Seniors join a class for the elderly managed by the Institute for Continuing Education and Human Resources at Thammasat University. AMORNTHEP CHOTECHALERMPONG
Property developers are more interested in residential development for elderly people as Thailand shifts to an aged society, prompting calls for new housing development models.
Vittakarn Chandavimol, chief of the business group for condominiums at SET-listed developer AP Thailand Plc, said the company will study housing projects for seniors in Japan as a model for Bangkok, aiming to facilitate elderly people’s lifestyle.
“The condos for elderly people we want to develop in the next few years will aim for those with active lives,” Mr Vittakarn said. “Projects will be located in urban areas where they can enjoy city life and have convenient travel.”
He said the new generation of elderly people will differ in that they may not want to stay with their children, instead opting for a livelier retirement.
“One of our interesting findings is that seniors enjoyed living in the inner city when they temporarily relocated to their children’s condos to escape the floods in 2011,” Mr Vittakarn said. “We need to study this further in Japan.”
SET-listed Supalai Plc is another residential developer interested in elderly home projects. It plans to develop a project in Kaeng Khoi, Saraburi near an existing resort.
Supalai chief executive Prateep Tangmatitham said the company is designing the Supalai Elderly Home & Wellness Center, which will have 100 townhomes priced at around 1 million baht each for a 30-year lease or lifetime period.
Somchao Tanthathoedtham, chief executive of SET-listed N.C. Housing Plc, said the company will study residential development for elderly people to serve the trend of population growth among people aged 65 and up.
“In Thailand, there is still no such project [i.e. a development for senior living] to learn from,” he said. “Many are nursing homes that may be unfit for future elderly people.
“Thailand seriously needs to research elderly people’s behaviour, as we cannot tell whether future elderly people will want to stay with or separate from their children.”
Sutee Limpanachaipornkul, president of property developer Nye Estate Co Ltd, said the company four years ago saw an opportunity to develop a retirement project in Thailand.
“Our project is in an early stage,” he said. “We have no research on elderly people’s lifestyle in Thailand, so we need to use overseas [research].”
Nye Estate has joined three partners — MAI-listed developer Chewathai Plc, SET-listed L.P.N. Development Plc and SET-listed contractor Ch.Karnchang Plc — to develop Kamala Senior Living, a project in Phuket to begin construction in the second quarter of 2019. Business | WRITER: Kanana Katharangsiporn
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