ARCH Capital, a Hong Kong based boutique real estate equity fund, is to build a luxury residential resort on the western coast of Phuket that could set record prices for property on Thailand’s largest island. A private hillside estate villa featuring Thai contemporary design on a 10,000 square metre plot could cost as much as US$20 million (HK$156 million) at the MontAzure development.
Richard Yue, CEO and chief investment officer at ARCH Capital, said there would be about 10 such luxury villas on the hillside, with spectacular ocean views.
“It is a unique property and nothing like anything else in Phuket,” he said, “The five-bedroom villa will take us a year to complete.” Fiona Nel, sales director of the development, said such premium villas would attract buyers who are likely to hold executive and top management roles in big companies. Negotiations with a family from the Middle East are underway, she said.
“It will break the record in terms of prices in Phuket once the villa has been sold,” she said.
MontAzure, spanning an area of 178 acres, is a luxury residential, hotel and entertainment development. It will also comprise 75 one- and two-bedroom beachfront condominiums branded the Twinpalms Residences, located at Kamala beach. The resort residences, with unit sizes ranging from 70 sq m to 400 sq m (753 sq ft. to 4,305 sq ft.), will be operated by a local company, Twinpalms Management, which owns high-end resorts and restaurants on the island.
The beachfront condominium units, due to be delivered in late 2018, are being offered for HK$2.5 million to HK$21 million each.
Yue said 60 per cent of the 75 of these had been sold. They are adjacent to an Intercontinental Hotel and Resort, which is currently under construction.
He said Hong Kong and Chinese buyers account for 20 per cent of total sales, while 50 per cent are Thais. The rest are Singaporean, Russian , Americans, and European buyers.
Many expatriates live and work in Bangkok and Phuket. There is an international school in Phuket that can accommodate 2,000 students.
Total tourist arrivals in Phuket saw a year-on-year 18 per cent increase to 7.5 million in 2016, according to C9 Hotelworks which ranked the island as the No 3 global beach destination by arrivals. It said the expansion of the Phuket airport would further boost the tourism industry this year. Yue, formerly a director of investment at AIG Global Real Estate, said it was extremely difficult to buy such a large parcel of land in Phuket, where most land is held by local families. “Four years ago, a family who did not focus their business in property would be likely to sell the land through private negotiation,” he said, “It was just a forest when we bought it. It took us one year to build all the necessary infrastructure.”
ARCH Capital brought in joint venture partners Narai group (of Thailand) and Philean Capital (Singapore) to develop the project at a total investment of HK$35 billion.
ARCH Capital has been involved in the development and investment in 27 property projects in the last 10 years. Half of them are in China, the rest are in Macau, Singapore, India ,Philippines and Thailand.
Prakaipetch Meechoosarn, a director for CBRE resort property sales services in Thailand, said
sales of condominium units were dominated by properties costing between 5 million baht and 16 million baht (HK$1.13 million to HK$3.6 million).
“Most overseas buyers bought condominium units for investment purposes,” she said.