Russian tourists overtook the Chinese and became the leaders in the purchase of housing on the resort island of Phuket in Thailand in the first quarter 2022. Such data was provided by The Thaiger, citing Knight Frank Thailand, a leading Thai real estate consulting firm.
According to the data, since the beginning of the year, the Russians have bought 74 properties with a total value of 245 million baht (almost 400 million rubles). Thus, they topped the list of foreign tourists who bought the most apartments, and the total number of buyers for the 1st quarter exceeded the results of the entire 2021. Previously, the “kings of condominiums” in the resort have traditionally been the Chinese. However, due to the strict zero-tolerance policy for the coronavirus, Chinese tourists are forced to postpone their trips abroad.
The managing director of the company, Natta Kahapana, noted that since the beginning of 2022, the Phuket apartment market has been on an upward trend, driven by international purchasing power, mainly by Russian real estate speculators. “Russian investors began to return at the end of 2021 and showed major purchasing power during this period. However, the overall condominium market in Phuket may need some time to recover,” he said.
In terms of last year's statistics, the Chinese outran the Russians by buying 66 apartments, while our compatriots purchased only 54. The Chinese were originally the largest investors in the Phuket resort real estate market, but the level of investment has decreased due to Chinese border control and restrictions on foreign remittances, the publication explained.
“The Russian market slowed down as the political conflict escalated (in Ukraine). If Chinese and Russian buyers return, they will give developers confidence because they have the potential to help the Phuket condominium market recover faster,” the expert added.
Last year, about 90% of apartments were sold to Russians, Chinese and Europeans. The remaining 10% of the apartments went to Thais who wanted to use them as holiday homes. The average asking price for an apartment in tropical Phuket is determined by its location and view. The average selling price of apartments with sea view increased by 1.6% compared to the covid year and amounted to 196,000 baht per sq. meter (about 320 thousand rubles). Apartments without a sea view are cheaper. The cost of sq. meter was 76’526 baht (almost 125 thousand rubles). This is 0.45% more than in the covid 2020.
Due to the spread of the coronavirus, the number of travelers visiting Phuket has dropped significantly, and developers have been forced to suspend the delivery of new apartments in order to sell the housing they already have. Russians are attracted to apartments in Phuket because they can use such property for both personal recreation and rental income.
The real estate market in Phuket has been in decline for the past 2 years. This is largely due to the fall in tourist traffic, which had a significant impact on the local economy. Tourism and foreign investors partially returned to the resort when the Thai authorities introduced the “Phuket sandbox”. Entry scheme Test & Go has also made it easier for foreign tourists to enter Thailand, boosting Phuket's economy. This has been good for the country's real estate market.
However, Phuket's condominium renaissance is still facing challenges due to tourism-related economic factors. However, the tourism situation has begun to improve compared to the previous period, when the Test & Go,” the expert concluded.
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