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Bangkok’s hotel branded real estate has traditionally been focused on luxury offerings with brands such as St. Regis, Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, and more.

While Thailand’s resort markets have and are seeing the most traction as the mid and upper-midscale branded residences, that trend is now going urban.

In Bangkok Siamese Assets and Kew Green have already rolled out properties under Wyndham, have now signed deals with IHG for a Crown Plaza and Cassia by Banyan Tree as mixed-use developments.

Interestingly Banyan Tree is rapidly expanding their real estate-focused Cassia brand in other locations across Thailand and Asia. They reportedly will roll out the Skypark brand which originated in Phuket in other locations under licensing deals.

Changing faces and changing places are shifting as Bali’s property market shifts course as highlighted in C9 Hotelworks and Horwath HTL’s new Bali Hotels and Hotel Residences Market Report 2021.

While Bali’s tourism industry has been battered from the ongoing impact of the global pandemic, the island’s real estate sector has experienced a rapid shift in demand. Indonesia’s barrier to overseas travel has, in an unlikely turn of events stimulated a new wave of luxury property sales mostly in the villa segment.

A substantial trend in luxury villa sales has been revealed in our research in the secondary market, that has been driven by domestic buyers from Jakarta and Surabaya. Transactions have been mixed mostly between prime properties in Greater Canggu and South Bali at premium prices and the other end of the spectrum stress-driven discounts across a broader area.

Another key impact of Covid-19 has seen foreign buyers already in Indonesia adopting a work-from-home lifestyle and purchasing homes. This is especially prevalent in Canggu and the rapidly expanding West Bali push up the coastline. We expect this to continue to trend, with a younger, digitally-enabled demographic profile emerging.

Increasing interest from Singapore, Hong Kong, and other city-based buyers from Europe and North America looking at resort locations across Asia to live and work from home is a new constant in our Asia-wide market research. Despite the vibrancy in overseas investment into Bali, there remain no new significant changes in Indonesia’s foreign ownership laws nor pandemic-driven incentives to date.

Meanwhile, land sales and property prices have remained extremely active, especially for residential project development and individual luxury-oriented villas. Domestic buyers are the key players in this sector with competition high for prime sites and maturing locations.

One market that has seen sharp declines is hotel-branded or hotel-managed investment-type developments. Given stress in the tourism market and saturation of condominium hotels, we expect this class of real estate to remain sidelined for the remainder of 2021. Given many of these projects are focused on foreign buyers who are presently unable to visit Bali, there is little reason to expect a rebound in transactions until the broad international tourism market returns.

Looking at projects currently for sale in Bali, our research shows that condominiums still exceed a 60% share, though the villa segment is poised to grow. Primary sales volume over the past year totaled USD272 million, which is approximately a third of pre-Covid transaction levels.

Moving through 2021, we expect a continued domesticated push from Java and Surabaya in Bali’s real estate buyers who are motivated to purchase a second or holiday home after numerous lockdowns. Looking further ahead, Bali’s appeal to international buyers will attract more demand, as bedroom communities like Greater Canggu develop more critical mass and infrastructure.

To download the full report click the following link:

Open Report

Phuket’s sizeable mega-villa property sector has experienced an unexpected surge in multi-million-dollar sales over the past year as Thai buyers sought refuge in the global Covid-19 crisis. Over THB5 billion (approximately USD167 million) in primary and secondary high-end properties transacted at the height of the pandemic.

According to new market research from Thailand consulting group C9 Hotelworks, transactions in 2020 in top tier real estate hit its highest level in five years despite flat trading levels in the broader marketplace. Expansive tropical island mansions with four, six or more bedrooms have struck a chord with wealthy Thai’s who have been unable to travel overseas and are fatigued by mounting air pollution issues in the nation’s capital.

Speaking about the transaction charged revival in the island’s mega-villa sector, country living and estate villas in the age of pandemic are a strong reaction driven by both internal and external factors. Thailand’s wealthy have been effectively stranded in the country for nearly a year and the impact has seen them revisiting and falling in love with Phuket. Resort real estate remains an emotional proposition and this is a contributing factor in reigniting luxury property sales.

Aside from the Thai segment, there is more to the Phuket real estate backstory. There’s off plan and completed properties in the primary market, whereas secondary or resales has seen some deep discounting of large villas to overseas buyers. C9’s research has identified one source of these to be the global luxury marketplace Concierge Auctions. One of the key factors that the group has been able to effectively harness is creating competitive tension by means of an auction and inducing demand though the perception of value creation.

Taking a sharper look at locations recording mega-villa trades, C9 data reflects that Millionaires Mile in Kamala, Layan and Nai Thon Beach, all on the West Coast of the island are favorites. While on the East Coast, Cape Yamu continues to perform strongly with the new Headland project.  Phuket’s luxury footprint is now also firmly expanding over the Sarasin Bridge into a Greater Phuket catchment with the Aquella integrated golf course community underway.

Noting how proximity of projects is key to success and that there is often only one degree of separation between buyers in mega-villa estates. One of the most successful twining of projects last year has been the ultra-luxury Layan Residences by Anantara and Avadina Hills by Anantara. The synergy of having a hospitality overlay and hotel-style management to the developments has helped enormously.

While forecasting how 2021 and beyond will see the Phuket luxury property market fare, there is optimism for primary residences as we are seeing considerable interest from Bangkok high-net worth individuals and key regional capitals like Hong Kong and Singapore who are drawn to the island by clean air and space, quality international schools, and strong support infrastructure.

We are on the cusp of seeing a series of new inland integrated communities such as Tri Vananda in Thalang come on stream and this is expected to shift a larger slice of demand towards luxury single family homes. Covid-19 has refocused an entire generation on the value of work-life balance and proven work from home is a viable ongoing alternative.

There is little doubt that 2020 was a savage marketplace for Thailand’s real estate. Yet, despite the volatility some property developers have been able to move properties in the downturn.

One good example is Phuket’s Utopia Corporation’s Japanese-themed villa development in Thalang.  With 129 units in the project, the group was able to move 100 units over the year in mostly the Chinese market.

What resonated with buyers was the Japanese concept, which in the process was modified to also include a themed interior fit-out package.

We have seen other projects such as Mono Koh Kaew with Japanese-inspired lofts have good success in the Thai market with a themed-offering.

Learnings from this are that developers presently need to be bold, innovate and present key differences in products not just follow the broad marketplace, which as we know is extremely challenging.

Watch a video short interview insight with Utopia’s CEO Hachi Yin at the link below

Watch video

Despite the enormous downturn in Thailand’s hospitality sector, one accommodation segment that has seen evolving green shoots is serviced apartments.

Last week I attended the SEAHIS 2020 hospitality event in Bangkok and one of the leading sessions was on serviced apartments and led by Douglas Martell who is President & CEO of Onyx (SA brands include Shama and Shama Hub) and Brian Tan who is General Manager  – Thailand of The Ascott Limited (SA brands include ASCOTT, Somerset, Citadines, QUEST, and LYF).

A number of other hotel group representatives were also in the discussion including ACCOR and others.

Some of the key points from the session were:

Unit preferences are strongly shifting to smaller units such as studios and one-bedrooms. Larger units such as two and three-bedrooms are shrinking in demand given the geographical shift of guests and budgetary concerns with fewer guests with families.

Kitchens and laundry appliances remain popular, though less equipment in smaller units are needed.

In Bangkok, Sathorn, Thonglor, and Langsuan areas are popular, with mid-Sukhumvit struggling given lack of leisure business.

Discounting is at lower levels than hotels, and while many hotels now offer long-stay rates, the space and amenities of SA’s are driving demand.

Staffing ratios mostly in the range of .30 per key, considerably lower than hotels.

Gross operating profit range in fifty percent range with some isolated top performers above sixty percent.

Typically, CAPEX is lower than hotels given guests feel units are more like homes so damage less.

As for urban profile remains intact, but the operators were split on resort appeal. Some said there is strong potential and others said they keep not competitive.

As for Airbnb impact, generally, the sentiment was it did not detract from the segment, and in fact, gentrified customers who in turn later became SA guests.

While the sector has been impacted by Thailand’s reopening for tourism, the main takeaway is that the segment was probably the most stable of all hotel classes currently and that given COVID-19’s importance on less-trafficked accommodation and space, that prospects were positive going forward.

It’s interesting to see a revitalization of the SA segment, given during the mass tourism surge the past few years the sector had to increasingly tap the leisure sector, but the pandemic has taken it back to its roots.

Phuket’s multi-million-dollar villa sector has a new entry with the launch of The Headland Cape Yamu.

A total of seven ultra-villas are in the development with prices that range from USD10-15 million.

Two properties have been sold in presales. Lot sizes range from 4,200 up to 5,800 square meters.

The developers are Bangkok’s PPS Group and the founder of Yamu Estates.

Original Vision is the project architect.

Join C9 Hotelworks and Delivering Asia Communications in an event featuring enterprising conversations on Coliving, Coworking & Startups.

The live virtual one-hour session will be held on Wednesday 30 September, 3:00 pm Bangkok Time | 4:00 pm Singapore/Bali/

You can register for free at the following link-

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All buzzed up and nowhere to go? If you are desperately looking for green shoots in a world turned grey by the global pandemic, this one-hour virtual entrepreneur-toned gig is the right place to start.  Hear a series of smart, fresh thoughts on the coliving and coworking space from a thought-provoking set of speakers including ‘founders’ who walk the walk. How is Covid-19 changing the business models and what are the leading altered opportunities in the days and months ahead.

The new nomads are about the brave new world we are facing and a look down the rabbit hole of the evolving kaleidoscope of an emerging lifestyle in a local and global community. Our storyline will help prospective startups, or those looking to shift careers and take a step into the new normal where work, play, learning, and travel are an exploration of creativity and craft. Don’t miss this event. It just may change your life.

This is part of a series of virtual hospitality events from Delivering Asia Communications and C9 Hotelworks that are intended to create forward-looking conversations, ideas, and learnings for hotels and where the industry goes next.

 Panelists

  • David Abraham – Co-Founder, Outpost
  • Sukanya Sangsrisak – Ambassador of Buzz, lyf Bangkok
  • Yvonne Yeo – Co-Founder, Relogo
  • Vikram Bharati – Founder (International), Draper Startup House
  • Charlie Rosier – Chief Executive Officer, Cuckooz Nest
  • Luca Dotti, Co-Founder, HOMA
  • Bill Barnett, Managing Director, C9 Hotelworks

Moderator

David Johnson – CEO, Delivering Asia Communications

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Two luxury lifestyle projects in Thailand’s Koh Chang are set to lead Aquarius International Development’s (AQI) USD250 million Southeast Asia investment strategy.

These are headed by the recently launched Aquarius Residences & Resort in Koh Chang which includes a luxury 99-unit condominium and 23 pool villas.

A second development is the AQ Privilege Beach Club & Residences in nearby Koh Man Nai.

AQI is also unveiling AQ Ventures, a luxury yacht business based in Koh Chang and Phuket, covering charters, management and sales.

Longer term plans for AQI which is owned by Norcal Venture Capital Group calls for further development in resorts, residences and travel and membership services.

Thailand’s Minor group has invested and will operate the hospitality element of a new integrated wellness and medical retreat on the outskirts of Bangkok named RAKxa.

Located in Bang Krachao in Samut Prakan, the project is adjacent to the Chao Praya River on 200 rai of land.  The development is a partnership with Bumrungrad’s VitalLife subsidiary and  Thai-listed property development group M. K. Real Estate.

Set to open by this end of this year, Minor will operate 27 villas that will tap guests in the wellness programs. In total, sixty villas will be the eventual accommodation component.

RAKxa will offer Functional Medicine and Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM) together using a holistic approach. Functional medicine consists of VitalLife Medical Wellness center and Medical Gym.

CAM consists of Thai Traditional Medicine (TTM). Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ayurveda, Energy Healing, and Therapeutic Spa.