Continued growth in the luxury resort market fuels need for CBRE expansion
CB Richard Ellis has opened a new office in Koh Samui in response to growing investor demand and the number of quality developments on the market. CBRE is a leading real estate service provider in Thailand and has consistently served its clients throughout the country from Bangkok for the past 19 years.
In 2004, a second office was opened in Phuket and CB Richard Ellis is now the leading international agent on the island offering a range of services from property sales, management, investments and land sales, and valuation and research to the Phuket market. There is no substitute for a local presence, so CBRE is opening a Samui office in order to better service their clients either living or looking to invest from overseas in the island.
“I am delighted to announce our expansion into Samui,” said David Simister, Chairman, CB Richard Ellis Thailand. “CBRE is confident in the sustainable growth of the Thai resort property markets and despite concerns over the current political situation, CBRE sees a consistent and strong demand for resort properties, particularly in Phuket and Samui which are highly desirable tropical islands.”
In the past two years, Samui has experienced a significant growth in the number of visitors and more importantly the island is attracting a higher calibre of tourist. The number of passenger arrivals to the Samui airport increased from only 600,000 in 2000 to 1.3 million last year.
The island’s accessibility has improved with Bangkok Airways’ route expansion. The airline now operates daily direct flights to Singapore and Hong Kong which has contributed significantly to the growth of the Samui real estate market. These flight connections to the island allow property owners to commute conveniently between their work place and holiday homes in Samui, with greater convenience than Phuket. There are also two daily connecting flights to Phuket. The new airport terminal in Samui which opened at the end of May has increased the airport’s capacity by four times, allowing for significant future growth.
In addition to regular flights, there is also an average of 22 chartered private flights which land in Samui every month, many of which are private jets owned by individual property owners. Samui is clearly attracting its share of the ultra rich.
Whilst the Samui property market and infrastructure is not as mature as Phuket, it is an improving market which is attracting reputable developers. The high demand for beachfront land in Samui has resulted in land prices up to 14 to 15 million Baht per rai, a level that is similar to parts of Phuket. A shortage of good beachfront land has increased the number of hillside developments which offer stunning views of the Phang Ngan islands and marine park. Traditionally, the Samui market has focused on villa developments; today we are seeing the start of a condominium market with good quality projects being launched. Whilst the condominium sector in Phuket is priced below villas, it has performed consistently and we expect the same from Samui.
CBRE’s Samui office will be a full service office providing residential sales, investment and land services, research andconsulting and valuation services. The office will be supported by our regional offices in Asia and will be part of the business plan to roll out a high-end luxury properties platform. Ms. Prakaipeth Meechoosarn is the newly appointed Samui Manager. She has successfully led the CBRE Phuket Residential Sales team since the opening of CBRE’s Phuket office in 2004 and has worked on many high-end projects in Phuket including Sri Panwa, Laemsingh Villas and Barama Bay.
“Although 50 per cent of the villa developments in Samui are in the USD 1 million and below price range, we are seeing an emerging market for top-end villas which achieve prices in excess of USD 2 million. There is a clear demand for properties in this price range and Samui can reach the same price points as Phuket for top quality schemes,” said Ms. Prakaipeth.
CBRE Thailand is sole agent to W Residences in Samui which is expected to set new price points on the island. These are the first ever W villas for sale and are expected to be launched later this year for USD 3-6 million. Developed by Amburaya Properties and Istithmar, Dubai, the project will set new standards of luxury in Samui. The quality of the scheme is endorsed by the modern luxury of W Hotels and it has a prime headline site between Maenam and Bophut. These 3 to 6 bedroom villa residences are set to attract interest from CBRE’s global buyers. The Residences will be fully managed by W Hotels and will have full access to all W resort facilities.
“It is clear that Samui is an upward moving market, similar to Phuket. However, the choice between the two islands remains a personal one rather than a value decision as both destinations are drawing interest from high net worth individuals from across the globe,” said Ms. Prakaipeth.
The Samui office is part of CBRE’s roll out of comprehensive resort services and will also be opening an office in Pattaya in October 2007 where they have already been appointed as sole agent for The Chateau and White Sand Beach developments.
Despite Thailand’s short term political situation, CBRE is investing in the market’s continued growth and with the approval of the constitution and forthcoming election, sees opportunities for an upswing in the property market in 2008. Having successfully marketed many high-end developments in Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya, CBRE is confident that it will be making a beneficial contribution to Samui’s property market.