In his May report Bill Barnett, managing director of C9, said: “As the world crawls out of the dark shadows of the global economic crisis … market demand growth was demonstrated by 16 sales in 2010 … 35 per cent of the transactions were recorded in the price strata of B100 million to B200 million.
“Topping the list was a single villa traded at B768 million.”
He warned, however, that “the primary segment outlook remains shrouded given a surge in resale listings of premium properties and a shortage of new developments.
“Secondary sales are anticipated to remain in the driver’s seat during the year ahead.”
According to charts included in the report, the Russians are leading the spending, forking out B1 billion for three villas – about a third of all villa spending on Phuket.
However, included in the Russian figure is the purchase of famed Beyond Villa at Natai Beach in Phang Nga for around US$25 million (the B768 million villa referred to in Mr Barnett’s remarks). This property is unique for its size and astronomical price.
Three purchases were made by Hong Kong buyers totalling a more modest B400 million.
Two buyers apiece came from Europe, India, Singapore and Thailand, and one each from Australia and China.
Mr Barnett makes four predictions:
Market conditions favouring buyers will push a short-term trend toward secondary sales;
Increasing opportunities in Europe and North America could divert investment away from Phuket;
The strong Thai baht will contribute to buyers looking elsewhere or sitting on the sidelines;
A gradual rise in new luxury projects planned over the coming year could raise the island’s international profile.
Mr Barnett counts 65 high-end villas unsold on the island: 44 on the west coast, six on the east coast, 11 in the south and four in the north and Phang Nga.