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Phuket News: Sansiri slashes condo plans, blames turmoil

PHUKET: Sansiri Plc, the giant Bangkok-based property developer that has been so active in Phuket recently, plans to launch only nine new condominiums worth a combined B17.6 billion this year, blaming the low number largely on the country’s political instability.

By Bangkok Post

Friday 21 February 2014, 09:31AM

Uthai Uthaisangsuk: Planning more expansion into areas outside Bangkok.

Uthai Uthaisangsuk: Planning more expansion into areas outside Bangkok.

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It is still going ahead, however, with announced projects in Phuket, such as The Base Downtown near Central Festival, almost completed, where it held a press briefing on Wednesday (February 19).

Senior executive vice-president Uthai Uthaisangsuk said prolonged political protests have hit the property sector hard, as indicated by a significant drop in site visits by prospective condo buyers.

Last year, Sansiri launched 29 condo projects worth a combined 42 billion baht – more than three times the number planned for this year.

“Last year, the company was able to produce sales at a satisfactory level thanks to extensive condominium development both in Bangkok and provincial areas,” Mr Uthai said.

“More importantly, the company also succeeded in expanding its customer base to foreigners, particularly for The Deck-Patong, where foreigners make up 75 per cent of buyers.”

Part of that change was attributed to the launch of a “Rental for the Holidays” programme by subsidiary Plus Property that offers long-term rental services to foreigners.

Mr Uthai said the company’s condo development plan will this year focus on the “urban slow living” concept under the Haus brand while expanding the popular The Base and dcondo brands.

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Next month, Sansiri will introduce its first condo project of the year, Nyx, worth B3 billion. The project, near Wong Wian Yai skytrain station in Bangkok, offers 853 units with a starting price of B2.49 million.

Mr Uthai said the company also plans to expand its condo development into new locations such as Phitsanulok and Chon Buri’s Si Racha district.

This year, Sansiri has set a target for its condo presales at B15.6 billion, down by 47.1 per cent from 2013 presales.

Overall, Sansiri plans to develop 19 new projects worth a combined B33.3 billion this year, about half of last year’s number, with a 29 per cent decrease in presales, citing rising concern over political instability.

President Srettha Thavisin said earlier that the conservative business plan was based on the political crisis ending within six months.

If it lasts longer than that, the company will stall some of the planned projects.

Read the original story here.



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