Sansiri unit to launch cheaper Hua Hin villas

Sansiri unit to launch cheaper Hua Hin villas

Red Lotus Property Co, a subsidiary of the listed developer Sansiri Plc, plans to develop middle- to lower-end villas under the Maya brand in Hua Hin to attract foreign buyers at a time when the baht is strong and foreign-ownership rules remain unclear. The holiday home market, especially in the high-end segment, has slowed due to concerns about the impact of the Foreign Business Act, political uncertainty and the stronger baht, said Joshua Cobb Leathers, the company's sales and marketing manager.

''Actually, foreign buyers have delayed decisions since the Sept 19 coup,'' he said. ''Our new project will be villas priced lower than our first two projects to accelerate their decisions. It'll be an alternative.''

Currently, the company is constructing a showhome for the Maya project. The site will have a total of 51 villas worth a combined 180 million baht. It will be launched in the fourth quarter of the year with unit prices starting from 3.5 million baht.

Established last year, the company has launched two projects worth a combined 300 million baht on Soi Hua Hin 112-116, five minutes to the beach. They focus on the holiday home market and target foreigners.

''We will develop a villa project for foreign buyers that need foreign neighbourhood while our parent company Sansiri will do beachfront projects targeting mostly Thais,'' said Mr Leathers.

Its first project, Busaba Pool Villas, was launched last year, with 23 units priced starting from 7.9 million baht. The 180-million-baht project has recorded 50% sales and is expected to be sold out by the end of the year.

About 70% of the units sold are leasehold, while most of the buyers are from the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, the United States, Japan and Singapore.

He said most foreign owners normally spent one or two months a year staying at their units. If the unit owners want to rent their units out, the company would also manage the rental service. Monthly rates would be around 70,000 baht.

Sida Tropical Villas worth 125 million baht was launched early this month, comprising 22 units priced starting from 5.4 million baht. Lot sizes would start from 80 square wah with usable area of 139 square metres. Sales are expected to close by mid-2008.

''Pattaya and Phuket will be the next destinations we enter next year,'' he said.

Shares of Sansiri (SIRI) closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 3.96 baht, down two satang, in trade worth 30.18 million baht. Bangkok Post