Santa's Bag of Property Top Picks
As I sit at my computer I start to get a cold, nippy numbness in my fingertips – as the "festive" feeling of the Christmas season takes hold. I imagine an arctic wind blowing from the North Pole.
Reality sets in when I realize that the air conditioner has been set on "max". "Brrr" is the only noise that comes from my lips – nothing a quick slap to the head can't fix.
But wait, this is the season to be jolly. Santa's elves are wrapping up last-minute gifts and scanning wish lists from around the globe which are filled with iPads, iPhones, BMW's, Iron Man walking robots, Chanel to Cartier "brand mania", singing Justin Bieber dolls, yoga mats, flat-screen TVs and the random yak or two.
While Phuket's highways, byways and sois are teeming with holiday cheer and loads of tourists, optimistic real-estate agents are quietly setting out their yuletide stockings.
The good news is Santa's bag is filled to the brim with real estate offerings: old, new, for sale, for rent – no lack of choices or great deals this year.
For the "bigger is better" crowd, the Malaiwana Residences in Nai Thon are offering some of the island's most dynamic views with their 12 duplex apartments and penthouses.
Nearby, the luxury Istana estate, designed by Gary Fell, has come back to life with new construction underway.
Phuket's northwest corner is increasingly creating a sensation amongst the jet-set crowd.
On the "millionaire's mile" in Kamala, headquarters to arguably the highest concentration of high-end villas in Thailand, comes Waterfall Bay, a boutique development comprising three ocean-centric dream homes – only one property remains on the market.
The up-and-coming area south of Patong – the headland overlooking the bay – is creating an entirely new vibe with upscale hotels and property developments.
The Absolute Twin Sands Resort and Spa on Tri Trang Beach is a hospitality-geared residential project with 45 units and the nearby Bluepoint condominium is offering stylish units.
Other familiar names which still have units backed by strong locations and expert development include: Laguna Phuket's Lofts (managed by the Outrigger hotel chain of Hawaii). Richard Pope's Kata Rocks, and the recently completed Quarter and Mandala condominium in Surin.
Shoppers this season are seeing a surge in project completions and a maturing real-estate market offering a formidable resale or secondary sector.
Buyers with cash on hand may find bargains-a-plenty after the global economic shakedown, as seller stress or distress has fueled a "let's make a deal" mentality.
Phuket's decade-long "rags to riches" real estate story has seen the evolution of a fairly defined clutch of local property agents, websites, consultants, building inspectors, legal advisors and property management firms, all set to support prospective buyers.
As a child, I remember getting a toy "snow globe" which showered snowflakes when shaken. It stirred my imagination with the tiny house sitting in a far away tree-lined paradise.
Now that childhood imagination can be reality. Although tropical life being what it is, Santa riding in on a surf board rather than a sleigh may be part of our own altered reality.