HONG KONG: Exhibitors at the Phuket & Samui Property Exhibition say they were pleased with the quality of visitors to the show, and the general organization of it.
The event featured mostly property developers from Phuket and Koh Samui, but also attracted one developer from Bangkok and another, South Thailand Homes, looking to sell a development on Koh Lanta.
Although none of the 57 exhibitors came to the show expecting to make sales, five did say they had signed contracts. Royal Development International reported selling a US$600,000 (27-million-baht) home in the Royal Samui Beach development, while apartments worth 8.2 million and 6.8 million baht respectively were sold at Allamanda and Ocean Breeze.
Gary Pearmain at Coconut Land & House signed a client for a 7-million-baht house at the Santi Thani development on Koh Samui, while Suchana Chaloemtoem, Director of The Plantation in Kamala, reported the sale of a 17-million-baht apartment.
“The exhibition is good for prospective buyers, because they can see a large variety of homes in the same place,” said K. Suchana. “This year there were many more visitors than last year. We have been very happy with the show. We have another 10 potential customers who have made appointments to come and see us in Phuket.”
Rawat Chindapol of the 900-million-baht Nirvana Phutri development in Chalong, called on the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the Phuket Chamber of Commerce and government departments in general to give more backing to shows such as the Hong Kong property exhibition. He said “I’d like to see the show being held in Hong Kong twice a year.”
Describing home buyers as “third-wave tourists”, he pointed out that such people, having bought homes in Thailand, would naturally be repeat visitors and would bring other people with them. The TAT should encourage such people, he said.
The show was not without its controversial moments, particularly when Gulu Lalvani, developer of the Royal Phuket Marina, dropped a bombshell in one of the two seminars held in conjunction with the exhibition.
During discussion of leasehold versus freehold ownership, Mr Lalvani revealed – amid horrified looks from developers and agents – that owners of villas at Amanpuri, including himself, had discovered that the typical 30-years-with-two-rollovers leasehold contract was not enforceable if the land changed hands.
It had cost millions of dollars to ensure that the long leases originally agreed by the villa owners would continue, he said.
Mr Lalvani then added that Royal Phuket Marina leaseholds had now been structured in such a way as to ensure that buyers there would not face a similar problem.
The Hong Kong show, which is organized by the Artasia magazine group and Graham Doven, and co-sponsored by the Phuket Gazette, is certain to be repeated next year. Other shows may possibly be launched in Dubai, Britain and Australia, the fastest-growing markets for high-end properties in Phuket and Koh Samui.
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