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Nuclear shelters. Panic rooms. Chiang Mai real estate explores the Gods of Niche

Nuclear shelters. Panic rooms. Chiang Mai real estate explores the Gods of Niche

While Doomsday Preppers have been busying themselves mostly in the West, it appears the trend is turning East into Asia.  A new luxury estate in Chiang Mai Thailand called The Sanctum is featuring private fallout shelters in each villa and if that isn’t enough there is also a panic room.

While some may call this over the top, others  see it as  an emerging niche. North Korea’s recent spate of nuclear tests have been making international headlines, so  perhaps Kim Jong Un is becoming a key unique selling point for the real estate trade. Who knew?

Of course one has to wonder if indeed tranquil Chiang Mai is in danger of any imminent threat of being nuked by North Korea. One only has to view the fairy mixed results of Kim Jong Un’s intercontinental ballistic missile program. Most of these barely make it off the  land and fall  helplessly into the nearby  coastal water.  But again in this screwy world, could some misguided North Korean missile man confuse Thailand’s Jewel of the North for say – San Francisco or Seattle?

According to the Sanctum website nuclear shelters description touts that “safety and security comes first, no matter the circumstances”, while the panic room offers “an impenetrable shelter for all eventualities.” Certainly this is doomsday delight  to get focus on Google Ad Words during the villa sales campaign.

Taking a step backward as goofy as this may sound, maybe this project is onto something,  as in an overcrowded marketplace finding micro-segments and niches can be rewarding. Or a disaster. Remember Disney’s Utopian vision for the Stepford-esque lifestyle at the Celebration master planned community in Florida. Wait I think I just heard a body falling off the 26th floor.

Wrapping this up, I’m still not sure that underground space wouldn’t be better as a wine cellar but the panic room could work for me, as an escape route when engaging in a pitched battle with my wife. North Korea, game on. Welcome to the new niche of Armageddon property.

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Bill Barnett has over 30 years of experience in the Asian hospitality and property markets. He is considered to be a leading authority on real estate trends across Asia, and has sat at almost every seat around the hospitality and real estate table. Bill promotes industry insight through regular conference speaking engagements at key events and spends substantial time with his feet on the ground on research projects and gathering market intelligence. Over the past few years he has released four books on Asian property topics.

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