Bangkok Accommodation in Yenakart

Realtors operating in the Thai capital often get asked which districts in Bangkok are the most suitable for expats. The thing is, there isn’t a straightforward answer to this question because lifestyles and expectations are subjective. With that in mind, the short answer has to be that there is no ideal place for an expat to live in Bangkok.

Not All Homes and Neighbourhoods Are Equal

Some people prefer to dwell in high-rise condominiums around busy, vibrant areas like Asoke or Nana, enjoying great city views from living room windows. Others may like the more intimate feel of a low-rise condo or apartment in the city’s quieter parts of town like On Nut.

However, for those expats working in Bangkok’s CBD, location and easy access to their office is imperative. This may mean they have to be practical perhaps more so than picky when looking for accommodation. For them, the Sathorn area is often the preferred location, and Yenakart is a very good choice.

The Yenakart / Sathorn District

Quiet, green, and centrally placed with easy access to Rama 3 Expressway, Rama 4 Road, Sathorn Road, and Narathiwat Road, makes it actually quite difficult to find a more centrally placed location in Bangkok than Yenakart.

It is also important to note that Yenakart has three points of access from Bangkok’s public transportation network. The first and original one, is the Chong Nonsi BTS (Skytrain) station, which is only a five minute drive from the central Yenakart area. Closer still is the Lumpini MRT (Metro) station, located near Q-House Lumpini (a 38-storey office building set on the corner of Sathon and Rama 4 roads). From Q-House, residents can reach most of the condos mentioned in this article within a 15 minute walk. And finally, there’s the more recently opened Yenakart BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) station on the Bangkok BRT line.

Now let’s take a look at the type of accommodation available in Yenakart.

The Resorta Yenakart

Fortunately, Yenakart has a complete range of accommodation on offer, from low-cost studios starting at around 13,000 THB/Mo, to beautiful, spacious three bed condos, renting out for 100,000 THB/Mo and above. However, let’s begin by looking at the smaller, low-cost units on offer at The Resorts Yenakart, located in the Yan Nawa district of Bangkok.

One bedroom units here can be had for as little as 15,000 THB/Mo, but the better furnished, more attractive rooms will be priced up to 18,000 THB/Mo. Resorta Yenakart is a low-rise condominium housing a total of 308 condo units. Some of the condo facilities include:

  • Large swimming pool
  • Attractive grounds and gardens
  • Fitness room
  • Sauna / steam room
  • Mini Mart
  • Reception Area
  • Covered Parking
  • 24hr security

The Resorta represents great value for those wanting to live in the Bangkok CBD area.

Sathorn Plus Condominiums by Sansiri

Moving up in terms of price are another two fine low-rise condominium buildings: the Sathorn Plus on the Pond and Sathorn Plus by the Garden, both of which are located on the main Yenakart road. These condos are built by Sansiri (one of the largest real estate developers in Thailand) and offer practical living in the Yenakart area.

Some of the typical facilities for each of these Sathorn Plus condos include:

  • Car parking
  • Fitness room
  • Multi-Purpose Room
  • Roof-top swimming pool
  • Shady garden area
  • 24 hour security with CCTV and Security Key Card Access Control

The 50sqm one-bed units at these Sansiri properties rent out for approximately 24,000 THB/Mo at the time of writing, and the studios are slightly cheaper at just 17,000 THB/Mo.

Baan Sirisathorn, Yenakat

Located not far from the two low rise buildings above is Baan Sirisathorn. This is yet another good quality low rise building, providing grade-A living for residents.

As with the other low-rise accommodations in this area, there is a nice feeling of both intimacy and quality about the place. Fitted out with solid wooden floors, powder coated window frames, and top quality fixtures & fittings throughout, these units really are something else.

At the time of writing, the 35sqm studio condos here rent for about 20,000 THB/Mo. A 55sqm one bedroom goes for approximately 30,000 THB/Mo, and the 80sqm two bedroom units for 40,000 THB/Mo. Condo facilities include:

  • Reception Area
  • Undercover Parking
  • Roof-Top Swimming Pool
  • Roof-Top Sun Deck
  • Roof Top Fitness Studio
  • 24 Hour Security

Baan Sirisathorn is a cosy residence and makes for a perfect home for expats working in CBD.

The Lanai Condominium

As mentioned earlier, Yenakart has accommodation to suit a varied selection of tastes, budgets, and requirements. If you like traditional South East Asian styles and oriental architecture, then the Lanai could be the perfect place for you.

This exclusive condominium is an eight story low rise project with just 34 one and two bed units in total. The Lanai offers its tenants a very unusual choice in Bangkok living.

Indisputably a high-end building with a real five star quality feel to the place, the Lanai affords residents with a peaceful, resort style experience, not dissimilar to what you might expect at a luxury retreat in a tropical location such as Samui, Phuket, or even Bali in Indonesia.

The condos at the Lanai are huge, with three bedroom units being over 250sqm. Even the two bedroom units are above 200sqm. Oozing quality and opulence, the Lanai condos are bright, airy, and sophisticated. Facilities include:

  • Covered Car Park (2 spaces reserved)
  • Fitness Center
  • Reception
  • Roof Garden
  • Sauna / steam
  • Swimming Pool & Deck
  • 24 hour Security with CCTV

The moment you enter the lobby, it’s as though you have been transported far away from Bangkok and miraculously set down at a beautiful five star resort along the Andaman Sea or Gulf of Thailand. It is fair to say that this quality residence offers something that no other Bangkok condominium building can.

Obviously all this space, luxury, and hi-so lifestyle comes at a price. With rents in the neighbourhood of around 100,000 THB/Mo for a three bedroom unit, it will only be Bangkok’s high earners who get to reside at the exclusive Lanai Condominium.

The Conclusion

As you can see, this little known and often forgotten corner of Bangkok known as Yenakart, actually offers expats a great deal of choice and convenience. With easy access to the BTS Skytrain, MRT Metro, and the Bangkok BRT system, it’s amazing this part of town remains somewhat of a hidden gem. Additionally, those expats who own a car can also easily access Rama 4 road, Rama 3 road, Narathiwat road, Sathorn road, and the Rama 3 Expressway.

Going back to our opening paragraph, where we said there are no districts in Bangkok which are most suitable for expats, perhaps there is after all, and perhaps it’s Yenakart!

Offices, Condominiums and Apartments – How Have Things Changed In The Past 10 Years In Bangkok?

Hi. I’ve been working as a real estate agent in Bangkok since 2006. In that time I have seen some changes, but surprisingly very little has changed. Let me explain.

Apartment Rental Prices Bangkok 2008 – 2018

Rental prices of most apartment buildings have increased very marginally over the past 10 years. Whereas a spacious 3 bedroom apartment in Sukhumvit area would have cost 70,000 Baht 10 years ago, it may cost you 85,000 Baht today. That’s only a 20% increase over 10 years, actually far less than inflation, and in many ways an apartment is cheaper now than 10 years ago.

Why? It’s difficult to say but I would guess that ongoing political problems, 2 coups, and a pretty stagnant economy barely kicking over at around 3% growth in GDP each year are the reasons. This level of growth may be acceptable for a world leading developed nation, but for Thailand that (let’s face it) still has some way to go in terms of development, it’s not very good.

The apartment rental market in Bangkok is mostly governed by expats. Thai people don’t rent at these prices, either they don’t earn enough, or are sensible enough to buy a property in the suburbs, or are part of the immensely wealthy elite and already own several blocks in central Bangkok. As the number of expats has remained fairly constant, so have rental prices.

Newly built condominium buildings have seen a rise in rental prices, and there will always be a small percentage of people who have sufficient budget and only want to live somewhere very new, something is particularly true of Japanese renters, but the new buildings will become old and once they have been constructed and a rental price has been established, you will notice that the price will stay relatively stagnant from then on.

This is actually the same with condominiums for sale. Once a building has finished construction, a sales price and rental price is established, and it will remain stagnant at this level for years to come.

But prices have been increasing in Bangkok, everyone knows that!! So am I wrong?

Condominium Sales Prices Bangkok 2008 – 2018

I don’t think I’m wrong. There are some condominium buildings that have experienced a very good level of capital appreciation in recent years, but “on average” they haven’t.

Yes, prices have been increasing significantly in Bangkok, and this is something that all developers will happily promote to you when selling you their brand new project. They will show you graphs with an upward trend in prices, and show you that prices are increasing at least 5-10% year on year.

Prices of brand new buildings have been increasing a 5-10% year on year, but not completed buildings.

This is mostly down to increases in land prices. As land prices increase (and to some extent construction costs) so have the cost of new buildings. So new buildings get ever more expensive, but are completed buildings following suit?

No. And this is why I’m not wrong. A building that cost 150,000 Baht/sq.m. 5 years ago, may now only be 160,000 Baht sq.m. In this example around 1.5% compound growth. This building was brand new 5 years ago, and a brand new building today still under construction might cost you 200,000 Baht/sq.m. which is 33% more than the new building was 5 years ago, hence the 5%++ compound growth.

But the fact remains, the building that YOU purchased 5 years ago may have increased only 1.5% compound per year.

This is the ongoing trend with Bangkok property. New buildings constantly set new benchmarks in prices, and then remain the same. With even newer buildings adding a layer on top, setting new benchmarks, and then remaining at the same level. Even newer buildings still, just keep adding another layer on top.

This is why you will find such huge price discrepancy between buildings, even if they are located right next door to each other. An example would be Lumpini 24, a new condominium located on Sukhumvit Soi 24, where prices will fetch around 250,000 Baht/sq.m. So, a 60 sq.m., tiny little 2 bedroom unit will cost around 15,000,000 Baht.

Immediately next door is an older condominium called President Park, where prices have remained stagnant at around 60,000 Baht/sq.m. So, a very spacious 3 bedroom unit of 260 sq.m. will cost you around 15,000,000 Baht.

Four times bigger, located immediately next door, but the same price! So the old adage “Location, location, location” doesn’t apply here. It is ONLY based on the age of the building.

Here is an example of a newer building for sale, 275sq.m. asking 80,000,000 Baht: http://www.property-bangkok.com/viewproperty.asp?id=587

Here is an example of an older building for sale in a similar location, 366sq.m. asking 21,000,000 Baht: http://www.bangkokcondo.org/viewproperty.asp?id=614

Yes, the new condominium is much nicer, better design with newer lobby and sparkling facilities. But is the variation in price fully justified. I mean, 4 times the price!

Baring in mind that the interior of the new condominium will age and need replacing, and if you bought in the older building you can renovated the interior to have it all brand new.

In any event, whether you buy in the new condominium or older building is neither here nor there, the main issue being raised in this article is that prices of new projects may have increased nicely, but once you have invested in your condominium unit, you may not realise the same level of growth that you were told by the developer.

The only ones really seeing huge capital growth, are the land owners. And these are mostly already very wealthy Thai people, as non-Thai’s cannot own land. It doesn’t help the majority of non-wealthy Thai people who still remain financially strapped.

Office rental prices have also remained quite static. Over the past 10 years office rental prices have increased marginally, similar to the apartment buildings. However, as most investors (both Thai and Foreign) seem fixated on condominium buildings, the price of office space for sale has also remained quite static, and arguably office units for sale provide the best option for rental returns, given that office leases are normally minimum 3 years, and you don’t need to renovate the office space like you would with a condominium, with the former requiring a whitewash lick of paint, the latter new furniture, new bathrooms, new kitchen etc.

This is not to say that it is a bad idea to invest in Bangkok real estate. But you need to consider office space and commercial properties as well as residential, and you need to very carefully consider the building, as I previously mentioned, some condominium buildings have seen good growth over the past 10 years, whereas most haven’t.

You need to have a good eye. Best of luck!