In China, Duan said recovery was imminent in the big cities such as Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing.

The Australian bank Macquarie backed up this opinion recently, saying that the Chinese residential property market had already reached its bottom in terms of sales volumes. It pointed to recent sales data that exceeded forecasts, and said a bottom in prices and construction levels was set to follow.

Macquarie's research indicates that sales volumes in major Chinese cities were up by as much as 50 percent year-on-year in January and February. In month-on-month growth, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Tianjin showed the greatest improvements in February.

Duan said that as demand starts to rise in countries such as China, it may trigger growth in other countries in the region. Among Asian markets, Thailand continues to be well positioned, with demand remaining strong for well situated properties.

Fragrant has developed three projects worth a total of Bt6 billion in Bangkok since it entered the Thai market in 2004: The Circle, The Prime and Fragrant 71. The company is now planning a fourth project, and Fragrant Group even envisages moving its business base to Thailand. The developer will focus on condominium projects in Bangkok's central business district, Duan said.