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Phuket’s property of tomorrow

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PHUKET: The year 2014 saw a number of new property developments – most noticeably condominiums – emerge on the Phuket map, fundamentally changing the Phuket landscape. To find out what tomorrow holds for the island’s property market, the Phuket Gazette‘s Maciek Klimowicz talked to Uthai Uthaisangsuk, senior executive vice president of Business Development and Project Development Division at Sansiri, one of the country’s largest property developers.

PG: What are the most dynamic branches of the property market on the island?

Uthai: Condominiums have been the most dynamic in the last few years both in terms of new launches and construction, and in sales.

Condominiums will likely remain the prime market for Phuket in the near future, and those that will be successful will be in premium locations and designed with the end-users needs in mind.

Regarding locations, are there any particular locations that are gaining popularity?

Broadly speaking, Phuket can be split into beachfront property and city property.

Beachfront sites are very hard to find and real beachfront property is very rare. As such, they command prime prices and are popular with buyers that have the respective purchasing power.

Patong would also fall into the beachfront category. Even if it is not absolute beachfront, property within walking distance to the beach area and highlights of Patong perform well, and I see this trend continuing.

I would say that the most popular property location right now on Phuket is still the central area near the island’s main road arteries and within easy access of key shopping, hospital and school facilities.

Although the absorption rate in this area is now decreasing due to the high level of supply, I believe the rate will again increase in the future when new developments by Central and The Mall groups are completed.

What challenges await property developers in the upcoming months?

The main issues that will affect the property market in Phuket will be the global economy, especially the European Union and Russia, the political situation in Thailand and government spending on infrastructure.

In these dynamic conditions, are there any new customer groups that developers need to turn their attention to? Any particular age groups or nationalities?

Phuket still has its core markets of Europe, Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia, with China a growing influence.

While these markets still perform and buyers in these markets are familiar with Phuket and Thailand, I think developers need to look beyond these core markets to new opportunities that may arise from the Asean
Economic Community (AEC).

Asean countries will offer potential new markets for Phuket property developers and I believe we will see more buyers in 2015 from the 10 nations that form Asean.

What New Year’s resolution should property developers make?

Developers need to focus more on quality and service. There is more competition in the market than ever before and developers need to focus on delivering a quality product, as well as providing good service to buyers throughout the purchase process and after they have moved in.

They should also look for differentiation.Developers should look more to new product segments that still have relatively low supply, such as townhouses.

— Maciek Klimowicz

 

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