In my 20 years of experience in the life of real estate, I have learned a thing or two along the way.
The basic principles are simple yet often overlooked. Are these principles different when investing in luxury property? Absolutely not, in fact getting the basic principles right can be even more important as the investment is generally in a location that is lifestyle related, secondary markets that do not have the critical mass of buyers and sellers you would find in a primary, urban market.
What defines luxury property?
As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I personally define luxury property by location, architecture/design and space both inside and outside of a property combined with a well executed property management solution.
Space created through proper design is crucial. Too often I see properties that have too many rooms that are never used and developments that try to put to much villa on the land. Indigo is a firm supporter of ‘less is more’….a spacious well configured villa on a lot that allows maximum privacy.
What countries do I consider the best place to invest?
Thailand as a whole I believe to be undervalued, especially when compared to its neighbors. Due to a bit of political issues, the lid has been kept on the real estate market with respect to pricing, although the market overall has been steady. The Thai elections will be complete by the time this magazine goes to print and with a positive message from the new government regarding foreign investment, I think there will be increased investment from the foreign community into Thailand.
There is no surprise when I say (and firmly believe) Phuket is one of the hottest places in the world, and no it’s not too late! With some of the highest end luxury hotel groups in the world announcing their commitments to open resorts, most of them mixed use developments; Phuket has yet to really see the true luxury end of the market. Phuket will be a different place in 5 years and the availability of prime sea front land is already scarce and at a premium. Buy now!
Also, the prime island of Koh Samui is a great choice, the island is always buzzing and has an excellent choice of hotels and restaurants however location is paramount as the infrastructure is in the process of being upgraded.
There are new, remote luxury locations like Koh Kood, that offer space, privacy and incredible service.
Indigo has taken an interest in exploring some markets outside of Thailand, such as Laos, Vietnam and to many peoples surprise, all the way to the other side of planet earth, Argentina. All of these are explained in this issue.
Back to the basics about investing in luxury real estate. The bottom line is due diligence. It doesn’t matter which country you are considering, you have to fully investigate locations, ownership and legal structures, quality of builders and construction and of course tax considerations.