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PHUKET: While those involved in many segments of the Phuket property market are having to carefully navigate through times, those in the luxury residential market continue to enjoy smooth sailing.

“Premium luxury residential markets across the world are not directly impacted by market fluctuations in domestic housing sectors,” explains Micah Tamthai, vice president – real estate, Minor International, ahead of the completion of The Residences by Anantara.

Due for completion by mid-2016, the hillside development of 15 pool residences overlooking Anantara Layan is at the premium end of the Phuket marketplace, with prices starting from US$6 million. The development will comprise homes from three-bedrooms to seven-bedrooms, in sizes from 1,695 to 3,220 square meters.

“This development is a luxury product, and there is still real end-user demand for best-in-class new developments. The luxury property market in Phuket has always been strong and relatively unaffected by slowdowns in the Thai economy,” Mr Tamthai said. “We’ve had a fantastic response so far from our existing client base, and we plan to launch in the open market in 2016.”

With the upper end of the market being under-supplied with premium level new properties, Mr Tamthai sees The Residences being well positioned in the upper echelon of the Phuket market.

“We foresee both domestic and international demand, notably from Hong Kong and the UK. These residences are ideal for global leisure family travellers or couples looking for a different vacation option, away from the hustle and bustle. Layan is one of the most sought-after destinations in Phuket and remains a favorite with savvy overseas visitors seeking tranquility,” Mr Tamthai said.

As Anantara’s first branded residential development, The Residences has already had its Thai-culture inspired design recognized with ‘Best Residential Interior Design’ awards in both the Thailand Property Awards 2015 and South East Asia Property Awards 2015.

“As more luxury hotels have been entering various Asian markets in recent years, we are seeing an increase in brand loyalty, with guests seeking hotel brands when they travel or when considering buying homes,” Mr Tamthai explained.

“Branded residences are popular because buyers are buying a lifestyle with which they’ve become familiar. With The Residences by Anantara, home owners are buying laid-back luxury, intuitive service and a sense of discovery.”

The 5-year rental program for owners has a contractual renewal option, which gives buyers the option of putting their whole villa, or just a lock-off unit, up for rent. Owners supply the dates they plan to use the property during a 12 month period, and can always terminate the contract with written advance notice. However, Mr Tamthai points out that any reservations made prior to termination of the contract must be honored.

“The rental program is managed by our five-star Anantara Layan Phuket Resort, which generates good returns,” Mr Tamthai said. “Revenues received by the resort management are allocated to the owner (60 per cent) and the resort operator (40 per cent) after the expenses associated with marketing of the villa have been deducted.”

Residents will have access to all of the amenities of the adjacent Anantara Layan Phuket Resort, such as the spa, dining options, swimming pools, gym and boutique. Additionally, The Residences will also offer their own spa room, 21-meter infinity pool and accommodation for live-in butlers and chefs.

“Live-in private butlers, as well as visiting spa practitioners from the resort’s Anantara Spa, enable guests and residents to tailor bespoke dining preferences and spa treatments for stay-at-home retreats in their private sanctuaries,” said Mr Tamthai.

Though The Residences is one of the flagship resorts within the group, there are already plans in the pipeline to develop more residential properties, confirmed Mr Tamthai.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli