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Ekkamai comes into its own as Bangkok’s property hotspot

Posted by Marciano Birjmohun on January 11, 2019
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2018 will be a memorable year for Ekkamai. No longer shall it stand in the shadow of its popular counterpart Thong Lo — Ekkamai is the designated investment hotspot and there are good reasons for it.

Also known as Sukhumvit Soi 63, Ekkamai runs parallel to Thong Lo (Sukhumvit 55) and is connected to it via Thong Lo Soi 10 and Ekkamai Soi 5. This proximity synergises the two areas, resulting in cohesive commercial activities flowing from Thong Lo into Ekkamai and vice-versa. The area has developed a vibrant range of leisure options and is transforming into a residential hotspot appealing to today’s demand. The intersection of Sukhumvit Soi 63 and the main Sukhumvit road offers a diverse set of establishments, alongside the Ekkamai BTS station.

The CBD of Sukhumvit is only a few stops from the Ekkamai BTS station. At the far end of Ekkamai, you meet a junction that veers into Petchaburi Road or into Sirat Expressway, the Bangkok outer ring road. The Eastern Bus Terminal, located on the intersection of Ekkamai and Sukhumvit, is the connection to several Eastern Seaboard destinations such as Pattaya and Rayong.

While similar to Thong Lo in numerous ways, Ekkamai stands apart from its neighbour with its unique living atmosphere. Populated by large trees, the area is less commercial, benefiting from a more peaceful and serene residential environment. Ekkamai offers a charming Bangkok vibe, especially with its undeveloped shophouses that still host mom-and-pop stores. Recently, more modern and trendy venues opened up in the area, including French bakeries, Korean and Japanese restaurants, Italian bistros, Spanish tapas, café’s, pubs, cocktail lounges, and Michelin-listed fine dining establishments.

Investment overview

The average cost to rent high-end condominiums in Bangkok’s CBD and city fringe is reaching on average THB700 to THB800 (USD21-24) per square metre. When comparing the return on investment in condominiums over the past five years, Ekkamai retained the highest rental yield at an average of seven percent, followed by Thong Lo with an average of six percent.

Investing in condominiums not only gives investors an annual rental return, but also generates capital gains from asset appreciation. Ekkamai has been consistent with an annual capital gain at five percent. 2017 has been dominated by luxury and super luxury condominium supply. Average asking prices have reached new heights in areas such as Thong Lo, giving growth opportunities to Ekkamai’s residential segment.

A transitional lifestyle has driven demand for residential units in Ekkamai. New developments in Ekkamai start at THB160,000 per sqm, compared with Thong Lo at THB350,000 per sqm. The popularity of Ekkamai is the result of convenient commuting options, great leisure venues and geographical location in mid-Sukhumvit.

On top of these, the living atmosphere makes the area pleasantly relaxing, offering residents a good escape from the hectic Central Tourist Districts of the metropolis. This combination of factors has contributed to Ekkamai’s appeal and desirability. Buy-to-let investors can positively benefit from investing in Ekkamai condominiums, as the area offers a steady market of potential tenants for the past years. As a reputable premium residential address, it is a hotspot for great rental options, especially among expatriates and the growing local middle class.

You may have noticed Ekkamai is a narrow road. This is a beneficial factor for future residential planning; due to restrictions imposed by Bangkok’s planning and building regulators, there will be less high-rise buildings allowed. Fewer high-rise condominiums will add pressure on overall supply of residential units and have a positive effect on price levels for savvy investors.

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