“I’m someone who sees the glass half-full, not half-empty,” says the 38-year old real estate tycoon who who recently released a book detailing his inspirational life story. “From where I’m standing, Phuket seems to have become a more liveable place now than before COVID-19.”
While his statement probably garners divided responses, Pira might be onto something. Since Phuket went under lockdown, the lack of tourism and reduced human activity significantly minimised the emission of harmful pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, into Phuket’s atmosphere. This allowed flora and fauna to thrive and the other species on the island to take a breath of fresh air. In fact, it has been reported that the endangered and rarely-seen leatherback sea turtles have not only emerged but have been laying eggs on Phuket’s beaches at an all-time high rate. If anything, Phuket has been getting a much-needed break to recover from environmental effects that have been accumulating for many years.
Aside from a greener environment, which makes the idea of residing in Phuket all the more enticing, the island’s current property market prices are also ideal for investment. Due to COVID-19, the Thai property market experienced a slight hit, largely due to a drop in Chinese investors who were either unable to travel to Phuket or had reduced purchasing power as a result of the pandemic, causing property prices to fall. However, Pira expects the market to pick up at the end of this year or early next year. “If you want to invest in a slice of paradise at a fraction of the price or buy low and sell high to make a good profit, this is the perfect time!” he says.
While Phuket may be greener than it was, Pira stresses that there are still countless people on the island living under the poverty line that have been further affected by COVID-19. “The 32-year old Khun Ball from Rawai is among the many that could really use our help,” says Pira. Six years ago, Khun Ball climbed a tree to pick fruits when he fell, became severely injured, and lost the ability to walk. Although there is a chance that Khun Ball can walk again with physical therapy, it remains an unaffordable dream as the pandemic shrunk his family’s income to a fifth.
“It’s heartwarming to know that there have been efforts to help Khun Ball’s family rent a small shophouse in which they can continue their family donut business and make a better living,” says Pira. “As a responsible member of the community, we ought to help more people in need like Khun Ball and ease their burdens. We, at Blue Horizon Developments, have been playing our part. We hope that with all of our combined efforts, we can make a real difference for everybody!”