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Phuket Business: The changing landscape of Phuket’s property sector

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Business: The changing landscape of Phuket’s property sector | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Demand on Phuket for condos is skyrocketing, highlighted by strong annual growth figures, which is in contrast with slumping sales of other housing types.

A survey conducted by the Research & Development Department of Plus Property Co Ltd found that 2,641 new condominium units were sold on the island from April 1, 2011 through March 31, 2012 – an annual increase of over 20%.

Representing a combined value of 9.98bn baht, the mean Price Per Unit (PPU) value equates to 3.78 million baht.

This is compared to a mean PPU of just over 4mn baht in the previous year (April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011), when 2,193 units worth a total of 8.79bn baht were sold.

The annual increase in overall units sold, coupled with the drop in mean PPU, indicates that demand is up for more affordable homes in Phuket – at least in the condominium sector.

The survey also looked at the island’s markets for Single Detached Houses (SDH) and Town Homes (TH), both of which showed a decline in demand, with their respective mean PPU values rising.

According to the figures through March 31, this year, the SDH sector recorded 649 sales – down 25% from 867 units sold in the previous year.

Meanwhile, the mean PPU of such units surged by 57% to 13.2mn baht, up from 8.4mn baht previously.

Similarly, in the TH sector, the number of units sold in the latter period dropped by 55% (down to 200 from 451), while the mean PPU rose by 46% to 3.98mn baht, up from 2.72mn baht in the previous period. When comparing the two periods, demand across all three sectors, as measured by the number of sales contracts signed, dropped 0.5% to 3,490 from 3,511.

However, due to the strong performance in the condominium sector, overall demand, when measured by the combined value of all units sold, rose by 11.5% to 19.3bn baht from 17.3bn baht.

Much of this new demand was generated by market newcomers, Sansiri PCL, who in their first six months of expansion into Phuket, became the island’s uncontested market leader for both number of units sold (1,401 units or 40% of market) and total value of those units (2bn baht or 10% of market).

Now in the island’s top seat, Sansiri replaces Supalai, another Bangkok-based developer, who led the market in the previous year when they sold 606 units (17% of market) valued at 1.3bn baht (7.8% of market).

Having sold only 86 units valued at 351mn baht in the last year, Supalai dropped out of the top 10, down into 13th place.

Though expected to reclaim some of the market in the coming year with at least one new condo project on the pipeline, Supalai, like Sansiri, will be looking to bank on their strong brand presence in order to continue to compete in an increasingly volatile market.

Indeed, a majority of the past year’s top 10 market leaders are newcomers, with Charn Issara Development PLC (5th, previously 3rd) and Kata Rocks Co Ltd (6th, previously 10th) being the only two developers that remained in the top 10 throughout the two-year survey period.

Low-, high-end demand up
Demand in Phuket for condominium units targeting the low and high income brackets spiked in the past year, while the middle section of the tier stagnated.

Marketing research (see above story) shows that 1,381 condos targeting the low-income segment (units priced less than 50,000 baht per square meter) were sold in Phuket in the past year.

This is compared to 973 sold in the previous year, representing an annual jump in demand of 41% in this segment.

Likewise, sales of units targeting the high-end (units priced between 100,000 to 199,999 baht per square meter) also jumped by an astounding 608%, marked by the sale of 255 units in the past year compared to only 36 sold in the previous year.

Measured by the total number of units sold, the proportion of demand in both segments has also jumped, with market share of low-income units rising to 52% from 44% the previous year, and high-end units to 9.6% from 1.6%, respectively.

Meanwhile, share in the lower-middle bracket (units priced between 50,000 to 69,999 baht per sqm) dropped to 19.7% of the market, from 31% previously, with share in the upper-middle bracket (70,000 to 99,999 baht/sqm) falling to 18.3%, from 22.3%, previously.

Setting the benchmark this year, newcomers Sansiri PCL claimed 88% of condominium sales in the low-income segment.

“We are not stealing demand from others. We have generated demand based on the needs of the market. If we did not focus on development [of our offering] in this segment, such new demand and growth, as outlined in the research, would not have existed,” Sansiri CEO Apichart Chutrakul told the Gazette.

— Steven Layne

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Thailand

Facebook removes “information-influencing” pages linked to Thai military

Maya Taylor

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Facebook removes “information-influencing” pages linked to Thai military | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook

Facebook has confirmed the removal of 185 accounts run by the Thai military and allegedly involved in information-influencing. The social media giant says the accounts were deleted for engaging in what it calls, “coordinated inauthentic behaviour”. In total, 77 accounts, 72 pages, and 18 groups have been removed from the platform, in addition to 18 Instagram accounts. It’s the first time Facebook has taken such action against accounts linked to the Thai government.

The accounts were associated with the Thai military and were targeting people in the southern provinces, Facebook said its regular report on coordinated inauthentic behavior. The south of the country has been the scene of decades-long conflict, with insurgent groups in the majority-Muslim, Malay-speaking region calling for independence. To date, around 7,000 people have died in the ongoing struggle.

Facebook says the deleted accounts were most active last year and used both fake and real accounts to manage pages and groups, both openly military pages and pages that hid their links to the military. Some of the fake profiles pretended to be people from the southern provinces.

The report mentioned a post by the now-removed account named “comprehending the operation” in Thai. The page posted the logo for Amnesty International Thailand and wrote “The NGO never cares about ordinary citizens because they have no role in society. Normal people are not famous. Any case is not big news. They are not worth the investment of foreigners so they will not do anything to help. This is why we don’t see anything from the NGO.”

Facebook removes “information-influencing” pages linked to Thai military | News by The Thaiger

Image overlay translates to “The NGO never cares about ordinary citizens because they have no role nor money.”

On another now-removed account, named “truth about my home Pattani” in Thai, a post said “Muslim leader declares southern border is a peace zone. The southern separatists started a movement by spreading the idea that Thailand is under control by different believers so that people would come and fight for their religion. This was declared that the action clearly violates Islam faith.”

Facebook removes “information-influencing” pages linked to Thai military | News by The Thaiger

Image overlay translates to “Southern border is not Jihad zone.”

When contacted by Reuters, the military had no comment on the removal of the Facebook accounts, with a spokesman saying the organisation does not comment outside of official press conferences.

The head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook, Nathaniel Gleicher, has confirmed the reasons behind the platform’s decision.

“This is the first time that we’ve attributed one of our takedowns to links to the Thai military. We found clear links between this operation and the Internal Security Operations Command. We can see that all of these accounts and groups are tied together as part of this operation.”

He adds that the accounts had spent around US$350 on advertising on both Facebook and Instagram. One or more of the pages had about 700,000 followers and at least one of the groups had 100,000 members. Gleicher says the accounts were removed because of their misleading behaviour and not because of the content being posted. The content included support for the military and the monarchy, with allegations of violence and criticism of insurgent groups in the south.

It’s not the first time accounts linked to the Thai military have been removed by a social media platform. In October, Twitter removed 926 accounts it says had links to the army and posted pro-military and pro-government content. The Thai army has denied any involvement with the accounts in question. In November, Twitter also suspended an account posting pro-monarchy content that was found to have links to the palace and to thousands of other accounts posting similar content.

To read the February 2021 Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior Report, click HERE.

SOURCES: Reuters| Facebook

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Central Thailand

Airline executive arrested for failure to pay wages of 150 workers

Maya Taylor

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Airline executive arrested for failure to pay wages of 150 workers | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

An airline executive has been arrested in the central province of Samut Songkhram, after complaints from150 employees that they had not been paid. Chawengsak Noiprasan, who had a court warrant issued against him in October, was taken to Don Muang police station from a property in the Bang Khan Take sub-district. He is a board member of Siam Air Transport.

The airline began operations in October 2014 with services out of Don Mueang to Hong Kong, using 2 Boeing 737-300s. 2 Boeing 737-800s were added to its fleet in late 2015. It expanded by adding Zhengzhou and Guangzhou in China to its network in early 2015. In late 2015, the airline launched flights to Macau and Singapore. In 2017, the airline ceased all operations.

But according to an article in the Bangkok Post, the carrier operates a number of scheduled and charter flights from Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport. The Post reports that, as Chawengsak signs the company’s legal paperwork, all legal matters concerning the airline fall to him.

The Metropolitan Police Bureau says the executive has admitted to ignoring a 30 day notice issued by the labour inspector and ordering the payment of wages to 150 workers. It’s understood he is also wanted in relation to 7 other cases.

The authorities sought Chawengsak’s arrest following complaints from employees who say they haven’t received their wages for 2 months. It’s understood the airline had previously deferred salary payments for over 8 months. 150 workers filed an official complaint with Don Mueang police and also approached media outlets, asking them to pressure the airline into paying the money owed.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Business

Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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