News: Phuket paradise excites investors

Thu, 31 May 07

Buying property in Phuket is an investment in a lifestyle of affordability, accessibility and tropical living...

Expatriates in Hong Kong and other Asian capitals like Beijing and Singapore are attracted to the island lifestyle and short travelling distances. However, European purchasers are increasing in numbers and since 2004 Europeans have been the third largest buyer group.

Two words: ‘sea view’. Immediately these words conjure up images of crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches and feelings of relaxation and tranquillity. The addition of the words ‘sea view’ to a residential development’s list of assets can also mean a premium price tag, however, these properties are worth paying the price.

Within this hungry market, demand for sea view property is fierce. Ms. Charlotte Filleul, Phuket Sales Manager for CB Richard Ellis said, “Most people want a sea view property more than anything else!”

Mr. Andrew Howard of The Village Coconut Island, suggested that current premiums attached to properties with direct water frontage can be as much as 200%. “Certainly for a property directly on the beach the premium is massive. Set back on a hill, but with good sea views and sunsets, the premium is still significant at around 100%.”

East v West

Most Phuket agents quote sea view properties along the west coast starting at US$1 million and often higher. Up until now the east coast has been the poor relation with prices averaging 40% less. However the shortage of west coast properties has started a trend to the east, driving the beach and sea view properties higher.

As Ms. Filleul points out, “sea view property is a finite commodity, and in the future we’ll see a premium put upon resale values.” Mr. Howard added, “Building permits near the water have become almost impossible to obtain.”

The east coast is quiet and peaceful compared to the west, which is home to approximately 90% of the island’s hotels, resorts, restaurants, bars, shopping and entertainment venues. So we must ask: “What does the east coast have to offer?” A simple answer – value for money.

There are an increasing number of east coast projects, such as Barama Bay - a private island with villas that have already sold out; The Village Coconut Island, a watersports resort; Tawan Views, a condominium project and a number of projects on Cape Yamu.

Purchasers can enjoy the stunning views of Phang Nga bay, easy access to surrounding islands and some of the regions best snorkelling, diving and canoeing spots. Interestingly enough, the east coast also has easy access to the international hospitals, airport and major shopping centres and Phuket’s four marinas.

East Coast is ‘booming’

Ms. Filleul is also optimistic, “The east coast looks onto Phang - Nga bay which is beautiful and I

think this is more interesting than the west coast view because the bay is dotted with many little islands and always a hub of boating activity.

The east coast sea view plots are already being bought and developed. Many developers have already built on the west coast and have now moved east, bringing their experience with them. In this way developments on the east coast offer more than the other.”

Mr. Howard agrees, “There is greater value in purchasing holiday homes or investment properties on the east coast and the infrastructure is rapidly progressing; the property boom has started already. At the moment the east coast is less expensive, however the margins are rapidly decreasing.”

In summary the east coast of Phuket with its affordable sea views, is starting to develop rapidly, now offering unrivalled value for those among us who want to get in before the going gets tough – as ever. 

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