Home building facing triple whammy in 2014

The labour shortage, economic slowdown and political turmoil will continue to weaken the overall homebuilding market this year, with expected expansion of only 7% to 11.5 billion baht, below usual growth of 10%, says the Home Builder Association (HBA).

President Wisit Monaiyapong said a labour shortage has been the major problem in the construction sector since wages rose in April 2012. The problem continued in 2013 and remains potent this year.

The economic slowdown since mid-2013 has also weakened consumers’ confidence and purchasing power, but worst of all was the political crisis that started last November in the high season for homebuilding and housing sales.

Last year, homebuilding market value was stagnant at 10.7 billion baht, unchanged from 2012 and below a target of 11.5 billion. Of the total, 7.1 billion baht comprised sales by HBA members and 3.6 billion came from sales by non-members.

Mr Wisit, also managing director of homebuilder 3D Group, was voted in as the association’s new president for 2014-15.

He said the HBA has eight strategies to cope with a sluggish market and prepare for Asean economic integration.

It will use its budget more efficiently to improve its members’ potential and competency, while it will increase members’ bargaining power for construction materials.

It will also build its network by synergy with related business such as interior design, electrical appliances, air-conditioning systems, closed-circuit TV, swimming pools and gardening to offer homebuilding as a one-stop service.

To increase market value, the HBA will expand its number of members from 150 to 195, covering both homebuilding firms and construction material producers and dealers. It will stimulate members to raise standards to prepare for Asean integration.

It will also improve partnerships with financial institutions to offer home loans for self-built home customers.

“In an abruptly changing environment such as the political crisis we are facing, every business needs to apply a defensive strategy.

The HBA will set up a special team to monitor any threats and study business impacts to prepare our members,” Mr Wisit said.

He said knowledge management and human resource development are other strategies the association will focus on.



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