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Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Ko Samui Properties Blog for June 2010

Of course the big issue recently has been the unrest in Bangkok. I have been asked by several people if there was any problem on Koh Samui and the simple answer is NO. People in Samui just want to get on with their lives and businesses and to some extent we have the north/south divide in that the red shirts are mostly from the NE Issan region. Whilst there are many Issan people working here in the tourist and construction industries, they are simply happy to get on with their jobs and send money back to the family at home. I see tourists on the street every day enjoying themselves and we pass at least half a dozen “jungle safari” jeeps each morning as we drive to work. Tourism is undoubtedly down even for low season, but there are still many people here enjoying the sun and the beaches.

Over the years I have carried out many valuations for a range of different purposes in different countries. During my time in Germany before the Wall came down I was asked to value an hotel in the hills above the Rhine Valley just outside Bonn. I was met by a very charming elderly German gentleman who proceeded to show me round the property and also the outlying buildings which were offices, the walls of which were plastered with illustrations of every sort of gun and armament you could think of. It turned out he was a second hand arms dealer and had been an officer in the Waffen SS during the Second World War and fought on the Russian front where he built, so he told me, railway platforms out of solid ice for the disembarkation of men and supplies. Sitting in his office at the end of the tour he handed me a large bag of pistachio nuts. The day before the Iranian Defence Minister had been sitting in the same chair and these were fresh from Iran but I was welcome to them as he could not eat nuts. And very tasty they were too.

On another occasion, also in Bonn, I was carrying out a portfolio valuation for a large British owned German Insurance company. I pulled off the road to check my map and then drove on. A week later I had a call from the Bundessicherheitsdients – the Federal Security Agency – asking if I had been in Bonn the previous week and specifically if I had been there on the Wednesday. I was actually there on the Thursday which I admitted – trying to catch me out no doubt! It turned out that when I stopped to consult my map, I had done so outside a property which for some reason was of a sensitive nature and under surveillance. I had to explain why I was there, what I was doing, why did I stop. Eventually they were satisfied and I heard nothing more.

Whilst the RICS is not recognised in Thailand I do get called upon from time to time to carry out official valuation work which is accepted by the UK Courts, sadly usually in divorce cases, but also for private issues between business partners. In the present market this becomes something of a challenge as the most reliable basis of valuation for residential properties is by comparison of like sales. When there are few sales to make that comparison it becomes a matter of judgement and analysis of market trends. The usual criterion is that the valuation should be fair between the parties and in arriving at a figure, valuation practice requires us to value at a specific date. This is an essential point as you can imagine the difficulty a valuer would have been in if he valued the World Trade Centre Buildings on 1st September but did not stipulate a date! It is also necessary to assume a reasonable marketing period which in the present market could be many months. There is no specific definition of a “forced sale” valuation but it is generally agreed that this would be accepted as an Open Market Valuation restricted by the marketing period available. I take as an example a case where a property were to be offered at auction in say four weeks time with no reserve price. I am sure you will appreciate that a property offered in this way will attract a sale price well below that which would be achieved following more extensive marketing and subject to the usual condition of “willing buyer and willing seller”. However, it is still an Open Market Value but subject to severe restrictions.


Jewelry said...

great blog. nice to see this!

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