It's always a good time to buy Thai property, says Hong Kong developer Allan Zeman

Allan Zeman, the driving force behind Hong Kong bar and nightlife district Lan Kwai Fong, fell in love with Phuket by accident.
Having caught pneumonia while in Canada, he turned to the island in southern Thailand in search of some sun and warm weather. Zeman now owns three resorts in Phuket, which is also one of the top holiday destinations visited by affluent Chinese tourists.
Thailand attracts more than 38 million tourists each year, a fact not lost on Zeman.
He has formed a joint venture between his Paradise Group with Pacific Century Premium Developments, a unit of telecommunications firm PCCW " which is chaired by Richard Li Tzar-kai, the youngest son of Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong's richest man " to develop a five-star hotel and luxury villas project in Thai Muang, a small town near Phuket.
"I started to fall in love with the place because it was not far from Hong Kong and it's easy to be rid of the hectic [city] life [here]," said the 70-year-old former Ocean Park chairman, referring to his first venture in Phuket in 2010.
"I found the first piece of land, which was across the river on a hillside, overlooking the Andaman Sea. So I built the first hotel there and named it Andara, after the Andaman Sea."
Allan Zeman's Phuket portfolio consists of three resorts and a retail property. Photo: Jonathan Wong
Zeman's Phuket portfolio now includes four resorts and a retail property. "I see great potential in Phuket. Its [property market] will just keep growing," he said. "Hong Kong suffers from limited space. Something we have always talked about are the city's 'shoebox' properties. Whereas here in Thailand ... probably for the price of a car park in Hong Kong you can have a nice condo or even a villa."
Other Asian investors, especially from mainland China, have followed Zeman into Thailand's property market.
According to the country's central bank, the value of residential property in capital Bangkok has risen by at least 10 per cent annually since 2010. And deep-pocketed mainland Chinese buyers are a major force driving this boom.
Richard Li, the youngest son of Li Ka-shing and chairman of Hong Kong telecoms company PCCW, which controls Pacific Century Premium Developments. Photo: Felix Wong
"In Bangkok alone, we saw about 15,000 new apartments being sold to buyers from mainland China and Hong Kong in 2018, accounting for about...