Competition in the luxury residential market is heating up, with new supply increasing and novel players emerging as demand continues to grow, with the wealthy unaffected by high inflation and recession.
During 2017-19, new housing supply in the Bangkok luxury segment totalled 785 units, or roughly 260 units per year. For 2020-21, the total soared to 800 units, or 400 per year, according to property consultancy CBRE.
“In the first nine months of 2022, this trend has accelerated significantly with 883 units,” said Chotika Tungsirisurp, CBRE Thailand’s head of research and consulting.
The product segment has also changed, with 75% being premium-luxury and super-luxury units in 2022, compared with an average of less than 30% in the previous five years, she said.
The super-prime products were launched by both large developers and new players.
Sansiri Plc, one of the market leaders, has stepped up to the next level, launching the Sansiri Luxury Collection (SLC) portfolio to redefine one-of-a-kind luxury residential projects, where prices have spiked over time.
Uthai Uthaisangsuk, Sansiri’s chief operating officer, said the company has developed luxury houses since its establishment 38 years ago.
The first project was Baan Kai Muk, a flagship condo resort in Hua Hin, which posted very high prices at the time.
“Our company has grown from high-end development and we are always the one setting the standard. It is not easy to achieve luxury residential development,” he said.
“Now we created SLC for one-of-a-kind luxury projects after the success of 98 Wireless three years ago.”
Mr Uthai said projects under SLC are developed with three key standards: refined taste, uncompromising quality and an unparalleled living experience.
The Clubhouse has a Renaissance Revival style for Narasiri Krungthep Kreetha.
He said excellent design was an essential criteria in all SLC properties. Sansiri worked closely with the world’s leading architects and designers to create a liveable and timeless piece of art — a space that inspired present and future generations.
World-renowned interior designers the developer has worked with include Anne Carson, who made a name for herself at Ralph Lauren. She was behind the interior design at Sansiri’s super-luxury flagship condo development 98 Wireless, where the selling price set a record at more than 700,000 baht per square metre.
The price has now risen to almost 1 million baht per sq m.
Philippe Stark, a design superstar known for his iconic products, furniture and interiors, showcased his unique designs characterised by products and spaces that were practical, vibrant and unconventional at Khun By Yoo, Sansiri’s first design-branded residence condo on Soi Thong Lor.
Another condo in Thong Lor by Sansiri, The Monument Thong Lo, saw two renowned designers showcase their works, which are the only units in Thailand featuring Gert Voorjans, with his mingling of patterns, textures and palettes that are bold, colourful and fearless.
Lorenzo Castillo, a Spanish designer known for his rich mix of modern materials and historical influences, was behind the interior design of a show unit at the Thong Lor condo development, with his eye for colour and geometry bringing a refined sense of luxury.
Sansiri also had Mary Fox Linton, a British designer who designed private homes for the sophisticated elite in the UK, create a conceptual design for a unit at Baan Sansiri Pattanakarn, Mr Uthai said.
“We use timeless designs like Regency Style at Baan Sansiri Pattanakarn, Beaux-Arts at 98 Wireless, Renaissance Revival at Narasiri Krungthep Kreetha, and Modern Luxury at Bugaan Yothinpattana, which is a brand-new exclusive residence sold out within four months after launch,” he said.
“When applying them to our projects, we bring not only the designs, but also the scale and materials.”
Mr Uthai said the company exhibited craftsmanship with a high level of distinction, using quality materials from around the world such as moleanos limestone from Portugal.
“Materials or items must be from a splendour collection, like an oversized chandelier at Khun By Yoo’s lobby, priced at 10 million baht, which is custom-made by Barovier & Toso, an Italian company that specialises in Venetian glass,” he said.
At 98 Wireless’s lobby, a three-tier crystal chandelier is customised from Ralph Lauren, while rare and antique items like an antique mirror are from Niall Smith.
A Lasvit chandelier, a free-form custom-made chandelier by a world-class lighting manufacturer used at The Monument Thong Lo, is man-made as a one-of-a-kind fusion of art and technology.
Sansiri’s in-house design team were also sent to Carrara, famed for its white marble in Italy, to pick marble slabs to use at 98 Wireless.
“We elevate the boundaries of what a home can be through a meticulous understanding of space and context,” Mr Uthai said.
“We develop the projects with craftsmanship, like the use of hand-made moulding imported from the US and book-matched statuario marble. The value of materials is increased through design and mastery.”
He said meticulously choosing good quality materials and distinctively designing them like a piece of art is not good enough — they also require proper maintenance to last a long time.
Mr Uthai says the company has developed luxury houses since its establishment 38 years ago.
Mr Uthai said SLC’s customers want living experiences that are designed to meet their refined expectations, suitable only for the privileged few.
“Confidentiality and privacy are crucial in luxury projects,” he said.
“Privacy at a residential project does not only mean a limited number of units, as privacy can also be incorporated into design.”
Even in a condo project where residents can easily meet others in public areas, privacy can be provided via personal elevators and entry sequences.
“Lifestyle service is another key feature that customers in the luxury segment are looking for,” Mr Uthai said.
“They want unlimited, phenomenal living services beyond exclusivity.”
Lifestyle services for SLC include luxury lifestyle management by Quintessentially, a world-class concierge, which offers access to the inaccessible, like dinners with David Beckham or coveted events and concerts.
There are also butlers, mixologists and “romanceologists” provided by Plus+ Concierge, a personal assistant service from Plus Property, trained by top hotels. Plus Property is a property management subsidiary of Sansiri.
With well-trained staff, Plus Property also provides in-residence extended assistance in addition to services and property management, he said.
“Property management and after-sales service is a key factor boosting property value,” said Mr Uthai.
“We are a long-established developer and will always be with our customers.”
Every project of the Sansiri Luxury Collection generates a high capital gain over time.
For example, Baan Sansiri Pattanakarn had a capital gain of up to 50% per year in two years. Narasiri Krungthep Kreetha, with units priced between 50-130 million baht, gained a net profit of 30% in three months and a historic record high in sales in only one month.
At present, Sansiri is setting the standard for one-of-a-kind luxury residences. SLC’s portfolio comprises six projects: 98 Wireless, Baan Sansiri Pattanakarn, The Monument Thong Lo, Khun By Yoo, Bugaan Yothinpattana, and Narasiri Krungthep Kreetha.
Sansiri plans to launch four new SLC projects next year, including Narasiri Phahol-Watcharapol, and Bugaan in three locations: Pattanakarn, Krungthep Kreetha, and Rama 9-Meng Jai.
In 2024, three new brands are scheduled to launch in the collection, comprising No.19 for units priced 150 million baht and above, Sirinsiri priced at 50-100 million baht, and Narinsiri priced at 30-80 million baht.
“Through almost four decades, Sansiri has been renowned as the No.1 luxury developer due to brand heritage, lifetime asset value, and its reputation as a taste maker,” said Mr Uthai.
“These are what we aim to set the standard for in this market. This represents the trust we always get from customers in this segment.”