Brace for surge in Chinese interest in Phuket property
The CEO of China’s largest international property website has predicted huge growth in the interest in Phuket property from Chinese buyers.
“The past 12 months have seen strong growth in Chinese interest in Phuket, which they have really only discovered in big numbers during the last couple of years,” said Charles Pittar, CEO of Juwai.com.
Chinese overseas real estate investment has grown from US$5 billion (B174.32bn) in 2010 to US$52 billion (B1.81 trillion) in 2014. It is set to increase again by 2020 to US$220 billion (B7.668 trillion), he added.
“The real estate industry in Phuket should use this time to improve its ability to reach and to service buyers from China,” Mr Pittar noted.
“A large number of buyers who haven’t yet purchased an overseas property will in the next couple of years begin to have that opportunity. Those agents and developers who are in a position to help these buyers will benefit most.”
“Phuket is a notoriously opaque market because of a lack of government or third-party reporting, but by following the buyers through our data we can get a sense of what’s happening there,” Mr Pittar explained.
“Most Chinese enquiries come from investor-minded buyers. Their top three priorities are return on investment, ease of management and quality of facilities and neighbourhood.
“Overall, our buyers prefer new property rather than existing homes. They are looking for as much in terms of luxury finishes and services as they can get for their money,” he added.
Feedback indicates that Chinese property investors like Thailand due to its proximity to their homeland. “We believe Chinese interest will increase in 2016, and we will release more data tracking that later in the year,” Mr Pittar said.
“Thailand is almost purely a lifestyle and investment destination, unlike say the US or the UK, where one of the top motivations is to purchase a home for their children to live in while in the country for their education. Because of the appealing quality of life in Thailand, the second most-reported motivation is immigration.
“Phuket is more like a lifestyle investment, with less expectation of capital gain compared to Bangkok. They can own property by the beach and put that into a hotel-managed rental program. They can enjoy it for 60 days a year and don’t need to manage it the rest of the time,” he said.