The growth of the condominium market around Hua Hin is still going strong with improving absorption and increasing supply, according to the real estate firm Knight Frank Chartered (Thailand).
The results came from the firm's year-end condominium market research for the popular Hua Hin, Cha-am and Pranburi sea resort areas, spanning from Haad Chao Samran along Phetkasem Road to Pranburi in Hua Hin, with a focus on projects launched between 2003 and 2005.
During this period, a total of 1,513 condominium units were launched for sale in 16 projects.
The upper-medium units, with prices between 40,000 and 65,000 baht per square metre, took the bulk of the market share, totalling 1,107 in 12 projects, or 73.2% of total supply.
Cha-am had the largest number of units at 892, or 59% of total supply, followed by Hua Hin with 324 units or 21%.
The company said the take-up rate in 2005 rose by 43% year-on-year, with 624 condo units sold, compared with 437 in 2004. The upper-medium and high-end segments recorded a 65% takeup rate on average.
For 2006, Knight Frank said the upward trend would continue, but there would not be any more new beachfront condominium developments in Hua Hin, and beach land was now limited in Cha-am.
The company predicted new beachfront developments would possibly shift further south to Pranburi when availability of sites dried up in Cha-am.
Research found that more expatriates and foreigners were buying condominiums in Hua Hin due to good access routes to Bangkok and reasonable prices compared with other established lifestyle resorts in Thailand, notably Phuket.
Although competition was set to heat up as more condominium developments were launched, Knight Frank did not see a reduction in prices for 2006 because developers were focussing on high-quality projects that were uniquely designed to meet consumer demand.
"Hua Hin and its immediate area still command the highest prices, especially for beachfront areas," the company said.
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Bangkok Post Apr 2006 www.bangkokpost.com