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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        28  June  2011

Phuket property markets recovers

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The Phuket property market from January-May of this year has recovered but not to the point of its pre-2009 levels, according to the latest study by Colliers International Thailand.

Kamala Falls is being marketed as a halal investment, including a women-only swimming pool, in order to appeal to Muslim buyers.

Managing director Patima Jeerapaet said the coastal market in Phuket was far more reliant on foreigners than the resorts of Pattaya and Hua Hin.

"Most wealthy Thais prefer having second homes in the resorts close to Bangkok due to the easier access, so the coastal areas of Phuket are more responsive to the global economic situation," he said.

Although landed property dominates the residential market, especially inland, 2010 was one of the rare years when more condominium units were supplied. Around 1,020 units were supplied last year, though only 200 units were supplied up to May for 2011. Most of the units are located inland and the Thai domestic market is acting as the main driver.

The high-end coastal market has yet to return to the heady days prior to the global financial crisis in late 2008, but the success of some projects is promising.

"The glass at present can be perceived as half-full or half-empty depending on whether you are comparing the period around 2006-07 or the situation in 2009," said Antony Picon, associate director of research at Colliers.

"High-end buyers are coming from a wider range of countries, not just Europe, with Hong Kong, Russia and the Middle East becoming key markets now," he said. Developers are reconsidering their marketing strategies to suit buyer profiles.

One development called Kamala Falls is being marketed as a halal investment, including a women-only swimming pool, in order to appeal to Muslim buyers.

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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