More property firms have come to Phuket from Bangkok and local developers have expanded their investment in this resort, land prices in Phuket and Songkhla has been doubled last year from 2010 due to the demand of residences.
Land in Phuket cost Bt4 million per rai (Bt25 million per hectare) compared 2012 with the average of Bt2 million per rai in 2010,according to the Issara Boonyoung said recently, the president of Housing Business Association in Thailand.
"We launched our first townhouse project with 175 units in Thalang district of Phuket worth Bt400 million early this year and now it has already sold out," said Issara, who is also the owner and chief executive officer of Kanda Group.
Atip Bichanond, managing director of Supalai, which develops residential projects in Phuket and Songkhla, said land prices in Phuket and Hat Yai, the commercial centre of Songkhla province, had been on an uptrend since 2010.
In Phuket, both low- and high-rises are in demand, but in Hat Yai, low-rises are more popular than high-rise residences.
The two factors driving demand for land and housing in both provinces are their strong economies, which boost local purchasing power, and buyers from outside, such as Bangkok, who are looking for a vacation home. Foreigners are also increasing, he added.
Thanosak Puengdej, president of the Phuket Real Estate Associa-tion, said demand for homes in his province was strong from both locals and foreigners. This drives land and residential prices in Phuket up. Foreigners buying residences in Phuket are now from Asian markets such as Singapore, Hong Kong and mainland China, as well as from Europe, such as Russia and Scandinavia.
Thanawat Poolsil, president of the Songkhla Real Estate Associa-tion, said residential demand was focused on two districts, Hat Yai and Sadao, and was pushing up land values in both districts by 10 per cent a year. Land sales in Hat Yai are now recorded at about Bt50 million per rai and in Sadao at Bt10 million per rai.
The main residential type in Songkhla is still detached houses. However, condominiums are in greater demand from foreigners especially Malaysians who want to buy a second home.
A survey by the Real Estate Information Centre (REIC) shows that residential projects with 27,950 units were launched in Phuket through the third quarter of last year. They were worth Bt101.9 billion, of which Bt50.8 billion was for detached houses and townhouses, and Bt51.1 billion for condominiums. Up to 76 per cent of detached houses and townhouses succeeded in finding a buyer. They were worth Bt37.6 billion. The remaining 3,200 units worth Bt13.2 billion have already opened for sale.
"If no new projects are introduced, the 3,200 units will take about nine months to move," said Samma Kitsin, director-general of the REIC.
The condo market had succeeded in selling 68 per cent or 8,900 units worth Bt30.7 billion by the third quarter of last year. The remaining 4,200 units worth Bt20.4 billion have gone into inventory in the market.
They will take about seven months to sell if no new residential projects enter this market.