Hua Hin, Cha-am boom

The property mar-ket in Hua Hin and Cha-Am has grown 10 per cent this year following investment of Bt22 billion since July 2006, research by Ocean Property shows.

Of the total, Bt10 billion has been invested in detached housing, Bt10 billion in hotels and resorts and Bt2 billion in condominiums.

Ocean Property has spent Bt1 billion to build luxury resort Asara Villa and Suites in Hua Hin.

Over the last 12 months, four detached-housing projects comprising 375 premium beachfront units have been launched in the area.

Condominiums launched in the same period consist of five projects totalling 740 units, with prices starting at Bt80,000 a square metre.

The price range for detached houses has been Bt3 million to Bt4.9 million (6 per cent), Bt5 million to Bt9.9 million (28 per cent), Bt10 million to Bt24.9 million (51 per cent) and Bt25 million to Bt49.9 million (15 per cent).

Ocean Property plans to launch a Bt600-million detached-housing project called Ocean Villa Hua Hin in the second half of this year. It will have only 18 units ranging in price from Bt25 million to Bt120 million. The project's location is close to Asara Villa and Suites.

"Our project will focus on a unique market, and we've already booked seven units," said president Nusara Banyatpi-yaphod.

Kla Kitchakarn, vice president for the hospitality business, said Hua Hin's tourism sector was growing at up to 15 per cent a year, because travelling there from Bangkok by car took only about two hours.

The resort welcomed 2.3 million tourists in the last 12 months, about 80 per cent of whom were domestic visitors and the rest foreigners.

Taking advantage of the market trend, both Thai and foreign property investors have started construction of eight new hotels over the last 12 months. They will open in 2009.

"We believe Hua Hin is now the best tourist destination close to Bangkok," Kla said.
The Nation