Property developers move to small Thai islands to cope with privacy demand
Property development in Phuket is expanding to four small nearby islands because of the demand for privacy.
Investments worth around 20 billion baht are currently underway. They include the huge Indian conglomerate Tata Group which is developing Taj Exotica Resort and Spa. The 100-room hotel and 19 villas are expected to be complete late next year.
Thai Prime Minister Samak's nephew Dilokpol Sundaravej and a Canadian partner are developing a project on Koh Raet northeast of Phuket and on Koh Maphrao a British investor has started developing The Village which consists of 62 villas.
A group of local Phuket investors are seeking foreign investors for the development of a hotel and villas on Koh Mai Thon, southeast of Phuket.
'It's a trend toward private islands,' said Risinee Sarikaputra, head of research at property consultant Colliers International Thailand.
'World celebrities, Hollywood stars and people in the ultra high-end segment love privacy and prefer buying into a resort on a private island where no one can interfere with them. That's why many property developers are moving to small islands,' she added.
The trend has already emerged on small islands in the Gulf of Thailand, including Koh Kood near Koh Chang where Six Sense opened Soneva Kiri resort. On Koh Tao near Samui an overseas fund is starting a project and new hotel developments have started on Koh Phangan.
In Phuket, there are at least 17 residential projects in the pipeline with a total of 969 units worth more than 20 billion baht which will be completed in the next few years.
Land prices on Phuket's west coast with good sea views climbed by 30 to 40% year-on-year but there is no availability of such plots of land for future development.
The trend in Phuket also point to demand for projects integrated with hotels and managed by the same group that manages the hotel and the letting of property.
Phuket tourism is expecting a further boost when two new marinas are built making a total of five with a total of 800 yacht berths.