Showcased luxury properties range from $1m to $10m Those who dream of owning a beachfront villa should be thinking Phuket, Thailand, where properties are being sold at affordable prices. Luxury villas ranging from $1 million to more than $10 million were on offer at the Phuket and Samui Property Exhibition, held on Friday and the weekend at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The average price of a house was $4 million, said event organiser Artasia Press. The show attracted 50 exhibitors (double the number of last year) and about 1,000 visitors (the same number that attended last year). More than 80 per cent of the guests were expatriates. The organiser believed Hong Kong's reviving property market was the main reason for the low turnout of local residents. 'The property market here is picking up - they may prefer buying property in Hong Kong,' said an Artasia Press spokeswoman. The exhibitors forked out US$5,000 each for a booth to showcase their projects. 'We are offering good quality housing but at affordable prices,' said Virojn Sawatyanont of Alisabun. Ms Sawatyanont's company is selling two luxury villa developments - Prima Villas Karon and Prima Villas Saiyuan - on the south coast of Phuket. Prima Villa Karon is a 500-metre walk from the white sands of Karon Beach, and it is the only development in the area. The 22-villa project is in three phases - Prima Shell, Prima Reef and Prima Coral. Units range in size from 2,200 square feet to 3,300 sqft. Each villa has a private swimming pool. The five one-storey villas of first phase Prima Shell, to be completed next April, will be sold for about $1.5 million each. Construction work on the other two phases would commence on purchase, with prices expected to be less than $3 million, Ms Sawatyanont said. She expected sales for the entire project to close by the middle of next year, and all construction work to be completed within two years. The 11-villa project Prima Villa Saiyuan, with units of 2,500 sqft, will be sold for $1.4 million. The villas are built according to fung shui. Phuket property prices have been rising at the rate of 10 to 20 per cent each year, and Ms Sawatyanont believed prices would increase further next year because construction costs were expected to surge 20 per cent. She advised buyers to rent out their villas when they were not in residence. A decent villa could yield a rental of about 8 per cent, she said. 'The rental yield is more than putting money in the bank,' Ms Sawatyanont said, adding that the two projects were targeted at buyers from Hong Kong and the mainland and expatriates from around the world. Bart Duykers, executive director for Villa Santi, said most of the Hong Kong buyers were expatriates, but added that some Hong Kong people had started to invest in property on the island. He said that there was a stronger demand for properties on the west coast than on the eastern part. The area, close to Patong beach, has been developed as a tourist spot and has better infrastructure. As land supply for building dwindled along the west coast, developers were exploring beachfront possibilities on the eastern side of the island. Renowned interior designer Philippe Starck and architect Jean Michel Gathy are working on a 38-villa oceanfront project. The development is set on a private peninsula, Cape Yamu, that extends into the Andaman Sea. The average size of each estate is 3,200 square metres. Buyers can choose villas of varying size, from 250 square metres to 538 square metres. There is also a choice of villa layout. Prices range from $3 million to $7 million.