Phuket development shifts to private islands

Koh Lon

Koh Lon

Phuket’s property development boom is expanding to four small nearby islands with total project investments of around 20 billion baht, says Risinee Sarikaputra, head of research at property consultant Colliers International Thailand.

”It’s a trend toward private islands,” she said.

”World celebrities, Hollywood stars and people in the ultra high-end segment love privacy and prefer buying a resort on a private island where no one can interfere with them. That’s why many property developers move to small islands.”

She said the largest investment on Phuket’s neighbouring islands is from the huge Indian conglomerate Tata Group’s Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces on Koh Lone, located on southeastern Phuket near Chalong Bay.

The Indian-based hotel firm is investing almost 10 billion baht to develop Taj Exotica Resort and Spa on 125 rai, comprising a 100-room hotel worth two billion baht to be operated late next year. It will also include 19 villas priced between 128-384 million baht a unit, which is the first time the Taj has ever sold villas.

The second largest is an investment of Prime Minister Samak’s nephew Dilokpol Sundaravej and a Canadian partner that is developing Jumeirah Private Island Phuket worth around six billion baht on Koh Raet northeast of Phuket.

Another investment is on Koh Maphrao where a British investor late last year started developing The Village worth two billion baht. Of the total 62 villas for sale at prices between 18-45 million baht, 17 units are remaining.

This year there will be a development of a hotel and villas worth around two billion baht on a 180-rai site on Koh Mai Thon, southeast of Phuket. The owner is a group of local Phuket investors that are asking for a Board of Investment approval to allow the investment of foreign investors.

Ms Risinee said this trend also emerged in small islands in the Gulf of Thailand, including Koh Kood near Koh Chang where Six Sense opened Soneva Kiri resort. On Koh Tao near Samui an overseas fund will start an investment. and new hotel developments have started on Koh Phangan.

In Phuket, there are at least 17 residential projects in the pipeline with a total of 969 units worth more than 20 billion baht which will be completed in the next few years.

Land prices on Phuket’s west coast with good sea views climbed by 30-40% year-on-year but there is no availability of such plots of land for future development.

Land prices per rai in the western area average 35 million baht while they are 17 million baht a rai in the eastern area. However, the selling price of residential units in the east is about 130,000 baht per square metre while those in the west are 100,000 baht per sq m.

The trend of residential projects in Phuket is for projects integrated with hotels and managed by the same group that manages the hotel and the letting of property.

She added that Phuket tourism would soon vie with the Malaysian island of Langkawi as two new marinas will be added to the current three to offer a total of 800 yacht berths.

”Phuket is having high season all year long as tourists from the Middle East fill in during the low-season period between June and September, a time of hot weather in their region.”

Phuket property is also attracting South Asian investors. Last week institutional investors from Bangladesh and Pakistan with total funds of at least 10 billion baht asked the company to seek Phuket property projects in which to invest, she added.

About the author

Kanana Katharangsiporn Kanana Katharangsiporn
Kanana Katharangsiporn is a senior journalist with The Bangkok Post, Thailand's first English language newspaper and specialises in property and real estate areas.
Other posts by Kanana Katharangsiporn ( 43 )
Website: http://www.bangkokpost.com/

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