Thailand's property market over the next few years is set to welcome new individual investors from Dubai, India and Russia thanks to lower prices than in other markets.

Dubai investors and property developers were interested in hotels and villas in Bangkok and Phuket. They would buy the units for their own residences and to rent out. Projected returns would be between 5% and 8% per year.

Currently, there were two or three property investors from Dubai entering the Thailand property market and there could be five to 10 in the next three years. They would draw individual buyers to Thailand and also could take over some listed property developers.

In India and Russia, the investors are newly rich and have a lot of money to invest worldwide, especially in Thailand where the tourism industry is attractive.
While India's new rich were from the software industry, their Russian counterparts' wealth is in minerals and oil.

To attract property buyers, developers should have good project plans, strong financial status and real Thai partners in case they are overseas investors. Savills, a famous property consultant firm in Thailand has been appointed to manage sales of the Conrad Koh Samui Residences being developed and owned by Hong Kong-based Hillcrest Residences (Samui) Co Ltd. The project would be the developer's first overseas, with 39 luxury villas sized around 200 square metres and priced at at least US$1 million.

The development would be located on a 63-rai site in Thong Krut, in the southwest of the island. The official launch would be held in Hong Kong on Oct 13-14 as the highest buying power is there. Sales are expected to be closed by mid-2008 while construction would be completed in 2009.

The Samui property market from the buyer side had slowed down since last year but it has already picked up in the past two months. The major factor is the stabilisation of the political situation and pent-up demand since last year. Meanwhile, the negative impact from the Foreign Business Act, which delayed foreign buyers' decisions since late last year, has diminished as buyers understand the issues better and are opting to lease units for 30 years instead of buying a property.
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