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Patiently Waiting to Exhale

Category: , Posted:03 Jun 2011 | 06:00 am

Real-estate deals are often more like running a marathon than sprinting like a jack rabbit.
It takes endurance, mental toughness and training. Even with all that in place, you never know until the day arrives how the gods of fortune will smile or frown; it's a journey with an unknown outcome.
I seem to have trouble, these days, kicking the migraine that comes from all of those repetitious buzz terms that arose since the global financial crisis. (And that's another of them).
Lehman's, economic crisis, Spain, Greece, depreciating currency, shrinking pounds, sunken Euros, dollar woes, political risks, oil price spikes, red shirts, yellow shirts, Japan.
It's tough work even typing them, again and again. My fingers are like elderly snails out for a walk on a rainy day. And out of the gloom rears the apocalyptic tagline "every boom busts".
Think of a play that's enjoyed a long run on Broadway and is now headed for the boondocks of, say, Cleveland, Ohio. Headliners drop away and lesser-known replacement players take on familiar roles. The island's property scene bears an uncanny resemblance.
Perhaps we have landed at Plan B, or worse.
Media reports about Phuket property now rest largely on the domestication of the industry, low-market condo transactions in single-digit millions, and resales of those all-too-sexy and exotic ultra-oceanfront villas.
What about the middle? A sandwich with two slices of bread, but the cheese and meat somehow didn't get a call.
It's flyover country. Now that's a term that can be applied to the vast expanse of the US, filling the gap between the two coasts.
In Thailand ifs called upcountry, and in the kingdom, flyover country is about to alter the political landscape of the entire nation – because that's where the voters are.
Statistically broad property in Phuket hit rock bottom in 2009. Since then, a gradual pathway has emerged, with a few winding curves. Sure, there are fewer travelers these days, but the process has been slow and steady.
During the past year, land transactions and more mass-product launches by Thai developers and entrepreneurs have led the return. Nervous money arising from last year's May episode saw Bangkokians looking to diversify into the island's land-banking sector – perhaps not capital flight, but the jittery nerves found solace near the Andaman Sea.
As small talk turned to recovery, a new series of luxury projects are now coming off the sidelines with the exclusive Chingari estate on Kamala's Millionaires Mile.
And shortly, Allan Zeman – fresh off his stunningly successful "Andara Effect" – will come to market with a new project.
On the domestic front, land buyers and Bangkok investors have been spooked by the upcoming election, and are taking time out.
Just like in a marathon, when you hit the 21k mark. You pause, take a breath and slowly exhale. The next segment of the race is just stepping ahead, first one foot, then the other. Slowly, but surely.

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