Bangkok, Asia Pacific’s 7th most affordable office market to fit out

2021 urban fit-out costs predicted to stay down

Aerial view of Bangkok City skyline on Sathorn Road in downtown Bangkok. AvigatorFortuner/Shutterstock

According to JLL’s Asia Pacific Fit-Out Cost Guide 2020/2021, Bangkok ranked seventh in the Asia Pacific region for the most affordable office market to fit out valued at USD713 per square metre. Meanwhile, for the fourth year in a row, the most expensive office market to fit out — valued at USD1,927 per sqm — is Tokyo. In comparison, Bangkok is 170 percent cheaper than Tokyo.

Stephen Taylor, the managing director of project & development services at JLL Thailand stated, “despite price competition among construction service providers and contractors, fit-out costs in Bangkok have stayed relatively stable. However, reinstatement costs have increased due to rising material costs in this traditionally low margin segment.”

JLL’s report indicates that fitting out costs of offices in key markets across Asia Pacific will increase in 2021 due to price drivers such as higher delivery costs, labour shortages, material availability, and health and safety considerations.

Redesigning or upgrading of workspaces will also be priced higher in 2021, as a result of the pandemic.

More: Thailand’s property market shows optimism for Q4 2020

“Cities that rely heavily on foreign labour have struggled with labour shortages, and governments have imposed stringent measures, including enhanced inspection routines and enforced health and safety protocols, for construction sites to reopen. These are important and necessary precautions. However, the impact on productivity and extended project timelines are driving costs up,” said Martin Hinge, the executive managing director of project development services at JLL Asia Pacific.

In spite of expected price surges, most firms will remain committed to creating productive and safe work conditions for employees, said JLL. This devotion is in view of the fact that work environments play a key role in safeguarding the company’s corporate culture, including talent recruitment and retainment.

Fit-out costs differ significantly throughout the Asia Pacific region. Bangkok, Manila, Seoul, Auckland, and Taipei are expected to have stable, or even declining, fit-out costs, since contractors and construction service providers have turned to minimising their overall margins.

Hinge adds, “though fit-out costs vary from market to market around the region, we believe the overall upward trend will likely remain in 2021. Workplaces will continue evolving, and there remains a strong motivation for companies to invest in areas such as technology, health, and wellness, to meet increased expectations from employees, as we all adjust to the new normal.”