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PropertyGuru to spend B80m to expand Thai activity

The Singapore-based website PropertyGuru.com plans to spend 80 million baht to expand the online property market in Thailand and develop data management systems after acquiring the Thai website DDproperty.com earlier this year.

PropertyGuru Group CEO Steve Melhuish said the investment over the next two years would be for upgrading the website’s data management, with a focus on marketing and promotional activities to give DDproperty.com more exposure to potential customers.

The group expects to break even within 18 months. It aims for DDproperty.com to have at least 1.5 million visits with over 10 million monthly page views by the end of the year, up from about 740,000 visits and 4.96 million page views in June with 95,000 property listings.

“Thailand has potential for growth due to the strong economy and the online explosion,” said Mr Melhuish. “The investment climate is expected to be positive after the election. The residential market is strong and commercial property is improving.”

He noted internet penetration reached 33% of the population last year.

The online advertising sector overall in Thailand has a value of more than 1.5 billion baht a year, with a growth rate topping 20% in the past year. The dynamic online property market is still young and has plenty of room to grow.

“We will put together a property database across countries. Singaporean investors can buy Thai property and vice versa,” said Mr Melhuish.

DDproperty.com was founded in late 2007 by Tanomsak Khacharoen and Siriporn Paewattanakul. Last year it generated 2-3 million baht in revenue from banner and display ads and listings.

PropertyGuru.com, found in 2006 by Mr Melhuish, has seven websites in eight countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Hong Kong, India and Macau, with 4 million users and 50 million monthly page views.


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