Thai property developers looking for opportunities in Vietnam and Cambodia, according to consultants

Thai property developers are starting to look at overseas markets for new opportunities because of the intense competition in the Thai market, according to international property consultants CB Richard Ellis.

They are looking, in the first instance at nearby markets in Vietnam and Cambodia because of their proximity, level of development and the fact that local competition is not as well developed as the more mature markets such as Malaysia, the consultants say.
‘There are a wide range of opportunities in the Vietnamese and Cambodian markets from city centre office, retail, residential and hotel developments through to the growing resort markets in these countries as well as industrial estate opportunities,’ said James Pitchon, head of research and consulting at CBRE Thailand.
He reckons it will prove a challenge for the developers as rules and regulations governing property development and ownership are different in other countries and the dynamics of each of the property sectors in these countries is also different to Thailand.
‘Accurate information on regulations, supply, demand, pricing, competitors and prospects for each property sector is essential for a Thai developer to succeed in a new market,’ he explained.
CBRE established offices in Vietnam in 2003 and now has over 200 real estate professionals operating out of offices in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Danang. Its research, consulting and marketing teams have already worked with a large number of overseas developers who have successfully built projects in both the main cities and resort areas.
CBRE established and office in Phnom Penh in 2009 and have been advising clients on the Cambodian market for many years before the office opened. David Simister, chairman of CBRE Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam advised the Australian Government on the acquisition of a new site for their Phnom Penh Embassy in 2005.
‘There is very little publicly available information on the Vietnamese or Cambodian markets. CBRE sells and leases properties in these countries everyday which is why we have the best market data on actual transactions and future supply. This enables us to provide our clients with the best market data giving them the best knowledge to enable them to succeed,’ said Pitchon.
He believes that there are opportunities for Thai developers to acquire or build properties in both Cambodia and Vietnam but accurate market research will be critical in order to succeed.