Bangkok Property: FAR (floor-area ratio) & more

by Michael on June 2, 2012


From the article Property developers air their gripes (Bangkok Post):

Thongchai Busrapan, president of the listed developer Noble Development Plc, said the property market will be good this year, but regulations, down payments and price supports will hamper growth.

Developers believe Bangkok’s new city plan follows the US model, where it tries to reduce urban density.

Thailand’s floor-area ratio (FAR) determines how many square metres a building can have, meaning a 1:10 ratio allows one sq m of land to develop 10 sq m of building.

“Thailand should have superblocks or more flexible FAR zoning, with higher FAR near public transportation to attract property development,” Mr Thongchai told a property seminar yesterday.

He suggested FAR rights be transferrable. For example, a high-rise project owner could buy FAR from a nearby neighbour who owns a smaller building with remaining FAR.

A required minimum of parking spaces should also be revised, as in some locations such as close to mass transit parking spaces are unnecessary.

Assoc Prof Noppanan Tapananon, a city planning expert, said the plan was designed for the benefit of the city even if some developers disagreed with requirements such as road width.

The Finance Ministry predicts the property market will grow by 5.2% this year, in line with expected GDP growth of 5.5%, assuming stable politics.

Anant Asavabhokhin, the president of Land and Houses Plc, said property developers should not focus on road width or changes to the new city plan, as there are many other attractive property businesses available for investment.

“Retail is less competitive and more interesting due to the lack of spaces and a monopoly controlled by a handful of operators. We must break that barrier preventing suppliers from opening new shops at other retail areas,” said Mr Anant, who developed Terminal 21 shopping mall on Sukhumvit Road.

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