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Phuket Gazette Phuket Property Review – Only Way is Up

Category: , Posted:28 May 2011 | 06:00 am

Bill Barnett, managing Director of C9Hotelworks, looks to the future of the Phuket property market with optimism.
The demons of a self-proclaimed property guru are far too many to list in this 500-word article. Throwing off the shackles of inside knowledge is more of a curse then a blessing.
In predicting what the future holds in store for Phuket, even Nostradamus would not be able to keep up.
Doom, gloom and those odd moments between when many a developer and property broker sat silent and sullen next to the "kill switch" need not be recounted.
We don't live in a communist country, so there is no need to rewrite the tales of our ghosts of past and present.
Today is indeed the rest of our lives and like Groundhog Day, could very well be filled with joy – or grief. Hope does indeed spring eternal.
Over the past three years I can't remember the number of times someone has stumbled into my office or leaned across a board table and posed the question: When will things return to the way they used to be?" Ah, I think silently, "just where is that 'kill switch' when I need it?" But of course I smile back and recount what Phuket real estate has got right.
It is the birthplace of the modern hotel pool villa, home to the world-class destination resort complex Laguna, boasts enough golf courses to keep committed duffers from ever getting bored, offers hospitality and plenty of sun and sand with our diverse beaches. It's also easier to get here than ever by international direct flight, including some from destinations you may or may not care to travel to some day.
We've got a lot here, and there is more to come. I could take the vantage point, of course. Yes, there are problems: infrastructure, the growing pains from mass tourism, traffic, environmental issues and continuing uncertainty up in a small town called Bangkok.
For property buyers in every corner of the world, stories of both success and failure are common. For all those who point fingers at the uncertainty of Thailand, I always pose the question: is it really any worse than America, Spain or Ireland?
Come on; you know the answer to that. Capital appreciation might have slowed to a snail's pace and resale listings are multiplying faster than the wrinkles around my eyes, but if you bought on strong fundamentals, real estate here remains a solid investment. We don't live in a perfect world. If someone can come up with a better place to live, raise their children, own a business, and enjoy a casual lifestyle please let me know.
I've been globe-trotting for about 50 years now and for me Phuket is as good as it gets. At the same time, I do understand that the island is changing day in and day out. It won't be the same place in 10 years as it is now, just as it is vastly different now than it was when I moved here 10 years ago.
So to answer that annoying question on whether the market is going to go from slow to backward: it isn't going to happen.
Property is set to continue as a major industry in Phuket for a very long time. Players, places, prices and products will inevitably shift.
The steering wheel of the car is in the front, facing forward for a reason.
The road may have a few bumps along the way, but it's going to be ride you won't easily forget.

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