Property Matters : Light rail in Phuket

Property Matters : Light rail in Phuket

 

Finally some good news for commuters in Phuket! We may at long last get a light rail mass transit system to call our own. There’s a lack of reliable public transport here, so getting around Phuket can be most inconvenient and very expensive. This forces everyone – local residents and tourists alike – to seek a cheaper alternative of transport which is usually a motorcycle. Yet accidents involving motorcycles on the island are an everyday event and it doesn’t help to know that Thailand is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to drive in. So even though construction of the transit system is only expected to begin in 2021 which is a good six years away – and probably another three years after that to actually be able to ride on the train – just the thought that we could get around the island without the dangerous driving sometime in the future is a dream.

The train track will begin across the Sarasin Bridge in Phang Nga and have 20 stations along its 60km track with stops at Phuket International Airport, Heroines’ Monument, Koh Kaew, Phuket bus terminal, Phuket old town, along with other stops. What will be most interesting to see is how much land prices will increase (and how fast, too) along the proposed 60km track through the island. For example, land plots close to the BTS stations like Siam, Ploenchit and Chidlom in Bangkok were valued at 1.65 million baht per wah (two metres square) in 2014. This was an average increase of around 4.6% compared to the prices in 2012 with an annual increase of approximately 4%. Of course Phuket may not see such prices for a while but with the imminent arrival of the mass transit system it may one day have similar land prices as Bangkok.

 

No doubt there are some savvy people out there already buying up land plots along the projected light rail track. And we will also no doubt see the mushrooming of shops, condominiums, malls and housing projects along the track – almost a mirror image of Bangkok. Those with existing property along, or close to the track will also see the value of their assets increase at a faster rate than normal. Properties and land within a 50-200-metre radius from the track will also benefi t from the light rail mass transit system.

At the latest and fi nal public hearing on the 6th of January 2015, Phuket’s Governor Nisit Jansomwonong announced that the light rail plans are 90% complete with certain adjustments to be made. The plans will then have to pass an Environmental Impact Assessment test after which it would seek the cabinet’s approval, estimated to take another year. The hearing also discussed the much-needed requirements for parking spaces close to the stations. If the scheme makes it to the cabinet by next year and wins approval (as well as the necessary fi nancial banking support without a new government ‘shooting’ the project down) we could be a little closer to the reality of a mass transit system on our beautiful island.

 

No doubt there are some savvy people out there already buying up land plots along the projected light rail track. And we will also no doubt see the mushrooming of shops, condominiums, malls and housing projects along the track – almost a mirror image of Bangkok. Those with existing property along, or close to the track will also see the value of their assets increase at a faster rate than normal. Properties and land within a 50-200-metre radius from the track will also benefi t from the light rail mass transit system.

At the latest and fi nal public hearing on the 6th of January 2015, Phuket’s Governor Nisit Jansomwonong announced that the light rail plans are 90% complete with certain adjustments to be made. The plans will then have to pass an Environmental Impact Assessment test after which it would seek the cabinet’s approval, estimated to take another year. The hearing also discussed the much-needed requirements for parking spaces close to the stations. If the scheme makes it to the cabinet by next year and wins approval (as well as the necessary fi nancial banking support without a new government ‘shooting’ the project down) we could be a little closer to the reality of a mass transit system on our beautiful island.

 

http://www.windowonphuket.com/features_property_phuket/property-matter092.htm

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