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Families buying up in Phuket for a sunnier lifestyle

Sunshine, beaches and a better lifestyle are fuelling a boom in property sales on the Thai island dubbed "the Mallorca of Asia", reports Carolynne Dear

Families buying up in Phuket for a sunnier lifestyle

Families are investing in developments like Laguna Lakelands for a lifestyle change

Phuket is enjoying a boom in property sales as buyers flock to the sunny Thai island - and not just for a holiday, many are moving in. 

Last year saw the island’s highest volume of sales in a decade as tourists rushed to invest in the island. 

Such is the demand, Banyan Group recently announced a massive US$2 billion lifestyle development. According to the global hospitality group, real estate demand had been fuelled by global post-Covid lifestyle trends such as remote working, as well as geo-political events like the Russia-Ukraine war.

And Phuket’s charms are not to be underestimated. An attractive year-round climate, plenty of good quality international schools, marinas, hospitals and golf courses make it something of an Asian hot spot.

“As well as being the most visited resort destination in Asia, Phuket has now become the most desirable place in Asia for families to settle,” said Ho Kwon Ping, founder and chairman of Banyan Group. Banyan Group says land prices have doubled over the last two years, with the largest overseas demand coming from Russian, Chinese and British buyers.

The Banyan Group development, Laguna Lakelands, will be located next to Banyan’s flagship Laguna Phuket resort in Phuket’s central west coast Bang Tao district. It has been heralded as an “eco-friendly, international lifestyle community”.

Covering one million square metres of land, the project will be Phuket’s largest private residential community. Gardens, parks, rainforest and lagoons will be interconnected by 15km of walkways, foot bridges and cycling trails. 

Families buying up in Phuket for a sunnier lifestyle

Floating pathways link residences and amenities at Laguna Lakelands

Five themed residential areas will be connected via the walkways and cycle tracks. Phase 1 homes will include three-bedroom Lakeview Residences, condominiums in four and seven-storey complexes with rooftop infinity pools and four-bedroom Waterfront Villas with private pools and gardens. Prices start from US$190,000 for a condo, rising to US$1.7m for a Waterfront Villa.

Amenities run to a Country Club with pool, sports fields and tennis courts and the community will be anchored by a ‘town centre’ of shops, services and lakeside dining. 

“The launch of our new project shows clearly the paradigm shift we’re seeing from Phuket as a great place to visit, to Phuket as a great place to live,” said Stuart Reading, managing director of Group Property Development at Banyan Group. “There’s a huge demand not only for second homes but increasingly for primary residence.”

According to this year’s Phuket Economy Report, investors, predominantly from Russia, China, India and Europe, are now increasingly buying for relocation purposes rather than investment. Reading also notes that high quality property is still significantly cheaper in Phuket than in most of the buyer source markets.

Riding on the tails of Phuket’s success, Amal Group last month announced a US$315m luxury residential and hospitality development, also at Bangtao Beach. Gardens of Eden will be a 73-rai (approximately 180 acres) community, with 70% of the land dedicated to open spaces and gardens. 

Families buying up in Phuket for a sunnier lifestyle

Gardens of Eden sits on one of the last remaining blocks of beachfront at Bang Tao Beach

Amal notes the rapid growth of Phuket post-pandemic as “astounding”. “The real estate sector has soared,” said a company spokesperson. “Currently valued at THB27,508 million, it’s fuelled by a market boasting nine hospitals, 13 international schools, eight retail malls, four marinas, six golf courses and 26 beaches.”

Eden Residences sits on one of the last remaining beachfront blocks of land at Bang Tao Beach and comprises 141 apartments in four-storey buildings, from one and two-bedroom units to three and four-bedroom penthouses, and two-level apartments with private pools. The apartments are currently in the first phase of construction. Facilities for residents will include a main garden, club house, cafe with pool, gym, kids’ zone and underground parking. 

The entire Gardens of Eden project will be constructed over three phases and the full complex will eventually include a spa and wellness centre, restaurants and bars, a grocer’s market and boutiques and a park and lagoon pool.

Families buying up in Phuket for a sunnier lifestyle

Apartments at Gardens of Eden will have private pools

Continuing the wellness theme, global cosmetic brand Clinique La Prairie has joined forces with Montara Hospitality Group to construct a residential and hospitality health resort, slated to open in 2025. Once completed, Tri Vananda will offer 70 two, three and four-bedroom residential villas; the first of these are now completed and serving as showhomes for prospective buyers. 

Meanwhile, the health resort is managed by Clinique La Prairie and will include a medical centre, active movement centre, Olympic-sized pool, wellness restaurant, wellbeing centre and a mindfulness centre.

According to Montara, Tri Vananda will “set the benchmark for wellness real estate and tourism in Asia.” According to a recent Global Wellness Institute report, wellness real estate is one of the fastest growing sectors in wellness and is forecasted to almost double over the next five years from a US$400 billion market in 2022 to around US$890 billion.

Families buying up in Phuket for a sunnier lifestyle

Setting the benchmark for wellness real estate at Tri Vananda

Further south at Karon Beach, Mishari Group is partnering with Spanish hospitality brand Melia to construct a hillside development of 68 residences alongside a 138-key hotel. Melia Phuket Karon Residences is set on 16 acres of jungle overlooking the bay. A nature reserve will occupy more than half of the low-density development.

“It gives us great pleasure to unveil the pool villa and condominiums which will appeal to an increasing number of international residents who are moving to live in Phuket, full or part time,” said Faheem Ahmed, Mishari Group chairman.

Again, Mishari is led by the “transformation” of Phuket since Covid into a “residential lifestyle haven”, with potential buyers flocking to an island that’s connected to more than 50 international direct flights a day with international schools and world-class medical care.

Sixteen three and four-bedroom ocean view pool villas will offer open-plan living, terraces and a ten metre infinity pool. There are a further 52 one and two-bedroom condominium units, all with floor-to-ceiling glass doors, custom-built furniture and marble bathrooms.

Families buying up in Phuket for a sunnier lifestyle

The Mishari Group project includes 68 residences overlooking Karon Beach

Residents can make use of Melia’s amenities, including a forest spa, dining spaces, beach club and nature park. A shuttle bus will run between the development and Karon Beach. Residents will also have access to the resort’s 70ft, four-bed Sunseeker boat.

According to Mishari, around 60% of the development is already sold and all villas and condos are slated to be completed by March 2025. Prices start from around US$230,000.

After the shaky years of the pandemic, it seems there is no stopping Phuket now.

“It’s become the Mallorca of Asia,” said Banyan Tree’s Ho Kwon Ping. “A sought-after lifestyle destination for people from all over the world.”

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