Phuket’s Largest Highway Interchange Expected To Attract Largescale Development
The release of plans for a massive highway interchange in North Phuket is spurring development activity in the Mai Khao area. A Mueang Mai interchange on the road leading to Phuket International Airport on the island’s main North-South artery will also have a direct connection to the East Coast spur highway 4027. (CLICK to see map)
This is expected to create significant growth of traffic to the island’s East side where over 70% of the spur roadway that starts at the Heroines Monument has been widened. Part of the Interchange will see the final stretch of road to Mueng Mai widened to complete a 4 lane highway from the airport via the East Coast.
Currently, plans call for the construction of an underpass at the Heroines Monument to start later this year, which is expected to create a gridlock situation for North-South traffic and access to the airport. Given the underpass will be a multi-year project, this is anticipated to mostly affect travelers in the South, Patong, and central part of the island, with the movement of tourists and those looking to get to from the airport.
Property developers who have been hit by high land prices in the Bangtao Chengtalay area where land per rai is exceeding THB20 million are now looking to Pa Klok where values are currently 1/3 of the West Coast areas.
As for those who were wondering why Bumrungrad chose the Mueng Mai/Mai Khao area, the new interchange is expected to create a large commercial and residential district. A well-known retail developer is holding a large parcel adjacent to the interchange.
Looking at the current real estate trends in Phuket, C9 Hotelworks research is showing some investors who bought multiple properties in estates or condominiums are starting to bring these into the secondary market to take profits. We expect a larger influx of secondary units in both single detached homes and villas, as well as condominiums
With new project launches now peaking and some notable ones coming in the next 3-4 months, by mid-year, the competitive landscape between off-plan and secondary market units is anticipated to become more competitive and price-driven. While 2023 was a record-setting year for transactions, we look at 2024 to continue rising by the sheer metric of new project launches and mass market sales.
That said, there are mounting concerns about an over-reliance on Russian and Eastern European buyers, and by mid-year developers will be forced to look for new markets and return to more focused sales and marketing activities in diverse geographic sources of buyers.
One final trend to take note of is that there is movement in the end-user segment of buyers of those seeking less traffic but still seeing Phuket International Airport as a key lifestyle indicator. This journey is over the Sarasin Bridge in Phang Nga. Here, foreign retirees and empty-nest couples are moving to the Thai Muang area and even further North to Khao Lak where land values are lower than Phuket prime areas by 50-75% in some cases. The four-lane highway North has increased access and we expect the coastal drift up to continue.