Renting serviced apartments and condos in Bangkok is probably the easiest way to secure housing for expatriates. Because there is no shortage of condos and apartments in Bangkok, those interested in renting are spoilt for choice. From standard to the upscale end of the cost spectrum, most renters will find they receive better value for money than in their home countries.
One of the advantages of renting a Bangkok serviced apartment is that it doesn’t mean signing up to a long term agreement. Most ask for a three month rental, but some are willing to work on a monthly basis. It’s slightly more expensive than a long term rental, but it does offer chance to see if the area suits or provides some time for looking at other properties.
Upscale and luxury property developments are available all over Bangkok. Just in the last few years, newly completed and started housing projects totaled to around 19,000. This influx of new condos in Bangkok has created greater competition between individuals or agencies renting and leasing their units and properties. This competition provides potential renters with the advantage of choice and reasonable prices for serviced apartments.
The Sukhumvit area is the most popular part of Bangkok for expats renting or leasing condos and serviced apartments. In addition, over the past few years the Silom and Sathorn areas have also experienced an influx of large luxury units. Mid to low cost condominiums in these areas range from one to three bedrooms and are anywhere from 45 square-metres to 80 square-metres. At the higher end of the spectrum condos and apartments usually range from 90 square-metres to 200 square-metres, with three to four bedrooms.
Prices vary widely according to the modernity of the building and the area and proximity to the Skytrain, particularly in the Sukhumvit area. There are remoter areas of the CBD where rents are a third of the prices here, but Bangkok’s notorious traffic is a big factor. Areas further out, but close to the MRT, have become popular with new apartment blocks appearing on the scene all the time. Lad Phrao and Ratchayothin are both within easy reach of the MRT and offer a lower cost of apartment than Sukhumvit. Properties towards the airport are also appearing but these will be more expensive as the Skytrain extends.
Expect to pay 20,000 baht or more for a studio near the upper end of Sukhumvit road, but you can get 60 square meters for the same price beyond On Nut BTS station. Around 40,000 baht will get you a spacious two-bed serviced apartment in the Ekkamai area or near Silom. From 50,000 to 100,000 baht, you have a generous selection of 100 square-metre apartments in very plush buildings near the Silom business district or in the trendier soi 30s of Sukhumvit. From 150,000 and up per month, you can pick the very best condos in the city and on the riverfront. Prices quoted here generally include furnishings (the higher the price bracket the more discerning the décor and fittings).
In general, there is a good selection of serviced apartments in Bangkok without too much added expense since labour is cheap. In a city like this, security, furnishings, maid services and access to maintainence is important since it is a hassle to arrange these yourself.
However, you can avoid these trendy new condo rental developers and find older, spacious and unfurnished condos in the sois off Sukhumvit for as little as 15,000 baht for 60 square metres. One important consideration is noise, which naturally increases the closer you are to the street, often with construction rampant. Furnishing your own condo in Thailand isn’t expensive, and the range of décor and furnishings is large and stylish.
For newer developments it is common for individuals to sign a leasing agreement based on a display unit. Trusting the reputation of the housing development, tenants commit to leases before seeing the unit they will actually be living in. This is called the off-plan method and has become quite popular over the past couple of years.
There are a number of factors that drive prices up or down when it comes to renting apartments or condos in Bangkok. The proximity to the public transport – the BTS Skytrain and MRT underground – is a major consideration. While most foreigners prefer to stay near these stations, the cost of renting an apartment will always be more expensive the closer you are to transport services. Despite rising yearly rates for renting condos, foreigners will still find prices to be much cheaper in Bangkok than elsewhere in Thailand and other developed Southeast Asia nations.
Assistance from Property Report – Asia’s leading real estate magazine.