According to the property website Tranio.ru, its latest analysis found an increasing number of Russian real estate buyers have shown an interest in properties in Thailand, among other countries that include the Czech Republic, the UK, Cyprus, Portugal and Croatia. The 2014 survey involved hundreds of agencies and real estate companies and the most popular properties in Thailand are from the low-budget sector, which are priced around the Bt2m to Bt4m bracket.
Tourist Arrivals in Thailand decreased to 1.7 million in May 2014 from 2 million in April, down 10.7 per cent according to Trading Economics. Investors said they were mainly looking for primary properties in Southeast Asia, with over 70 per cent of the respondents saying they favoured Thailand’s warm climate as the main reason for buying a property here. Although tourist arrivals fell in May, the Tourism Department was optimistic that full-year numbers would exceed offical targets.
Thailand welcomed over 26 million visitor arrivals in 2013, exceeding the year’s original target, which represented a 19.6 per cent increase over the previous year, the governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand said earlier this year. “This achievement brings much joy to Thailand and the country’s travel and tourism industry as a whole. These statistics are invaluable as evidence that despite the challenging factors including the ongoing political demonstrations in Bangkok, Thailand remains a popular and welcoming tourist destination.”
Thailand expects to welcome 28 million international tourists this year and statistics compiled by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports revealed that last year six Asian countries contributed more than one million visitor arrivals, with China topping the chart. It was followed by Malaysia and then Russia at 1.73 million arrivals, a 31.93 per cent increase in growth. Japanese and South Koreans and Indian visitors followed with increasing numbers.
For the Russians, high-end, luxury resort properties comprised a substantial segment of sales, such as those properties that could be found in Phuket where, for example, a premium villa could sell for as much as 40 million baht. Many respondents said that they bought real estate in Thailand because they had relatives or friends in the country, but the more wealthy investors preferred neighbourhoods where there other Russians were few and far between.
The CEO of Vista del Mar in Phuket said, “Rich customers prefer to settle away from their compatriots. Our clients include just 15-20 percent of Russian people. A noticeable amount of second-time customers also bought more than two assets in the kingdom within a two- to three-year period and a significant number also bought Thailand-based properties for investment purposes.”
More than 70 per cent of the respondents said that they were buying properties overseas for leisure activities, with Bulgaria, Spain, Turkey, Latvia, Hungary and Thailand getting the most demand from Russian investors.