Hillside Properties Keep Hanging On
Leafing through any of the island's glossy property magazines or websites, three terms seem to crop up time and time again: "oceanfront", "absolute beach-front" and "sea views".
Although the most exaggerated property moniker has got to be the term "luxury".
Copywriters employ artistic license by applying the word to all manner of property, from galvanized iron roofed shacks and dog houses to condos and ultra villas.
An underground movement should be established with the principal aim of banning the word "luxury" from property publications and advertising.
The leaders will live somewhere up in the hills of Phuket subsisting only on free-range geckos, home-grown high-octane coffee beans and solar-powered connections to Facebook.
Radical movements aside however, there's a nagging question which regularly pops up in Phuket property circles: what drives top-range property prices on the island?
The strange species of luxury cliff-hanging villas is a case in point. Take a drive in California's Malibu, or perhaps Italy's Amalfi Coast, and hillside properties with awe-inspiring views and definable aspects are understandably the most sought after properties on the market.
In Phuket, when comparing the value of upscale real estate – say along Kamala's headland or in Smith, Nai Thon or easterly Cape Panwa – the common denominator is not the beaches, but privacy and viewing horizons.
In many cases, as the slope gets steeper the price gets higher.
Take it from me: Seclusion sells.
Of course there are exceptions.
The most notable being the high-priced neighborhood just over the bridge in Natai, which offers the opportunity to step right onto a long stretch of beach.
The respective camps representing beachfront versus hillside ocean view will continue to wage war on the subject of what really defines "luxury".
Truth be known, the answer lies somewhere in between. But in terms of the broader market in Phuket, at least there is a direct correlation between the angle and pricing stratosphere.
With so little coastline left, some will point out that opportunities of high-end developments are shrinking faster than the value of the beleaguered US dollar.
However, there are still a number of premium sites left in Phuket which will ensure longevity for the cliffhanger fraternity.
Plus, new environmental laws passed last year actually favor less density. The best use of these laws is to develop prime resort homes. One could say it's not less is more, but less for more.
So budding millionaires rest assured – Phuket will indeed have a place for you in years to come.