Leading Thai real estate companies are focusing more on senior housing and aged-care facilities, as the country is, by definition, an ageing society, says Phil Smith, head of retirement and healthcare business for CBRE in Australia.
The National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) says Thailand has 11.2 million elderly, accounting for 17% of 65.5 million Thais. An ageing society is one where the number of people aged 60 and older make up more than 10% of the population. “There are local developers that have been building condominiums and residences for years. Some of them are listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand,” Smith said. “These companies want to diversify their core business from real estate to healthcare and senior homes. However, this is the beginning stage for them to enter aged society services.” He expects Thailand to become home to retired people from around the world, thanks to great fundamentals and infrastructure, attractive tourist destinations, and lower costs of living compared with developed countries and some other nations in Southeast Asia.
Thailand’s warm weather is also suited to the elderly, especially those from cold areas. Smith also expects foreign developers to form joint ventures with locals to develop senior housing and facilities, similar to the business ventures between local developers with foreign companies to develop condominium projects in Bangkok. CBRE Thailand Co has organised its first seminar on senior housing and healthcare in Thailand, attended by 100 participants from 50 real estate companies. Smith told the panel that Thailand is an ageing society and the demand for housing and facilities for senior citizens will increase significantly.
NESDB statistics indicates that the number of seniors is predicted to increase gradually in the coming years, which will create a business opportunity. “There are huge opportunities for senior housing and healthcare businesses,” Smith said. “Our study found that senior people [in Thailand and over the world] need specially designed homes with full services.” Some local developers have already started senior projects, such as Sunshine International in Hua Hin – Bangkok Post