Thursday, December 22, 2005

Tsunami hit areas rise again

Nearly a year on from the Boxing Day Tsunami communities in Thailand are starting to rebuild, relying heavily on the return of tourists to the region to fund regeneration. In particular the holiday home market is getting back on its feet, excellent news for the picturesque towns relying on investment from rich foreigners.

Phuket is a case in point. Pre-Tsunami, the town relied heavily on foreigners buying second homes and spending their money in the community - to the extent that 75% of the town's income was raised this way.

The Tsunami changed all of this immediately, and with catastrophic results. Not only was the money not there for everyday things, the money was not there for the massive amount of rebuilding required. Fortunately, and thanks to the efforts of a very determined marketing campaign, this is changing. New estate agents are opening up in the resort and rebuilding is underway. In fact a visit to Phuket will reveal surprisingly little physical damage visible, but this doesn't mean potential buyers don't still need to be vigilant.

Despite stricter planning regulations, there are still some rogue traders trying to make a fast profit from foreign investors, so contact reputable agents before even considering investment in Thai properties.

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