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Home arrow News arrow Asia arrow Thailand set to see increase in interest from foreign property investors

Thailand set to see increase in interest from foreign property investors

Friday, 01 February 2013
An increase in tourist figures is being taken as a signal that Thailand is set to see a rise in demand from overseas buyers for the condo property market, particularly in popular spots such as Phuket.

When the final figures are released they are expected to show that almost 22 million people visited the country in 2012 and tourism officials say they expect 24.5 in 2013.

Overall Thai tourism is up 15% in numbers and 24% in income compared with 2011 with visitors coming from China, Malaysia, Japan, Russia, South Korea, India, Laos, Australia, the UK and Singapore.

Asians are now considered one of the big spenders in relation to overseas properties and as well as looking at London they are also looking nearer home in places like Thailand.

Phuket is emerging as the favourite island destination in South East Asia with its international airport seeing a record 9.5 million arrivals and departures in 2012, up 13% on the previous year, and outstripping other popular locations such as Patty, Koh Samui and Chang Mai.

The emphasis is now on wealth rather than the mass market and with it comes a new source of property buyers keen on condo style resorts in particular. One European developer, Beach Projects, has relocated its headquarter to Thailand to benefit from the trend and is building luxury investment grade beach properties in Phuket.

‘Tourists quickly convert to property investors as they fall in love with the year round 30 degree sunshine and legendary scenery. Also living costs are a third of those in Europe and HSBC ranks Thailand number two in its Expat Explorer Survey, especially praising its quality of life,’ said Roy Hanif, partner in Beach Projects.

‘There is a new wave of demand from overseas and from Phuket’s local middle class population for luxurious, spacious condo resorts with establishments such as the Banyan Tree booking out way in advance, so we’re building Silver Beach in Phuket to go some way to satisfying this,’ he explained.

He pointed out that whilst capital appreciation is currently minimal on land and villas, according to the Bank of Thailand condos have increased on average in value by 10% over the past five years.

‘The investment potential is massive. Clients can realise that 10% anticipated return if they buy off plan and sell on completion or take advantage of rental income of between 8% and 12% net per annum thanks to a 250 day high season,’ explained Hanif.

He believes that with starting prices of £117,000, Silver Beach is affordable for professionals. Building work is underway and expected to be finished by the summer of 2014.

Reports suggest that the condo market in Phuket has grown by 20% in the past two years. Phuket has seen an increase in Asian buyers. The Russians and Chinese lead the way with 30% of buyers on the island coming from Russia alone and the number of Indian buyers also increasing. Properties with sea views are the most popular yet the hardest plots to come.

Designed by Bangkok based Harvard educated architect Bill Bensley, Silver Beach Phuket is next to the Laem Hin nature reserve on the Thai island’s sough after east coast.  It has the Andaman Sea on one side and mangrove forest on the other.

The project consists of five star luxury gated properties on private beaches with resort quality facilities including swimming pools, bars, restaurants, a clubhouse and a concierge service.

Within the resort there will be eco-friendly golf carts to use for getting around and boats for island hopping. Nearby are spas, boutiques, restaurants, bars and sports facilities, including seven golf clubs and various marinas.

The nearest down is a 3.7 kilometer drive and the International Airport within half an hour with direct flights to all major European, Asian and Australasian cities including London, Munich, Moscow, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney.  
Payment terms are 35% down with the rest payable in stages according to project milestones.  Silver Beach offers no rental guarantees but will install its own on site management company with rental returns pitched at a minimum of 10% per annum, net.
Freehold and leasehold ownership schemes are in operation, devised by  global law brand Baker & McKenzie. Under Thai condo laws 51% of the total saleable area of units must be owned by Thai nationals, while 49% can be owned by non Thai nationals.
Therefore, approximately 49% of the total saleable area of the units in Silver Beach will be sold freehold with the remaining 51% transferred to Thai SPVs and leased to buyers under the continuously renewing three times 30 year full ownership leasehold scheme.

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