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January 27, 2008

Building Starts Forecast reports 45% increase in 2008

Scheduled starts for building projects in Southeast Asia are up 45 percent in 2008 compared to last year, driven by demand for transport-related buildings, offices, health facilities and exhibition space in the region, says Building & Construction Interchange (BCI) Asia.

The construction media group in its Building Starts Forecast 2008 report names the fastest growing sector as transport with a whopping increase of 235 percent with government-backed projects in Thailand, Vietnam and China set to start construction this year.

These include Thailand's Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Co Ltd building nine stations along its new BTS Sky Train Green Route and the Mass Rapid Transit Authority building 35 stations along the extension of its Dark Red Route from Rangsit to Mahachai, while China's building starts include the stations along the 841-km High-Speed Railway worth US$845 million (US$1=RM3.24), from Guiyang to Guangzhou.

"Forecast growth for large residential projects is strongest in Vietnam with a slew of multi-tower apartment projects slated for sites in and around Ho Chi Minh City.

"These projects include 11 towers at the SC5 Complex in Binh Thanh District and eight towers at The Mark in District 7 due to start construction in the last quarter of 2008," says BCI Asia in a statement.

The growth in this segment also remains strong in Hong Kong (up 91 percent) and in Mainland China (up 44 percent), where mega projects with at least half a million square metres of residential floor area are coming on stream, it added.

Office building starts meanwhile, are forecast to increase 23 percent across the region on strong demand in Singapore where office rentals have doubled in the last year, and in Vietnam which has a shortage of office space in recent years.

The Building Starts Forecast 2008 is a quarterly forecast based on floor area data for 50,000 projects collected by BCI Asia researchers in interviews with developers, project managers, architects or engineers.

Courtesy Bernama

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