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Posted: 26 Jul 2010 | 9:05 am
One of Greater Phuket's most dynamic property markets of the past eight years has suffered a setback with the introduction of a new Ministerial Regulation which came into effect July 3.
Thailand's Ministry of the Interior has taken steps to cool off skyrocketing land prices and development of luxury villas and hotels in an area often referred to as 'over the bridge.' In this case the new Act is directed at the west coast area of southern Phang Nga province from Kok Kloy, Natai, Tah Sai, Bo Dan and Thai Muang.
With its close 15-20 minute driving distance from Phuket International Airport on wide roads and an expanding four lane Sarasin Bridge the prime area has been driven by property buyers who want absolute ocean front land, which is for the most part unavailable in Phuket.
Some of the area's most expensive luxury villas are located in the Natai strip including Jivana, Sava, California WOW fitness entrepreneur Eric Levine's mega residence. Boutique upscale resort Aleenta was an early arrival and high profile ongoing developments such as Similan Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Retreat and Richard Li's 1000 rai destination mixed use resort in Thai Muang have added glitter to the offering.
Under the new regulations a reduction in plot ratio's, restrictions on subdivisions and designations of large forest preservation areas and protected agricultural parcels looks set to impact large scale land speculation.
The Act has an effective period of 5 years and there remains speculation over whether Phuket itself could see new similar guidelines. In the short term in all likelihood the area will continue to attract million dollar villas and become more of a bedroom community for Phuket but certainly a critical mass of hotels and larger residential estates who are keen to enter the market will face challenges. Some sites such as Thai Muang who have substantial green areas will be able to cope with plot ratio issues more then small sized parcels.
Area's north of Thai Muang including Tap Lamu, Khao Lak, and Takuapa are not covered in the guidelines and may seen new land transactions as speculators move to other areas which have west coast ocean front land.
Leading international law firm Mayer Brown JSM has issued a legal update on the new Act that can be viewed at:
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