Real estate in Phuket : the market in disarray… wants to believe


This article is not really interesting, even quite boring. Because it’s repetitive, it tells us something we already know, since a long time (game over for the real estate market, vanished the famous “foreign buyers”, vaporized the financings, in the toilets the so called “luxury” market in dumps like Pattaya, Phuket, blablabla.).

No… instead what I found fascinating is the pure and perfect human psyche at work.

First, the depressing reality, difficult to handle on a day to day basis :

More than 10 residential projects with a combined market value of nearly Bt10 billion remain “on hold” in Phuket, because demand from both domestic and foreign buyers – especially for luxury homes – has fallen to less than half of last year’s level. […]

“Some Thai investors are interested in buying our residential projects, but the banks reject their loan applications. This is the main problem for local investors,” he said. (Nation)

Then, this thunderlight, so human, so pathetically human :

“We believe the Phuket property market may recover in the final quarter of this year or next year because most of the property projects in this area focus on the luxury market,” he said.


This nobody wants to believe.

It’s beautiful.

I don’t want to mock this man. I won’t tell him that all macro indicators and the simple logic are yelling that any recovery for the end of 2009 and 2010 is a fantasy.

I am beyond.

I just see a man, in total disarray, so flawed, but so touching. Like all of us. 😉

13 Responses to “Real estate in Phuket : the market in disarray… wants to believe”

  1. 1 ray 19 June 2009 at 11:47 am

    after reading that i dont know whether to laugh or to cry!

    its not only in phuket but in samui where i live its same story. lots of resorts on sale but prices are out of the world. 45 room resort on the beach @ 1.1 billion baht. are u f!@##@# kidding me??

    samrt peopel know that this is just the tip of the iceberg. also i have alot of customers from western europe and scandinavia and they are not too keen to return because they have had enough. no one wants to be ripped off as soon as they land at the airport.

    thailand has to drastically reduce prices and make it worth they money the tourists bring.

    i ahve a nagging feeling that the thai baht will be devalued in 28 months and we will see 50 to 55 baht to one euro.

  2. 2 RockderktheGreat 19 June 2009 at 1:26 pm

    TC, you could just as well have used that nice picture of the savior to do a piece on Thai Airways’ new Honcho. Now there’s a flag carrier worth ripping into. As for Thailand’s very own Dubai called Phuket, they’ll eventually dust off the unfinished shells of those condos and continue building their ‘luxury’ ghetto. The skinny roads will remain clogged and the ping pong balls will keep a poppin down around Patong.

  3. 3 MongerSEA 19 June 2009 at 1:55 pm

    So the quotes establish why the local investors aren’t getting involved. But what about the lack of interest from foreigners? Could it be that the suckers have finally gotten wise to the game?

    The trump card that Thai officialdom (or official-dumb?) loves to trot our — Foreigners Don’t Understand Thai Culture! — now springs to mind. Perhaps we have at last arrived at the point where a critical mass of foreigners DO understand Thai culture and are taking their capital elsewhere.

  4. 4 Lothar 19 June 2009 at 1:56 pm

    From this article

    “A survey by the Real Estate Information Centre earlier this year found there were 139 residential projects in Phuket offering a total of 12,334 units. Half of these have now been sold.”

    I like sentences that carry intersting numbers but does not say anything. Sold when? What time span? Who bought them – resellers like in Dubai or Thailand 1997?

    Like in the hotel sector there is just one number to make the situation clear the occupancy rate of homes, not the sales rate.

    At the moment i read a lot of times that thais are not willing to give a discount on homes and hotels because they think the future is great for business. So it will take a long time to see how this works out.

    And well we all know that the Nation is the real-estate promotion paper number one in Thailand.

  5. 5 InPhuket 19 June 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Do not believe what you read in the papers. Regardless of how dismal the situation that they report is, it is MUCH worse here when you see for your self. For Sale and Rent signs litter the landscape here. Sois with bars have turned into ghost towns, and while Patong still has some die-hard tourists, but beach towns like Kata & Karon have been hard hit, and with the latest info on the Swine Flue, even the lowest low season on recent record is getting worse.
    With that said, Thailand is resilient, and IF they can learn from these lessons, they can bounce back, but to do so they will have to learn from that past mistakes, and that is a huge if.

  6. 6 InPhuket 19 June 2009 at 3:02 pm

    ..and this will give you a good idea of the current situation in Pattaya:

  7. 7 Bedwyr 19 June 2009 at 3:48 pm


    The trump card that Thai officialdom (or official-dumb?) loves to trot our — Foreigners Don’t Understand Thai Culture! — now springs to mind. Perhaps we have at last arrived at the point where a critical mass of foreigners DO understand Thai culture and are taking their capital elsewhere.

    Agreed, I have often heard Thais saying that foreigners hold them in contempt because they don’t understand Thai culture. And I have often responded that foreigners hold Thais in contempt precisely because they do understand Thai culture.

    Amusingly, I have friends in Issan who look at the newspaper, and also solemnly shake their heads and say ‘fucking Thais’. Knowledge is a wonderful thing.


  8. 8 Pricilla 19 June 2009 at 7:13 pm

    I discovered a while back that I could buy a condo in Phuket for about the same money as one on Australia’s Gold Coast. Mind you Australia is a first world country, the beaches are pristine, the condos well built and maintained and offer short term holiday letting for when you aren’t there! Oh and the prices in the long term will appreciate as the buildings don’t depreciate. Tough decision especially in light of Australian prices falling.

    A boring anecdote: Years ago I lived in the north and had a mini mart for reasons that still escape me. At any rate the building owner was getting monthly blood transfusions and had problems paying off the bank, so I made him an offer based on what I figured it cost him plus some profit. He refused of course, later the bank grabbed it and sold it for less than what I had offered.

  9. 9 ratherbefishing 19 June 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Its natural for authorities, owners, and thais to think that things will soon improve. After all, every economic crisis in the last 30 years has resulted in quick recoveries and new levels of prosperity (with the old garbage papered over by new debt). This is the only thing people know – so it must be true going forward (linked to behavioral finance concepts overconfidence, confirmation bias, anchoring –

    And the greater the hope, the greater the final revulsion will be. That will also create fantastic bargains for people that have been diligent and patient. A lot of wealth is to be created out of the revulsion. When people are blindly selling at any price just to get away from their past mistakes I will be buying… Im still waiting though…

    This is all part of the natural cycle

  10. 10 ThaiCrisis 19 June 2009 at 8:55 pm

    ratherbefishing : I perfectly agree.

    And this is why the fantastic efforts (and money) the government in the world are throwing at this natural cycle, in order to postpone it, are foolishly vain.

  11. 11 William 25 June 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Why the hell you all want Jesus picture or him to be a show in this bull shit matter.

    Use some other picture that is all I go to say.

    Bloody rotten shit guys

  12. 12 ThaiCrisis 25 June 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Relax William. This picture is not offensive.

    And don’t take it upfront. It’s just an illustration about the word “believe”. That’s all. I don’t make any link between Jesus and real estate in Phuket, in the article.

    And why Jesus ? Well, because it’s my culture (judeo christian)… and because obviously he’s a well known icon.

    So there is no hidden agenda.

  13. 13 Eckhard 27 June 2009 at 6:51 pm

    I could not agree more with the statement that Thai’s harp on;

    “Foreigners Don’t Understand Thai Culture!”

    similarly the Thai harp on the Rohingya –

    “Thai people not like that…”


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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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