Gazette Lersuang Story Fuels Debate
A number of our readers have sent in emails regarding the Phuket Gazettes recent article on the property development group Lersuang; and many offered such varying opinions that surely the saga is going to be filed under 'a continuing story.' In my opinion the paper has done the right thing in bringing forward a matter to the publics attention which perhaps does not reflect positively on the real estate industry here, and has provided a balanced a view as is possible.
From our understanding of the complaints while many people cried foul over the limited representation of the buyers we know from mail received that some are already alleged to be involved in legal actions and cannot comment while others are hopeful of resolution so declined to speak to the paper. I'm hardly an investigative journalist but as a businessperson would say that due process will take its course and the outcome of all this remains yet to be seen.
I've seen Phuket move from a developing real estate market dominated by a mixture of first time developers, institutions such as Laguna and Land and Houses and a multitude of others with varying degrees of expertise and experience. Having lived here for nearly 8 years in my recollection there have only been a handful of defaults on resort grade property and the industry has grown in leaps and bound to a more sophisticated machine. We now see byproducts of this growth with secondary sales, rentals and other lifestyle investment. While not perfect by any means there is a pretty good track record here for completion of projects, though timeliness has not been a strong point.
For buyers coming into our offices one thing we always say is – make an informed decision. Obtain legal advice, do land title duel diligence, speak to the developers, ascertain their track record and ensure that financially you are paying for actual construction progress. All too often tourists on a holiday high arrive and jump into deals that they would not imagine transacting in their own countries without proper legal advice, perhaps building inspectors and even making there own research of the market.
Lessons learned here have perhaps been a hard example for some but it's important to see stories such as the Gazette's appear since in reinforces what reforms need to be done to land and consumer laws and also reminds potential buyers what can happen when things go slightly awry. It's a sober remainder for many that making an informed decision on any investment can avoid heartache later.