Chatuchak, an area not unknown to most Singaporeans who have been to Bangkok at least once. Famous among both tourists and locals for its sprawling market, Chatuchak market covers an astounding 70 Rai (27 Acres) and is known to be one of the largest weekend markets in the world, attracting more than 400,000 visitors every week. (Source: Chatuchak.org)
However, the market is just one aspect of Chatuchak, and Chatuchak has plenty to offer not only to locals living in Bangkok, but also to investors looking for an ideal location to cash in on the demand from Bangkok properties.
Already considered a fast-emerging residential area in Bangkok, Chatuchak has also been named as one of the most liveable neighbourhoods in Bangkok by the expat website “bk.asia-city”. It is a popular choice for locals and expats who wish to live in a neighbourhood that allows ample recreational activities, while affording at the same time accessible and convenient travel to the downtown area. (Source: bk.asia-city)
The area hosts an abundance of green spaces for recreational and entertainment purposes, which is always a draw in greenery-scarce Bangkok. Parks such as Chatuchak Park and Suan Rot Fai offer residents and visitors plenty of options when it comes to spending quality relaxation time, including enjoying a picnic in the park, kayaking in the river, or taking a stroll in Bangkok’s only butterfly garden and insectarium in Suan Sirikit.
When it comes to food and shopping, the options are limitless as Chatuchak market itself comprises over 15,000 shops and outlets selling anything from food and ingredients, to home furnishings and antiques, all at local pricing. Aside from the market, air-conditioned malls such as the 150,000 square foot Union Mall allow locals to fulfil their shopping needs in air-conditioned comfort. Many trendy cafes and restaurants are also located around the area that will satisfy the craving of any foodie without them even having to leave the neighbourhood. (Source: Bangkok.com)
Travelling to and from the area is also convenient and hassle-free as it is serviced by both the BTS and MRT lines, interchanging at the Mo Chit / Chatuchak interchange. This vital link allows residents living in Chatuchak to travel anywhere within the city without having to change services and most importantly, allows residents to avoid the notorious jams so prevalent on the city’s roads. It is also only one of the two areas which benefit from the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system which integrates a separate bus lane into the road system which is inaccessible to other vehicles. This allows buses to also serve as a rapid transit system to quickly transport large number of commuters to various areas.
Notably a vibrant area with endless draws, it is not difficult to see why Chatuchak has earned the title of most liveable neighbourhood in Bangkok. However, the reasons why developers are taking note of Chatuchak are not just because of what is already there. Rather, it is the potential of what future plans could hold for Chatuchak that have kept the attention of many investors on this area.
Just under a kilometre away, a huge development is planned to take place that will revolutionize not just the Thai economy, but also those of other ASEAN nations like Singapore, Malaysia, and Cambodia. Driven by the development of the Trans-Asian Railway, the planned Bang Sue complex is set to utilize Thailand’s central location to become the new regional hub for transport and businesses in the entire ASEAN region.
The complex will cover approximately 120 acres and will be divided up into different zones. Around 14 acres of land will be set aside for use as a complete business hub with hotels and a food plaza for tourists and business. 30 acres will transform into Bangkok’s latest retail and wholesale commercial area that will service the entire ASEAN region, while another 41 acres will be developed into a sustainable town that is smart, healthy, and vibrant. The remaining areas will be allocated to building new transport infrastructures or upgrading existing ones to ensure the smooth operation of Bang Sue Complex. (Source: The Nation, Bangkok’s Independent Newspaper)
Development of the area will also see the current existing station transform into the centre of railway and transportation for Bangkok and the entire country, serving not just as an interchange for the BTS and MRT lines, but also as a terminal for various high speed rail links to Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, and Nong Hai. The current Airport Rail Link (ARL) from Suvarnabhumi Airport will also be extended to Bang Sue Grand Station and eventually connect with Don Mueang airport to provide even greater accessibility between all major travel centres in Bangkok.
The entire development is estimated to be completed in 2023. However, investors recognizing an opportunity to cash in on this potential are swiftly moving in. According to a report released by Knight Frank, condominium prices near the planned complex have already grown by an average of 6.5% per year since 2011, and are look set to continue climbing especially once the Bang Sue Grand Station and railway systems are completed.
Furthermore, at least 80% of the available units in the nearby areas have already been sold. Some to investors who see keen potential of the area to experience a growth in property prices similar to other Bangkok areas such as Asoke, Phrom Phong, and Ratchadamri. (Source: Knight Frank)
As with any investment, investors who catch the opportunity early are the ones who stand to benefit. While Chatuchak may not be an iconic locale that comes to an investor’s mind at present, planned developments in the area have certainly made it a location to look out for.