Office for Rent in Bangkok Information
Bangkok office space offers a wide range of offices for rent near BTS and MRT, and a wide choice of locations. Prices for offices for rent in Bangkok reflect the locations, access to transport and the grade of office building and facilities.
Office areas in Bangkok are concentrated around the CBD which covers Silom, Sathon, Wireless and Sukhumvit roads. However, offices for rent near MRT are available throughout town and other principal office locations, including Ratchadapisek. CBRE covers all types of office property in all Bangkok locations from the areas above through to suburban and midtown locations such as Ratchadapisek, Viphavadi-Rangsit, Chaengwattana and Bangna.
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Proximity to mass transit systems has become a priority for Bangkok office tenants. There are two existing mass transit systems: the BTS sky train and the MRT subway, which serve primarily the central and midtown locations of Bangkok.
Office locations in Bangkok can be geographically classified into two main regions, which are:
1) Bangkok CBD (Central Business District)
Defined as the area incorporating Silom, Sathorn, Rama IV Road, Ploenchit, Wireless Road, Asoke, and the early Sukhumvit area (Sukhumvit Road up to Soi 24).
1.1 Core CBD
The core CBD includes Silom, Sathon, Wireless and Ratchadamri Road, passing through Rama IV and Ploenchit Road.
The majority of grade A offices for rent in Bangkok and the headquarters of many multinational companies are located here. The area is served by both of Bangkok’s mass transit systems.
1.2 Outer CBD
This area covers the primarily residential areas of Bangkok along the BTS sky train route, specifically the early Sukhumvit area and Asoke up to Sukhumvit Soi 24.
There are a number of suburban and midtown offices for rent in Bangkok. These are popular with companies requiring convenient access to downtown as well as the industrial areas and the airport. Generally, as can be expected, office locations along mass transit routes have become increasingly popular.
Chaengwattana, in the north of Bangkok, is a major government administrative centre.
To the east of the city, close to Suvarnabhumi International Airport, is the Bangna-Trad district. This area not only provides convenient access to the airport, but is also the gateway to the Eastern Seaboard.
Petchaburi Road and Sukhumvit Road extend to the east of Bangkok, with the BTS running along Sukhumvit and the airport link running parallel to Petchaburi. Rama III Road runs along the river, providing good road access to the city centre and easy connections to eastern Bangkok via the Industrial Ring Road. There are many offices for rent near BTS along Sukhumvit Road.
Bangkok offices for rent can be segmented into two core types.
1) Single Ownership
Most office developments are high-rise purpose-built properties owned and operated by a professional office landlord
2) Multiple Ownership
There are also a limited number of multiple ownership office developments, known as office condominiums in Thailand (in other countries as strata title offices). Those premises have been sold to individual owners. The main difference is the management of the property where a management company, supervised by a committee of co-owners, manages the common areas. The individual owners are responsible for the maintenance of their own office units.
Bangkok Office Classification
CBRE has developed a grading system and grade A offices for rent in Bangkok have the following characteristics:
- A floor plate with a regular shape, and without structural encumbrances, which can be easily subdivided
- An air-conditioning system with a central chiller and variable air volume, rather than a constant air volume from a water-cooled system. There should be a separate 24-hour air-conditioning supply for tenants’ computer rooms
- Lifts with low waiting times. Lifts should be allocated to different floor zones. A separate service lift with its own lobby should also be provided
- The common areas, particularly the main entrance and floor lobbies, should have an impressive design and high-quality fittings and decoration
- Ceiling heights inside offices should be at least 2.8 metres
- The building should have professional building management
- The car parking layout should have smooth and efficient entry and exit routes
- Some, especially recently completed buildings, have LEED environmental certification
- Most buildings have access control turnstiles and some destination control lifts
There is also a broader class of popular and successful office buildings, which CBRE classifies as grade B offices for rent in Bangkok:
- These might be seen as of lower quality, but they benefit from good locations, which may offset other factors. Tenants that are prepared to take space in lower quality buildings will benefit from lower costs of occupation
Bangkok Travel Infrastructure
BTS (Bangkok Transit System/SkyTrain)
The BTS SkyTrain is a critical transport system in Bangkok, covering much of the city centre and its many commercial, residential and tourist areas. The sky train and subway systems intersect at Silom, Siam, Asoke and near the weekend market, enabling Bangkok’s residents to access a large part of the downtown area. There are many offices for rent near BTS stations and they all provide convenient locations for commuting workers.
MRT (Mass Rapid Transit)
The MRT is Bangkok’s first subway or underground system and currently has one line, although various others are being planned. Many offices for rent near MRT are located in the Silom, Sathon, Sukhumvit, and Ratchada areas.
ARL (Airport Rail Link)
The ARL is a rapid transit line that connects Suvarnabhumi International Airport to Central Bangkok. The ARL transport system is divided into two lines, a city line and an express line.
BRT (Bus Rapid Transit)
The BRT route starts from a new sky train interchange at the Chong Nonsi BTS station along Narathiwas-Ratchanakarin Road and the length of Rama III Road before crossing the river at the Rama III Bridge and ends at the Ratchadapisek-Ratchapreuk Intersection in Thonburi.
For drivers, a comprehensive network of expressways cross Bangkok and they are accessed via ramps through toll booths.
Bangkok has a comprehensive bus network, consisting of publicly run and private buses. Bus fares are paid to the conductor for each trip. Buses are both air-conditioned and non-air-con. The quality of buses is variable so choose the orange, air-conditioned Euro buses, which are the best in terms of comfort and safety.
Bangkok’s taxis and Tuk Tuks are plentiful and relatively cheap. Taxis tend to have meters (although, you may have to ask to have it switched on), while each Tuk Tuk trip requires a negotiation for the fees paid to the driver.
Bangkok Office Rental - Example Lease Terms
A Bangkok office for rent usually has the following terms and conditions:
Office Lease Term
Leases for commercial office space in Bangkok are usually for three years. Options to renew are available. The rental for the renewed lease terms is subject to mutual agreement. It is possible to have an office lease term for longer than three years. However, this requires the lease to be registered, and this incurs costs and taxes.
Basis of Measurement
Most office landlords quote areas on a net lettable basis, measured from the window to the core area including columns but excluding common corridors, washrooms and plant rooms.
Office deposits are generally for 3 months’ gross rental, non-interest bearing, refundable upon expiry of the lease
Rent-free Fitting Out Period
This depends on the size of the Bangkok offices for the rented space leased. For example, a tenant with 1,000 square metres should be able to get a two month rent-free period for fitting out.
Bangkok Office Running Costs
In addition to the rent, there will be other costs as detailed below:
The standard rate is 5 - 6 Baht per kilowatt per hour and bills are paid directly to the landlord.
Almost all offices for lease have central air conditioning systems; however, there are two common systems used in Bangkok offices. The type affects your occupation costs. If the building uses a water-cooled package, tenants will pay for the electricity consumed by their package units, adding 40-50 Baht per square metre per month to the rental. If the building uses a central chiller system, the landlord absorbs the cost of providing air-conditioning.
Air-conditioning after hours (overtime air-conditioning)
Normal office hours at most buildings are 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM on weekdays. If air-conditioning is required outside of these hours, the tenant usually pays a surcharge of 2 - 3 Baht per square metre per hour.
Office tenants usually apply directly to the telephone service provider for the installation of the lines required, but will pay a non-refundable installation charge to the landlord. Bills are paid directly by the tenant to the telephone company.
Most offices for rent in Bangkok have been built to a minimum standard set by the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA). This is one space for every 60 square metres of lettable area. Few Bangkok offices provide a more generous parking provision. Tenants can expect one space free of charge for every 100 square metres of office space leased. Extra spaces can be rented on a monthly basis, if available.
Management Fees, Service Charges and Local Property Tax
These are usually included in the gross rental which is quoted for leased office space. The gross rental will be split between two or three contracts to reduce the landlord’s tax liability.
Up to 60% of the gross rental will be allocated for services or rental of equipment for which 7% VAT (Value Added Tax) is levied. Usually property tax of 12.5% per annum (based on the rental of commercial office space) is paid by the landlord.
Fitting Out Costs
The capital costs of fitting out, including loose furniture but excluding office equipment such as the PABX, will be 15,000 – 20,000 Baht per square metre. Normally, the leased unit will have to be reinstated to its original handover condition upon expiry of the lease.
Office Research and MarketView
The total Bangkok office supply at the end of Q4 2020 was 9,231,188 square metres, increasing 0.7% Q-o-Q and 2.9% Y-o-Y from the completion of three new office buildings: Bangkok Life Assurance Head Office, Thai Zhong Tower and Ratchada One, with combined office space of 59,600 square metres, all of which are in the Grade B Non-CBD classification.
From 2021 to the end of 2023, we expect to see a big influx of new supply from 1.11 million square metres of office space under construction.
The net take-up in Q4 managed to increase to a positive level at 6,439 square metres, a 136% increase Q-o-Q but still lower than the same period last year by 75%. This resulted in the total annual net take-up of only 27,325 square metres, dropping 82% Y-o-Y from 153,389 square metres in 2019.
This year, Grade B CBD submarket has seen negative net take-up for four consecutive quarters. We believe the tenants in these buildings decided to move out to Non-CBD areas where rents are lower as a result of the financial impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grade A CBD submarket performed well in this quarter as more tenants completed their physical move-ins into The PARQ and Spring Tower which were completed in Q1 2020.
The ongoing financial stress from COVID-19 pandemic has been felt across the Bangkok office market. Many smaller companies have considered moving into flexible workplaces and co-working spaces where greater flexibility can be offered both in terms of fixed costs and lease terms. We believe, as the economic downturn prolongs, we will see more inquiries and movement from traditional office space to flexible workplace especially for SMEs.
For full access to further Bangkok Office Research and MarketView or to access the Bangkok Property Report