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Property Watch: Community lifestyles and property value



PHUKET: At this time of year when we are all thinking about our objectives for 2015, it is also time to reflect on the direct and indirect influences that affect the value of our properties in Phuket.

How can you take affirmative action to maximize any possible appreciation of your Phuket property investment?


My friends and acquaintances in Phuket are a diverse bunch, which is one of the great things about living here. Similarly, their property investment choices are diverse too.

One day a Phuket resident can find themselves drinking ice-cool champagne overlooking the Kata Beach vista from an infinity pool, and the next week they may be attending a barbecue in a simple, but well-kept local Thai-style housing project.

Believe it or not, the activities of residents in a project can add value, and saleability to the properties within it.

Maintaining a vibrant and active community is an essential part of making Phuket an attractive place to live. Not many people, other than reclusive sorts, would want to relocate to an island without a sense of community.

The great things I see about community development in Phuket include the creation of new children’s clubs and events; marina-based lifestyle events; local and international school events that have a packed annual calendar schedule; the development of cricket clubs; the development of local provincial football teams and stadiums; yachting and sailing clubs; new restaurants; and then all that is related to the selling and marketing of Phuket homes.

We should never forget those that also devote their time and money to charitable events.

This all sounds so intangible, but in terms of capital appreciation and value, it isn’t really.

The value of real estate is also centered around the perception of the value of the location.

For those home buyers who actually enjoy a city lifestyle, but don’t want to be squashed in, all of this matters.

When potential buyers ask agents what amenities and other events exist, the list has radically changed from the days when “30 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from Patong” were key selling points.


While the activities of individuals through their own efforts are crucial, developers also have a collective responsibility in contributing to the value of a community. While some project developments may seem to be well thought out in terms of community integration, this is not always the case. Many simply take advantage of a little niche in a high-density area without any regard for what is needed to grow the community.

With local government discussions of light-rail infrastructure in Phuket and an increased focus on trying to develop and regulate poor and dangerous transport options, developers who own large tracts of land are showing signs of being more sensitive toward the needs of future development.

My favorite example of this type of development is the marina. Marinas are a great example of developer’s trying to harmonize mixed use – not only to add capital value to the sale, but also to continually increase the value of the assets as a whole.

This works through building in phases; adjusting master plans with market trends, ensuring residential phases are matched by appropriate retail and commercial development, and working out how to proportion management and renovation fees in the diverse base of users and occupiers.

Then there is the completely different but inextricably-linked matter of the marine element of use – berths; hard stand areas; safety precautions and competing with world-class marinas.

Phuket is an exciting place that continues to grow in spurts – just like my very young son – based on the number of shoes and trainers I have had to buy in just two years! We can all contribute somehow to our Phuket communities, and inevitably, the value of our real estate will go up… and up.

— Desmond Hughes


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