Positive outlook for 2017 with continued demand from both domestic and regional investors
Thailand’s hotel investment activity remained robust in 2016 with more than 10 hotels and hospitality assets sold in Bangkok and major provincial destinations. Of this, five assets were brokered by JLL on behalf of the sellers. However, investment volume fell 15 percent from 2015 to 9.6 billion baht due to the lack of large assets being offered to the market. 2017 will see a big jump in investment volume as the 10.8-billion baht sale of Swissotel Nai Lert Park is scheduled for conclusion this year, according JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group.
Mike Batchelor, managing director of Investment Sales Asia, JLL’s Hotels and Hospitality Group, says “Investment appetite by both local and foreign investors in Thailand’s hospitality market has showed no signs of subsiding as these investors have remained upbeat on long-term fundamentals in this ever-resilient market.”
Data from the Tourism Authority of Thailand suggests that the growth of inbound visitors into Thailand has been consistent with a 10-year compound annual growth rate of 8.9 percent. Total international visitor arrivals breached the 30 million mark for the first time in 2016 and are expected to reach 35 million in 2017 despite the crackdown on zero-dollar tours that has impacted the number of arrivals from China since the latter part of 2016.
Bangkok led the pack in 2016
Bangkok was the star performer in Thailand with hospitality transactions accounting for around 50 percent of the total volume in 2016. Some of the key deals recorded over the year across the city include the sales of Eight Thonglor (including the former Pan Pacific Residences, since rebranded as Akyra Thonglor), Liberty Garden Hotel and Park 24 Condominium in Sukhumvit which will be rebranded and managed as serviced apartments by Ascott.
Other transactions were spread across major tourism destinations including Pattaya, Phuket, Phang Nga, Koh Samui, Hua Hin and Chiang Rai plus additional transactions in the gateway city of Nakhon Ratchasima and the industrial town of Sri Racha.
Both domestic and regional investors were active buyers
While most of the hotel deals last year were transacted by Thai investors, institutional investors from Hong Kong and Singapore were also active purchasers, accounting for around 45 percent of the total transaction volume.
“Interest from both domestic and regional investors were strong in 2016, a trend that is expected to continue into 2017,” says Batchelor.
“More Asian corporates are looking to place large capital reserves into alternative investment classes in some of Thailand’s real estate sectors that enjoy healthy trading performance and returns. Buoyed by strong long-term growth prospects for the country’s tourism industry, some of these corporates have showed keen interest in the hospitality sector, as evidenced from strong levels of bids for some of sought-after hotel assets currently offered for sale in Thailand,” he adds.