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Insights into Thai real estate, retirement properties and savvier consumers

With more than 40 years experience spearheading some of the biggest real estate developers in Thailand and Hong Kong, Chris Delaney is better placed than most to ponder on the current state of Thailand’s property market. Now leading the line at Sunplay Bangsaray, a high-end lifestyle community on Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard, he spoke to us about the benefits of being ahead of the game and targeting one of the region’s fastest-growing consumer markets: the over 50s.

How have buyer expectations changed over the years for luxury real estate in Thailand?

Consumers nowadays are well-informed and discerning. Having more high-end choices raises the bar for everyone, and competition has definitely improved the way developers approach the market. Product standards are therefore far more cosmopolitan than they were 10 years ago, which reflects current market expectations for sophistication, elegance, innovative design and superlative service.

What impact have these heightened expectations had on how developers approach projects?

Detailed research is necessary prior to determining target market segment requirements. Attention to detail in software resources, such as concierge services and discreet billing systems, is now paramount and represent the norm rather than the exception. Simply selecting talented architects and delivering high-end finishes are no longer sufficient; the end product must be as seamless an experience as a stay in a five-star hotel, with continuity guaranteed. Buyers need to trust that the lifestyle and services they invest in will be delivered consistently over time.

How do you balance targeting both local and international buyers and what are the biggest obstacles?

We are no longer in the business of selling bricks and mortar, but rather creating a lifestyle targeting a mature client base that values not only quality but also consistency and continuity. The little touches that say “welcome home” such as having the staff greet you by name and preparing your favourite flowers and foods in your residence before you arrive, are appreciated by all clients, whether local or international. Ultimately we all want the same things from a lifestyle investment – peace of mind, the feeling of being in a home away from home and knowing that we have made a sound investment.

Why is senior living finally taking off in Thailand and Southeast Asia?

People are living longer and staying healthier thanks to general awareness and advances in medical sciences. In this respect, Thailand is fortunate to have a favourable cost of living and world-class medical facilities, as well as being an excellent transportation hub. Add to that the outdoor sports-friendly climate and hospitality-minded Thai nature, and it is clear that the Kingdom ticks all the boxes for a very pleasant retirement. The Thai government recognises this growth trend, and now offers retirement visas catering specifically to this growing market.

How can developers capitalise on this trend?

Developer awareness of changing trends within the very broad retirement category and government initiatives to support industry growth will benefit those who catch the wave and respond to the changes in a timely manner.

Investing well on Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard

From the paradisiacal islands in the Andaman Sea to the vibrant Eastern Seaboard, Thailand has long been regarded as Asia’s premier resort property destination. Nowadays, many affluent investors not only look for luxury real estate in a prime location, but also require amenities that support an action-packed lifestyle.
Whether for sport or fitness, personal development or health, relaxation or fun,  Sunplay Bangsaray — an active lifestyle community for the over-50s located on Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard with stunning views of the coast — provides plenty of lifestyle options complemented by a full range of modern luxury facilities. The onsite Sunplay Club features a superbly equipped fitness centre, yoga studio, and large freeform swimming pool.
Bangsaray is an emerging destination that offers a variety of activities and attractions for residents fond of watersports and physical activities, with 10 golf courses in the area, as well as multiple options for sailing, biking, running and hiking. 

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