Hua Hin remains an attractive destination for second homes, according to Knight Frank Thailand, part of the global property consultancy Knight Frank LLP. The consultancy says the majority of buyers hail from Bangkok, while sales to overseas clients including expatriates working in Bangkok only make up 25 percent of total. Especially condominiums have proved to be a popular second home option in the seaside resort. Surasak Limpa-arayakul, director of research and valuation department, Knight Frank Chartered (Thailand) said that between 2003 to the end of June this year, the total supply of condominiums was 17,349 units, with 3,956 of those added in the first half of 2011.
The company said that over 75 percent of condominium buyers are Thai, especially those from affluent Bangkok-based families. Beach condominiums are popular amongst expatriates and foreign retirees. One of the major deciding factors for expatriates when buying a property in Hua Hin was the reliability and reputation of the developer, while affordability seems to be vital for foreign retirees. Surasak further explained that foreign buyers, unlike those in other tourist destinations such as Phuket and Samui are mostly retirees or those with Thai spouses.
They have a limited budget, said Surasak and prefer to buy a residence for their own use as a second home during their country’s winter season. Condominiums is the only type of property which can be owned on a freehold basis by foreigners. The historical unit take-up rate during peak years for Hua Hin condominiums has been about 1,000 to 1,200 units per annum, however during the first half of this year, there were about 1,655 units sold. The influx of new supply has seen take-up rates to drop from 45 percent in 2011 to 44 percent during the first half of 2012.
Supply and demand have in recent years focused more on inland condominiums, as opposed to beachfront projects and projects that have sea view from the units. The cumulative average growth rate of beachfront condominium units in south Hua Hin was at 4.2 percent between 2010 to the first half of 2012, with an average selling price of THB138,010 per sqm, according to Knight Frank.