The Phuket sandbox will help revive the residential market in the province next year, but a local trade body is calling on the government to provide one-stop services and incentives to boost demand from overseas buyers.
Thanusak Phungdet, chairman of the Phuket Chamber of Commerce, said many foreign buyers are waiting for the country to reopen to resume real estate purchases and transactions.
“Foreigners who buy Thai property visit Thailand as tourists. They should be recognized as residents and we should provide one-stop-shop services and have regulations in place that they must follow,” he said. he declares.
About 3,000 condo units in Phuket had been booked by foreign buyers before the Covid-19 pandemic, and they were under construction.
Once construction is complete and Thailand reopens, buyers will return to have the units transferred.
Mr Thanusak said that many foreigners want to live in Phuket like digital nomads.
The government should make the local environment more attractive, for example by offering incentives for a multinational IT company to make Phuket its regional hub.
Mr Thanusak said the chamber agreed with measures that promote Thai property to foreign buyers, but the government should impose regulations to control the market, such as limiting voting rights on a project.
“Phuket is trying to promote other industries rather than relying heavily on tourism,” Thanusak said. “One of them is the education sector. We have 12 international schools in Phuket, but we still don’t have an international university for students. Their parents are the target buyers of luxury villas.
He said the Phuket sandbox was the locals’ only hope after nearly two years of the pandemic, as more than 90% of the economy depended on tourism.
“As the people of Phuket receive their third vaccine in October, we hope to have Phuket Freedom Day with all activities back to normal on December 1,” Thanusak said.
From July 1 to September 20, Phuket recorded a total of 34,880 tourist arrivals, contributing 2 billion baht to the province.
“Interestingly, 60-70% of those 34,880 tourists stayed in Thailand,” he said. “The largest number were Thais, accounting for 10%, while the largest sources in 70 countries were from the United States, followed by the British, Israelis, Germans and French.”
As the pandemic has hit the tourism sector in Phuket, the government should provide low-rate loans to hotels and restaurants that they can use to prepare for full operations, Thanusak suggested.
At present, there were new investments from Thai investors in the real estate market in Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi. Some had invested in new marinas and health and wellness facilities, while others had acquired established businesses from foreign owners.
Issara Boonyoung, managing director of Kanda Group, which launched a project in Phuket last year, said the recovery in tourism was a key factor in restarting the real estate market.
“Despite the Phuket sandbox, the real estate market recovery will take time, not this year,” he said. “The developers in Phuket are adjusting to the situation and are not making any new investments until the existing unsold inventory is absorbed.”
According to the Real Estate Information Center, the new residential supply in Phuket totaled only 141 units in the first half of 2021, a sharp drop from 1,248 units in the first half of 2020 and to 2,724 units in the same period. from 2019.