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Phuket Property: Vikings wary; Phuket Fitness Fiesta; Cops slammed, loved; Phuket villas



Phuket Property: Vikings wary; Phuket Fitness Fiesta; Cops slammed, loved; Phuket villas | Thaiger
Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily digest of news about Thailand from around the world, compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community.

Phuket property: Scandinavians scared

Scandinavians are planning to sell their properties in Phuket ‘en masse’ after the political riots in Thailand badly shook their confidence, says Thanan Tanpaiboon, president of the Phuket Real Estate Association.

“In the past few months, there have been hot debates among Scandinavian settlers and some have put their properties up for sale,” Thanan said.

“The situation blew up in May with the shooting and burning. This caused jitters among the investors. Though we have tried to convince them things are stable, a lot depends on the government’s stability and how it can restore confidence.”

The Scandinavians’ strongholds are along Patong, Kata and Rawai beaches.

But The Nation reports today that aside from the Scandinavians, Phuket has welcomed “huge” investment from UK, German and other European investors who are less frightened about political instability.

The island is also proving attractive to Russian investors, who are buying into complete freehold condominium units.

Thanan said property transactions on the island were active in the first four months of this year, but the situation turned upside down in April. He noted that though the rioting was contained in Bangkok, it spooked foreign investors nationwide.

In Phuket in particular, foreign tourists stayed away.

“It remains to be seen if Phuket tourism will pick up in the coming high season. If political stability is restored, things should improve,” he said.

On transactions from Thai investors in Phuket, Thanan said there were rare transactions for properties priced in the 2 to 5 million baht range.

However, the luxury segment has been spared from negative impacts. These units, worth 10 million baht or more, are being sold directly between friends.

“Now, they talk about units priced at US$3 million to $4 million [95.5 to 127 million baht] each. The price depends on satisfaction. Though negative factors remain, they believe Phuket will continue to prosper in the next five to 10 years. The downturn is also believed to smooth deals,” he said.

Developers on the island must adjust their marketing plans, he said, adding that developers on Phuket were quite adaptive given the many crises from disasters and diseases.

Phuket to host massive fitness fiesta

Travel News Gazette
The 17th Laguna Phuket Triathlon and inaugural Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship are the highlights of a unique, week-long endurance sports extravaganza set to make Phuket a mecca for professional and amateur triathletes worldwide.

The annual Laguna Phuket Triathlon on Sunday, November 28, will kick off a calendar of sporting and social activities leading up to the Ironman event a week later, on Sunday, December 5.

“As Thailand recovers from the effects of political turmoil earlier this year, events such as this are crucial to rebuilding tourist confidence,” said Laguna Phuket Triathlon event director Debbie Dionysius.

“Close to 1,000 international entrants are expected for each event and global attention will be focused on Phuket. This will be a sporting and tourism showcase of the best that Thailand has to offer the world,” she said.

The Phuket Gazette sponsors the Laguna Phuket Triathlon and has done so since this ‘Race of Legends’ was launched on the island 16 years ago.

Lawyers slam cops

The Nation
The Lawyers Council of Thailand yesterday criticized police for carelessness and a lack perspective in letting a case go to court after a Bangkok garbage collector was arrested and fined 133,000 baht for selling video CDs that he salvaged from trash.

“Police are the first screening step to help prevent people from being unnecessarily punished, or preventing poor people with no criminal intent from being jailed or facing serious charges.

“Police should have considered this carefully,” Council spokesman Sombat Wongkamhaeng says.

Surat Maneenoppharatsuda should not be considered “an entrepreneur” selling copyrighted movies and music without a licence (under Article 38 of the Film Act) because he was a garbage collector and sold only the movies he picked out of the rubbish, Sombat says.

Surat did not intend to make an occupation out of it, but just wanted to earn some extra income for his children, Sombat laments.

Dancing cops loved

The Nation / Today Online
A group of dancing policemen has become the latest pop sensation in Thailand with a YouTube video that shows them shimmying and swinging their hips as they impersonate a popular South Korean boy band.

The video was posted Aug 5 and had more than 280,000 views yesterday when the front pages of major newspapers declared it “a major hit”.

One tabloid exclaimed: “Police set dance floor on fire!”

“We never thought it would become this big,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Tanakorn Doltanakan, one of nine officers in the five-minute video spoof of “Sorry Sorry”, a hit by South Korean boy band Super Junior.

The policemen are part of the 4th Subdivision of Thailand’s Tourist Police in Chiang Mai.

More than 1,000 viewers have posted comments, encouraging the group to take their act on the road.

Other admirers have dialed the Tourist Police hotline to compliment the dancing officers.

Phuket Villas court China

Property Report
Phuket’s Ocean Villas Group will is targeting China as it looks to add more High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) to its client list.

Sales Director Rebecca Smith says, “China has been on our radar for some time now as wealth in the country is increasing at a rapid rate, and new HNWIs are being created all the time.

“China currently boasts over 477,000 millionaires and 64 billionaires, up from last year’s 28. Additionally, the Chinese invest 30 per cent of their wealth in real estate.”

China is now the world’s number two luxury goods market, with sales up 12 per cent in 2009 to US$9.6 billion, accounting for 27.5 per cent of the global market, according to figures from consultancy Bain & Co.

This figure is expected to grow further to US$14.6 billion during the next five years, making it the world’s top luxury market.

Phuket Ocean Villas is a Cherngtalay-based property broker.

Student fraudsters busted

The Bangkok Post
Three students in Thailand were arrested with fake baht notes totaling 4.7 million baht. Along with the 1,000-baht notes, printing equipment was also seized in a police raid on a dormitory at Ubon Ratchathani University yesterday.

The raid was carried out by border patrol police.

They stormed into the dormitory and arrested 21-year-old Surapat Meesawat – ironically, a “business administration” student – along with Sakphum Sithiha, 25, studying for a master’s degree in computer science, and

— Gazette Editors


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