Demand increasing for Thailand's luxury residential property
By James Roberts

Demand increasing for Thailand's luxury residential property

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Luxury Thai property is increasingly finding itself in high demand, according to Knight Frank's Prime International Residential Index. The Global Property Guide reported that despite floods in the popular destination of Bangkok, the city saw real estate growth of 9.4 per cent in 2012. Phuket also enjoyed a relatively strong year in the luxury market, up 4.7 per cent to increase the supply availability and return on investment for the city.

Condominiums in Bangkok are proving particularly popular. Knight Frank claims that out of 27,084 units launched in the first half of 2012, 16,810 were purchased. This amounts to a take-up rate of 62.07 per cent, from 50.2 per cent in the second half in 2011. Prices have also risen in line with this surge in demand, with condominium values rising by 3.5 per cent from the end of 2011.

Knight Frank expects this trend to continue in the future, with more and more condominium projects being launched into the market. Beach Projects believes this is thanks to rising tourism numbers. Thailand enjoyed an estimated 22 million tourists in 2012 and will target 24.5 million this year. Phuket in particular is emerging as the star resort and in 2012 its airport recorded 9.5 million arrivals and departures.

Roy Hanif, partner in Beach Projects, explains: "Tourists quickly convert to property investors as they fall in love with the year-round 30 degree sunshine and legendary scenery.  Also living costs are a third of those in Europe and HSBC ranks Thailand number two in its Expat Explorer Survey, especially praising its quality of life. Whilst capital appreciation is currently minimal on land and villas, according to the Bank of Thailand condos have increased on average in value by ten per cent over the past five years, so the investment potential is massive."
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