THE launch of more direct flights between China and Samui will help the island’s property market grow further although there is currently a disconnect between demand and supply, Bill Barnett, managing director of C9 Hotelworks said yesterday.
Bangkok Airways is starting four flights a week between Samui and Chengdu this month while two more routes, to Guangzhou and Chongqing, are still awaiting approval but are likely to take off by yearend, Bangkok Post reported recently.
“In the longer term tourism is the key generator for property so we would expect that would be a good change for the market.”
Chinese visitors are already buying property in Phuket, Mr Barnett said, but typically they want investment type of property because they are not end-users.
So far they are either opting for big-scale, resort-grade condominiums or entry level units and while there are exception, these are still early days for the villa segment although the Chinese are attracted to them.
However the Samui property market is a bit different because neither is there a tremendous amount of product nor demand right now.
“I think there is a disconnect between supply and demand. You know between what people are building and what people are buying.
“We don’t see a lot of condo projects or this type of property there.”
Mr Barnett is appreciative of the fact that Samui thus far has been a good example of quality versus quantity tourism.
“So Samui is probably a leading market for that because it has been doing well but it has been constrained, it has been developed irrationally, so I think it’s a good thing.”
However the hotel market is speeding ahead with there being several new projects in the pipeline.
Research by C9 Hotelworks shows that as of February this year there were 18,046 registered accommodations on the island and from this year to 2018 the supply rises by 8% with the addition of 1,385 hotel rooms from 14 properties.
Among these new hotels are Holiday Inn Express Bophut on Bophut beach with 200 rooms and set to open in 2018; Holiday Inn Resort Bophut on Bophut beach with 150 rooms and due to open in 2018; Sofitel So Samui on Choeng Mon beach with 120 rooms and set to open in 2018; plus The Ritz-Carlton, Samui on Plai Laem beach with 187 rooms and due to open in 2017.
TOP: A peaceful sunset at Koh Samui’s beautiful Bo Phut beach. Photo: SMcGarnigle
INSET: Mr Barnett sees property market benefiting from a rise in the number of Chinese visitors.
By Nina Suebsukcharoen