Could the Bitcoin bubble burst? Probably. Which is why the smart money is always on bricks and mortar. Here’s how much bang you get for your baht in central Bangkok. Designed by Peeraya Sirathanisa
 

Asoke/Phrom Phong

The EmQuartier
 
The thumping heart of the expat community is both family-friendly and not, depending on the sky train stop. Asoke itself will set you right at the crosshairs of BTS and MRT lines, and walking-distance from the melting pot that is Terminal 21. It gets upscale and more noticeably Japanese towards Phrom Phong. 
 
 Cable-free Sukhumvit Road. The wealth of restaurants and shops.
 The Asoke intersection (probably the world’s longest traffic light). Soi Cowboy. 
 

Buy Here

 
Esse Asoke (completion in late-2018) 800 meters from BTS Asoke, starts at B7.7 million for a 37 sqm one-bedroom unit (around B208,000/sqm).www.singhaestate.co.th
 
 
Noble BE 19 (completion in 2020) 500 meters from BTS Asoke, starts at B7.7 million for a 33 sqm one- bedroom unit (around B233,000/sqm).  www.noblehome.com
 

Rental Market

B30,000/month for a 49 sqm unit
 

Value Check

2013: B107,500/sqm

2018: B134,000/sqm

 

 


Phayathai/Ratchetewi

 
A short distance to shopping mecca Siam and connected to both BTS and Airport Rail Link, prices here are high. Given its close proximity to Chula University, it has long been a darling of students whose parents can stump up the cash to buy them a condo. You’ll also have to fight with those parents to pick up any pre-sale units.
 
 No worries about resale value
 No fancy bars and restaurants until Siam. Slum-like, rundown buildings.
 

Buy Here

 
The Line Ratchetewi  300 meters from BTS Ratchetewi, starts at B6.9 million for a 27.75 sqm studio (around B250,000/sqm). www.sansiri.com/condominium/theline_ratchathewi
 
 
Ideo Mobi Phayathai  500 meters from BTS Ratchetewi, starts at B6.9 million for a 30.7 sqm one- bedroom unit (around B224,700/sqm). www.ananda.co.th
 

Rental Market

B30,000/month for a 50 sqm unit
 

Value Check

2013: B151,900/sqm

2018: B195,000/sqm


Ari

 
From a one-kilometer strip of high-profile families’ homes into a fully fledged hipster hangout. Within less than 10 years, half-century-old residences have been replaced by condos—mostly by Noble (currently four), though Sansiri also has one. Narrow sub sois only allow low-rise construction, while the area of Phaholyothin Road around BTS Ari is now packed with community malls and office towers that have contributed to a major rise in condo prices.
 
 Lots of street food. Very walkable.
 Lack of fancy bars and fine-dining restaurants. Very limited parking space. 
 

Buy Here

 
Suanbua Residence 700 meters from BTS Ari, starts at B5.6 million for a 38 sqm one-bedroom  unit (around B147,000/sqm). www.finehome.co.th/suanbuacondo
 
 
Centric Ari Station 600 meters from BTS Ari, starts at B5.2 million for a 33 sqm one-bedroom unit (around B157,000/sqm). www.scasset.com

Rental Market

B32,000/month for a 50 sqm unit
 

Value Check

2013: B114,000/sqm

2018: B169,000/sqm


Sala Daeng/Chong Nonsi

 
Bangkok's CBD houses major office towers, global financial institutes, embassies and five-star hotels. Most of Bangkok’s best restaurants and bars are here, but you also have plenty of street food. The ultimate destination for luxury high-rises and costly low-rise developments.
 
 Living close to the office
 Not so walkable. The trench in the middle of Sathorn. The traffic.
 

Buy Here

 
Ashton Silom (completion in 2019) 450 meters from BTS Chong Nonsi, starts at B8.5 million for a 31 sqm one-bedroom unit (around B274,000/sqm). www.ananda.co.th
 

Rental Market

B38,000/month for a 51 sqm one- bedroom unit
 

Value Check

2013: B159,000/sqm

2018: B220,000/sqm


Saphan Taksin and Riverside

 

Touristy because of the five-star hotels, but also experiencing a creative renaissance (thank those cheap shop-houses and TCDC). Limited space means new condo projects don’t appear often—and the neighborhood is better off because of it. Raimond Land’s The River and the latest Four Seasons Residences provide the slick, ultra-luxe end of the market. 

 Shop-house Chinese food and street food. Connection to both BTS and the Chaophraya Express. 

 Crowded, not-so-tidy footpaths. A long way from Thonglor.

Buy Here 

Four Seasons Private Residences (completion in late 2018) starts at B34.5 million for a 116 sqm one-bedroom unit (around B297,000/sqm). www.residences.fourseasons.com 

Rental Market

B40,000/month  for a 62 sqm one- bedroom unit
 

Value Check

2013: B135,000/sqm
2018: B180,000/sqm
 
 
 

Thonglor/Ekkamai

The Commons
 
This pair of streets has everything from nightclubs to Michelin-starred restaurants, hip cafes and even a private hospital. Condo prices in the area are really strong. Many Thai investors buy rooms here in order to rent to high-income Japanese expats.
 
 The rental market. The convenience.
 Hi-so crowd in their “activewear.” Friday night’s traffic nightmare.
 

Buy Here

 
The Reserve Thonglor 2 600 meters from BTS Thonglor, starts at B5.9 million for a 47 sqm one- bedroom unit (around B258,000/sqm). www.thereservecondo.com
 
 
Siamese Exclusive Sukhumvit 42 500 meters from BTS Ekkamai, starts at B5.3 million for a 30 sqm one-bedroom unit (B175,000/sqm). www.s42exclusive.com
 

Rental Market

B40,000/month
 

Value Check

2013: B129,000/sqm

2018: B177,000/sqm


Ratchadamri/Chit Lom/Phloen Chit

Bangkok’s most prestigious area has its highest selling price per sq meter. Living here means you’ll be the neighbor of royals and diplomats. Bear in mind that only a few properties in the area are free-hold. Most are leasehold and built on royal land. Most rooms come with views of Lumphini Park and the Royal Bangkok Sports Club.
 
 Leafy streets, tidy footpaths, proximity to Lumphini Park.
 Forget about street food and cheap eats.
 

Buy Here

 
Muniq Langsuan 900 meters from BTS Chit lom, starts at B12.9 million for a 50 sqm one-bedroom  unit (around B258,000/sqm) www.mjd.th/muniq
 
 
Magnolias Ratchadamri Boulevard 200 meters from BTS Ratchadamri, starts at B14.9 million for 49 sqm one-bedroom unit (around B300,000/sqm) www.magnolias-ratchadamri.com
 

Rental Market

B45,000/month for a 50 sqm unit
 

Value Check

2013: B107,500/sqm

2018: B134,000/sqm


BK ASKS

Pow Foongfaungchaveng
Head of Corporate Marketing AP Thailand
 
What's the biggest trend among luxury condo developers in Bangkok now?
 
Ultra-luxury today equates to “private.” We live in a world where people are obsessed with sharing virtually everything on social media, and the trend is slowly moving towards the opposite: solitude and ultimate privacy. Luxe condominiums with a smaller number of units are likely to hold higher value.
 
What about the other end of the market?
 
The young, entry-level price condo will move towards co-sharing and community.
 
What makes Bangkok condos desirable compared to the rest of the region?
 
Apart from the price point advantage, Bangkok exudes the best of both worlds. It’s a business city but also a leisure city, making it perfect for a second home from meetings to holidays. Bangkok has charm, heritage, culture and also the cosmopolitan lifestyle.
 
What’s the recipe for the perfect condo development? 
 
Location. When you buy a condo, you don't just buy the room, you buy the locality as well. Also, smart spacial design. Some 35-sqm rooms can function as if they are 50-sqm. 
 
 
Sumate Aramkul
Salesperson at Fullhouse property agent
 
Which area in Bangkok makes the best investment buy?
 
Thonglor. Compared to Phloen Chit, it’s still cheaper to buy but the rental market is higher—almost B1,000/sqm a month now. This demand comes from Japanese expats, who mostly have high-paid management jobs.
 
Any up-and-coming tips?
 
Around the Asoke-Rama 9 intersection. The Chinese are buying lots of property in the area because they see it as cheaper but with full MRT and Airport Rail Link connection. Due to the availability of land, many office towers have moved there.
 
What are the highest-priced condos in the city?
 
The most expensive area has always been around Lumphini Park, which expands from BTS Ratchadamri to BTS Phloen Chit. A lack of free-hold land means developers are very lucky to build and the price will go mad. Also the area around the park will forever be green space. No one can buy a public park and block your condo view.
 
Do riverside condos make good investments?
 
Personally I think they’re better for real living and not for investment because the price hasn’t increased. Don’t get fooled by the words “river front” or “riverside.” Most of these condos are built in narrow-front land and not all rooms have river views. Some projects offer only 20 percent of rooms with views.