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Phuket resort owners Castlewood Group goes into liquidation

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Phuket resort owners Castlewood Group goes into liquidation | The Thaiger
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UPDATE: “The liquidation is for Singapore assets only, NOT Thai assets, the (Phuket) hotel is not being liquidated and operating as normal,” according to the Dream Phuket Hotel & Spa General Manager Chris Adams.

PHOTO: Couple Travel The World

The future of a Phuket resort in the booming Layan Beach/Cherngtalay area, funded by a Singapore-based property developer, is under a cloud following the liquidation of the Singapore-based developer. The project was opened in 2016.

The resort’s development attracted over $90 million of funds at the time of its construction. Now, according to The Straits Times in Singapore, some retail investors are lodging a police report in Singapore after the company suddenly went into liquidation. Some investors of the failed developer, Castlewood Group, now suspect that they “may have fallen prey into a scam”.

The Dream Phuket Hotel & Spa opened with great fanfare in 2016…

Singaporean commercial real estate developer, Castlewood Group celebrated the grand opening of their flagship luxury hotel development in Asia, Dream Phuket Hotel & Spa and Dream Beach in true New York cosmopolitan style with their signature world-class hospitality.

Investors in the development have spoken to the The Straits Times saying that they were informed a month ago that Castlewood was winding up and that they had to attend a meeting to appoint a liquidator. Investors have declined to be named over fears that speaking to the media may jeopardise their chances of getting any of their money back. Disgruntled investors are also organising themselves on the Singapore social media platform Telegram to discuss ways to try to retrieve their funds.

Castlewood Group’s key project is a hotel resort called Dream Phuket Hotel & Spa, in Cherngtalay, central Phuket. It has about 170 rooms and suites. It is not clear that the liquidation of Castlewood Group will affect the Dream Beach Club on Layan Beach which also has connections with a company under the Castlewood brand.

Chris Comer, Castlewood Group’s former chief executive, said in a July 2013 media report that the company had chosen Singapore as its headquarters because it is a safe place for investments.

Meanwhile, a 54 year old investor said the November meeting to appoint a liquidator came as a surprise.

“I knew the company was not doing well, but I did not expect to lose my investment.”

The unnamed man had invested $100,000 or so and had expected to get around 8% interest a year return. Instead he had only received about $7,000 in the first year and nothing since. Accounting firm Nexia TS handed out paperwork during the liquidator meeting indicating that Castlewood Group owed creditors, mostly retail investors, about $107 million.

(It is understood that the $ amounts are in SGD)

According to the document, bout 930 retail investors were owed about $91 million, with amounts ranging between $2,877 and $700,000, as reported in The Straits Times. Some firms had informed The Straits Times that Castlewood Group had failed to pay for services, like publicity.

Some investors have told The Straits Times they did not know that the company had raised so much money, more than what was needed to build the resort. Investors said they had put their money into Castlewood Group after attending events like Invest Fair or through recommendations.

SOURCE: The Straits Times

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10 proven tips to sell your property quickly in Thailand

The Thaiger

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10 proven tips to sell your property quickly in Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: There's a lot of things you can do to sell your property faster - bookings.com

Selling property can be a headache, especially when you sell in an unfamiliar market like Thailand. However, it doesn’t have to be like that. There are several fool-proof ways we have gathered from experienced agents at Fazwaz Property Group in Thailand to help you increase your viewings and sell your property faster.

1. Have the right attitude

Thailand is a buyer’s market, not a seller’s market. There’s more supply than demand and buyers have plenty of choices when it comes to buying property. Consequently, properties that are overpriced are very hard to sell, said Bangkok-based property consultant Praveen PalSingh.

2. Be a detective and offer the right price

This is the most important point. Search around the property and see what prices per square meter other villas or condos in the building, or in that area, are selling for, said Bangkok property consultant, Anjana Arora.

You can look at online listings or use tools like interactive maps featured at Fazwaz.com to find the average price per sq m in your building or in your area.

“Make a property comparison on Fazwaz by circling other properties in the area to see what they are priced for and if your property is priced according to the market and location,” added Hua Hin sales director Stephen Van der Merwe. For example, this is an interactive map showing condominiums in Asoke area, Bangkok where Fazwaz’s head office is located.

3. List your property online

Sakunee Meethong from Hua Hin said it is a good idea to list your property on online property websites. These websites have a wider reach and provide more exposure than hanging a ‘For Sale’ sign in front of your house.

4. Use high-quality photos

Attractive photos attract clients. Ask yourself if you have updated and high-quality photos for your property, said Hua Hin sales director Stephen Van der Merwe. “If the property looks good online, it will attract more attention.”

5. Make your offer stand out

The best way to sell a property fast is to set the price below the market price or “make the unit stand out from other similar units for sale,” said Praveen PalSingh. This includes nicer views and better furniture and appliances, he said.

6. Highlight location

Don’t forget to highlight the location and nearby amenities, advised Chayanin Chumphukham, who specializes in the Chiang Mai market. Nearby schools, universities, parks, restaurants, hospitals, shopping malls, 7-elevens, highways, as well as famous attractions are something you should add to the description.

7. Be flexible with viewing hours

Chayanin recommends sellers to offer flexible viewing hours, which can increase viewings and the chance of selling your property. It’s a good idea to say yes to every showing request.

8. Work with experienced agents

You can sell your house faster if you work with more experienced agents. Luke Murray, a property consultant, encourages sellers to work with a real estate agent or company that knows how to market and target the right buyers. “Advice for homeowners would be to find an active agent that you trust and can work closely with. Choosing agents that work with larger companies often gives the unit more exposure,” he added.

“Speak to your Fazwaz agent about exclusive listings – we offer excellent exposure to all of our exclusive listings. This strategy has proven to be effective at increasing viewings,” added Hua Hin sales director Stephen Van der Merwe.

9. Reduce the price

Ultimately, the key factor to selling fast is the price. In markets that are very price sensitive, only projects that are popular and are in good locations still hold their prices. The rest needs to be competitively priced, said Pattaya Sales Director John Lees-Whitehead.

“We recommend that the owner reduces the asking price, this will automatically rank higher on our website and all of our marketing channels.”

10. Be patient and honest

The Thai property market can be different from the market in your country and there is no magic trick, said Bangkok-based consultant Maxime Lienard. It is not unusual for property in Thailand to remain unsold for a year, depending on the market conditions. We don’t have any control over the market, but you can control your property; he recommended sellers to be honest with their information, post flattering photos, fix any issues before potential clients point them out, and make the property ready to buy as soon as possible.

These are 10 tips real estate experts around Thailand want to tell you, so you can attract more potential buyers and sell your property in a short space of time when you list your property for sale.

10 proven tips to sell your property quickly in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

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Bangkok

Forecasts for Bangkok property 2020

The Thaiger

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Forecasts for Bangkok property 2020 | The Thaiger

A supply influx of new office space is on the way while the overall retail industry faces low consumer confidence. But, in 2019, the number of Chinese tourists to Thailand has started recovering, says CBRE, an international property consultant.

Bangkok Office Market

The office market in Bangkok continues to perform strongly for this, but CBRE identifies challenges that are heading our way in the near future from the large amount of new supply. As of Q3 2019, over 125,000 square metres of new office space has been completed so far with another 70,000 square metres expected to come on line by the end of the year. But CBRE maintain that the increase in supply is still in line with a steady new take-up of 200,000 square metres per year.

But, they warn, a million square metres of office space is now under construction and scheduled to be completed over the next three years with majority of the new developments located along the mass transit lines. Co-working spaces have played a major role in becoming key source of office demand in the recent years.

Rents have continued to increase this year at the rate of 3-5% year on year since majority of the office buildings with high rental rates have been occupied. CBRE expects rents to continue to increase in the near future but at a slower pace.

Forecasts for Bangkok property 2020 | News by The Thaiger

Bangkok Retail Market

Across the board, the Thai retail industry has remained stagnant this year as Thailand faces a period of low sentiment and a decrease in spending power. CBRE says this is due to the increase in household debt. The Consumer Confidence Index hit its lowest point in 39 months, dropping by 10% year on year. In addition, the household debt was reported to have broken a new record since 2017 at nearly 79% of total GDP.

In the second half of 2019, the government has launched new policies and campaigns to stimulate domestic spending including welfare cards, interest rate cut, and the “Chim-Shop-Chai” (Eat-Shop-Spend) scheme where the government gives away e-money and tax breaks for domestic travellers.

Bangkok’s total retail supply, as of Q3 2019, was 7.8 million square metres, increasing by 4.39% year on year. Notable projects completed in this year include The Market Bangkok, Donki Mall, Samyan Mitrtown and Bangkok’s first outlet mall, Central Village.

CBRE says that not only have offline retailers moved towards omni-channel retailing, many new online retailers have also been expanding into offline outlets in physical retail space as showrooms and ‘click & collect’ points.

“In order to survive in a market with a large number of future retail supply in the pipeline, retail developers will need to embrace the fast-moving technology and create new unique selling points for their retail centres.”

Forecasts for Bangkok property 2020 | News by The Thaiger

Bangkok Hotel Market

Thai tourism has shown that it is as strong and as resilient as ever. International tourist arrivals for the first nine months of 2019 have increased by 4.3% year on year, reaching 32.5 million. In Q3, the number of Chinese tourists, Thailand’s biggest market feeder, has started to recover with a 17.3% year on year increase, rebounding from its drop last year.

Indian tourists have also shown promising increase, growing by 26.7% year on year. CBRE attributes much of the Indian success to the Visa-on-Arrival campaign and the addition of direct flights by low-cost carriers.

The average occupancy rate of downtown Bangkok hotels for the first nine months of the year, according to STR, was 77.8%, down by 2% when compared to last year.

But CBRE forecast that the Thai baht’s appreciation will continue to be a key challenge to the tourism industry.

To search for the largest selection of properties around Thailand go to FazWaz.com

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Business

Three massive condo developments along Phuket’s up-market Layan Beach

Bill Barnett

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Three massive condo developments along Phuket’s up-market Layan Beach | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Northern end of Layan Beach - True-beachfront

by Bill Barnett – c9hotelworks.com

Two new condo developments are going ahead in the Layan Beach area of Phuket’s up-market west-coast beach strip. And there’s another one underway next to the Dream Beach Club at the northern end of the Layan beach strip. All in all, another 1,200+ keys added to the available rooms along the Bang Tao/Layan Beach area.

On the northern side of Bangtao Beach, next to Maan Tawan and nearby Banyan Tree Phuket is the upcoming Sunshine Beach development. With a plan for 771 hotel and residences units on 12.6 rai, the high-density project is targeting Mainland Chinese buyers with pricing points reportedly starting from 4 million baht. Construction is expected to start in June of this year and complete in 2022.

From our discussion with sales staff the developer has claimed they have reached an agreement with the government for beach fronting facilities in the National Park strip in front of the project.

While in Layan next to Lotus Gardens is the upcoming 400 unit Layan Green Park. Pricing points run from 2.5 million baht. Unit configurations will range from studio, to one, two and three bedrooms. Guaranteed returns of 10% for a period of 10 years are being promoted.

Phuket’s Layan area is seeing a surge in new real estate led projects and rising land values. At the same time as these two projects are underway, next to the Dream Beach is an oceanfront luxury project promoting sales of Grand Beach Villa and Ocean View Suites tagged as ‘N5’. The developer of the project is VIP Thailand who have another project in Rawai.

Based on our research the primary source market tragets of these three projects are mainland Chinese and Russian buyers. Local concerns in the Cherngtalay area over mounting traffic, water shortages and strain on municipal infrastructure are becoming issues.

Traffic in and around the central Cherngtalay shopping district is becoming increasingly clogged with little hope for respite other than improved traffic management.

SOURCE: C9Hotelworks.com

Three massive condo developments along Phuket's up-market Layan Beach | News by The Thaiger

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