Sunday, January 9, 2011

Investing in Phuket Properties

Phuket has never had it so good and property is booming, despite the temporary set backs of tightened ownership regulations and the uncertainty that followed the 2006 coup. But properties in Phuket continue to change hands regularly as international investors and the wealthy increasingly want a ‘piece of Phuket’. The days of an undiscovered paradise are long gone and the speculators have come and gone as the market settles. Investors with an eye on ‘the next big thing’ are better off looking at other islands along this coast, but those with more genuine interests to develop on the back of a robust and maturing infrastructure will find Phuket property very agreeable.

Entry level into acquiring Phuket properties isn’t cheap, and there certainly isn’t the mass cheap apartment scenario that Spain undertook in the seventies and eighties. The investing here is far more up-market and tasteful. Although it has slowed down, relative to Pattaya for instance, the investment on Phuket is set to continue growing with more developments emerging. Phuket is considered relatively safe when it comes to your money, with long-term returns encouraging. Accessibility, location, style and size however, are all important when investing in Phuket properties.

Also, it is important to consider the distance to the airport. A lot of Phuket’s part-time residents, work in Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok or other parts of Asia, thus the commute when time is precious can often be limited. Is a longish drive to the southern coastal hotspots of Nai Harn, Patong, Kata and Chalong, whereas, Cherng Talay, Phuket Royal Marina and Laguna areas are more idealistic.

Most importantly, when investing in properties in Phuket, is the reputation and professionalism of the developer. Phuket probably boasts a higher standard than anywhere else in Thailand – a country not known for exceptional standards of quality – and this is largely due to the international nature of the industry. Many of the companies are managed by experienced property developers from other sophisticated locations, with the advantage of competent local staff.

Initially it was the wealthy Bangkok Thai nationals that snapped up much of the land during Phuket’s original boom, when its potential was recognised in the early eighties. This has dominated the commercial property business, including resorts, apartment phuket and retail space in the popular tourist centres. Now the focus is more on residential villas as second or retirement homes for the wealthy. Many buyers do so purely for investment as the pre-build price usually matures by up to 70 per cent following completion.

Investors looking at acquiring Phuket properties should take the time to properly familiarise themselves with the local market and the ownership laws and structures in particular. The most important factor influencing the local market is that only Thai nationals can own land.A legal structure for Condo Phuket developments allows foreign ownership of up-to 49 per cent of the building. For stand alone developments like villas, a complex company structure and lease of freehold agreement is usually employed to circumvent this law. However, you can never legally own the land.

In late 2006 the government decided to more strictly interpret this modus, and investigate the status of the apparent Thai partners. This created pressure on the industry and resulted in a slowdown. It had a devastating effect on the property market in Samui which had notoriously become riddled with corruption, land encroachment and unlawful ownership structures. Since then investors have been cautious, waiting for clarification or updating of the legal structures to accommodate an important pillar of these island’s economies.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Buying condos in Phuket – condo buyers’ tips

Phuket has been well established in the foreign investing property phuket market for many years, which has resulted in a large number of qualified and experience real estate phuket agencies. Phuket has two types of luxury condos or apartments: those affiliated with international brands, such as Laguna property on Bang Tao Beach and those with local brands, such as Royal Phuket Marina, or Layan Gardens in Layan.

The Phuket condo market is heavily supported by good English speaking agents, these include; The Charm, Tropical Homes, Phuket One Real Estate and Knight Frank. Prices vary dramatically: 13.5 million baht for a 125m2 two-bedroom condo unit, to 30 million baht for a higher end property. If these are all out of your price range you can also find 45m2 to 60m2 condos in Phuket for considerably less. And at the bottom end of the market you can buy units in modest condo blocks in Phuket Town area, usually full of locals as tennants. Prices vary heavily according to location, style and facilities. On average, a buyer can expect to have a wide choice for 14 million baht.

Prime locations for condos in Phuket include southern coastal hotspots: Patong, Karon, Kata and East-western coastal areas such as Layan, Bang Tao, Surin and Chalong. The tropical paradise lifestyle you were imagining doesn’t come cheap any longer in Phuket, and condos and apartment phuket in the popular areas near the lovely beaches are in high demand internationally.

Be prepared to do your research and make sure that the building will be properly maintained and maintenance fees will be properly collected. This should not be a problem when dealing with reputable companies, but be assured there are many pitfalls that unsuspecting condo owners could fall into. Unlike other places in Thailand however, many of the condo buildings are almost entirely made up of foreigner tenants and their expectations for professional management are high.

An important consideration is that, like most popular areas in Thailand, condos or apartment in Phuket have the highest demand of any sector, because they are easiest to own as a foreigner. Thai law forbids foreigners owning land but has a structure allowing up-to 49 per cent of a condo building to be foreign owned. Therefore, many who want to retire in Phuket or live here part time find that buying condos are more practical in Phuket.

When buying property in Thailand, a foreigner must bring in 100% of the purchase price from overseas. In order to do this, you will need a Tor Tor 3 document (Exchange Control Form) from the Thai bank. You will need to transfer the funds in order to provide evidence of this to the land department in Phuket. Another consideration to bear in mind is that the name of the party remitting the money on the Exchange Control Form and the name of the property buyer must be the same.

Source: and Condo Phuket

Monday, January 3, 2011

Phuket Property Review

This article is very interesting. I would like to share with you guys.

Phuket is one of Asia’s most sophisticated and certainly Thailand’s best established property market outside of Bangkok. For the past twenty years developments have been sprouting up around the island, encouraging a large influx of investors. At present, there is an increasing demand for new developments in areas such as Bang Tao Beach, Surin, Cherng Talay and Layan, as well as the southern coastal areas of Nai Harn and Kata. The traditional areas, such as Patong, are overdeveloped and priced at a premium.

With political instability and amendments to the foreign business act in 2007, many investors are proceeding with caution, but are not deterred from investing in real estate Phuket. Phuket boasts a wide range of property choices: condominiums, apartments, houses and villas, so there is no shortage of options. However, for the most part it is strictly for the wealthy. Residential property away from the lovely west coast bays is affordable but certainly not the cheapest in Thailand. Many locals opt for something nearer Chalong or Phuket Town.

Buying property in Phuket
Real estate in Phuket is, in some respects, a lot more established and sophisticated compared to other coastal regions, like Pattaya, Krabi and Koh Samui. There is a wide range of estate agents: Phuket One Real Estate, Tropical Homes and Knight Frank to name a few. This alone attracts a large number of foreign investors to a market once dominated by buyers from Hong Kong and Singapore. Phuket real estate is now seeing a large influx of European and American buyers. The common price tags for properties ranges from 5 million to a 20 million baht, largely depending on location and size, with beachfront and sea view properties going for significantly higher prices. Phuket was very heavily marketed in the 1990s by Laguna Phuket – an area of man-made lagoons in the Bang Tao district. A lot of spin off properties are now available to buy from companies associating themselves with large brand names such as the Banyan Tree, Sheraton, Allamanda and Dusit Laguna.

Buying condos in Phuket
Although villas are the most desired property choice in Phuket, they are often unaffordable and condos serve as a second choice. Condo Phuket buildings are concentrated in developed areas such as Patong and Karon, and are now back in vogue since the structure typicallu used for foreigners to buy villas has now been deemed unlawful. Only Thai nationals have a right to own land, therefore foreigners are limited to buying condos in buildings that are at least 51 per cent Thai owned. Some companies use complex company structures or long term land lease to overcome this, but condos present a much safer option. Condos also offer all sorts of shared amenities such as pools and fitness centres and are generally more centrally located. Another choice on buying condos in Phuket.

Buying villas in Phuket
For high-flyers and those can afford a second home, villas are a popular choice in Phuket and are offered by numerous developers who have seen the demand in this sector. Mostly, they are luxury property options, stylishly done in tropical Asian contemporary design, with good seafront locations and big price tags. Some are sold as stand alones, but mostly they are offered as part of an exclusive project. Since the land they are built on cannot be owned by foreigners a round-about ownership structure is created. Alternative on buying property in Phuket.

Investing in Phuket properties
Phuket property market has also proven popular with investors’ who see the potential and low risk in this lovely tropical location that is increasingly becoming a jet set magnet. With a solid infrastructure and demand from the wealthy, it is seen as a good option for investing in property and making guaranteed profitable gains in the mid or even short term. More on investing in Phuket properties.

Living in Phuket
Phuket has long been a popular destination for holiday makers, retirees or simply an area for holiday homes because of its tropical climate and fantastic beaches. As such real estate has been buoyed by investors, hospitality developers and those wishing to settle on the island. Located in the Andaman Sea, Phuket is seen by many as a desirable home away from home. Relocation to Phuket has been made convenient by its well established infrastructure, international airport and quality services: yacht marinas, golf courses and shopping malls, all of which draws the Westerners in. A large expatriate community has continued to grow over the past 10 years, with two international schools available on the island and an extensive support network of clubs and societies.

Phuket offers a wide range of services which include an international standard hospital, English speaking lawyers, extensive estate agent services and local English newspapers (Phuket Post and Phuket Gazette amongst others). Undoubtedly the tropical, scenic backdrop of the island encourages foreigners to invest in property and developments. Phuket, as a large island has many tourist destination areas, such as Patong, Kamala, Karon and Kata. They all have vibrant nightlife scenes, with a combination of great discotheques, bars, restaurants and nightclubs, making Phuket, a ‘foreigner friendly’ destination for foreigners.


Property buyers’ tips for Phuket

I got an interesting article about buyer tips for Phuket property. I hope it will be useful to you guys.
  1. Properties near or within a large town will provide you with all the modernistic features: entertainment, services, eateries and work opportunities. However, a major drawback is that prices will be a lot higher for property phuket, especially properties located near the beach and mountains, like Patong beach etc.
  2. Make sure you do your research of the area when buying; areas such as Patong, Karon and Kata are heavily populated by tourists, which can have its drawbacks when considering exclusivity and privacy.
  3. A good agent is essential, as it will allow you to see as much of the island and areas of development that it has to offer. Always be careful when consulting your investment options.
  4. Make sure the development has valid papers, such as title deed that have been verified by local official land bureau. Don’t rely solely on a local lawyer or single agent to do the due diligence for you, they will not accept responsibility if they get it wrong.
  5. Create a positive image and good relation with local people; remember you are investing into the culture and lifestyle that is already there. If you decide to ‘go native’ and live among the locals in their neighbours be prepared to put up with their habits, such as unruly dogs, noisy karaoke, morning village announcements over the tannoy, and unregulated development.
  6. To avoid all of the hazards mentioned in point 5, consider buying into one of the modern project developments which minimise these problems through carefully managed neighbourhoods, but you pay a premium for the privilege.
  7. It would be better to appoint a good English-speaking lawyer, who is fluent in Thai, in order for them to detail to you all the relevant legalities and proceedings regarding your property. Remember, Thailand has a lot of red tape when concerning foreign investment especially with the recent amendments to the foreign business act. Furthermore, you cannot rely on the legal system in Thailand to present foreigners with a strictly just outcome.
  8. If you insist in buying among the developed and sought after West Coast bays, expect to pay a great deal more, although your investment will be secure. Many locals (expats included) prefer the less frenetic middle and east side of the island with the convenience of Phuket Town and its services. To be close to the beaches look into some of the less developed by secluded areas nearby, such as the southern-most parts of the West Coast, or Bang Tao’s lagoon areas.
  9. There are some lovely, as yet undeveloped and still affordable, areas on the east coast with access to nice beaches, such as Koh Siray and even some of the offshore islands.
  10. Phuket is one of the most expensive property and condo markets in Thailand but does have one of the most sophisticated property infrastructures and support from building, renovating and decorating businesses.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Why Buy Property in Phuket?

Reasons that make Phuket an attractive location for your Phuket property, holiday home, Phuket condo or place to spend your retirement.

Phuket is Asia's premier resort island with amazing natural beauty including idyllic beaches, amazing diving, first-class hotels, spas, magnificent golf courses, yacht marinas, a plethora of fine restaurants, vibrant nightlife and excellent shopping.

Phuket has one of the fastest growing property markets in the world with an increasing number of high quality real estate Phuketprojects by internationally-renowned real estate developers. Environmental-friendly planning laws and height restrictions ensure that developments are low key and low density.

Phuket is Thailand's wealthiest province and also the jewel in the crown of Thailand's tourism industry, therefore receiving a high degree of protection and investment from the central government in Bangkok.

The cost of living in Phuket is very low compared to Europe or other premier resort destinations. In an article titled Paradise Found: Where to Retire Abroad Fortune magazine recently named Phuket as one of the top five places to retire to, “where you can still live like a king on your savings”.

Phuket's appeal is so strong that it was one of the only places in Asia that was unaffected by the Asian economic crisis during the late 1990s. Property values also remained strong even after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.

Rental returns on Phuket apartments and villas continue to remain high as more and more holidaymakers are opting for the privacy of a rental property over a hotel room. With visitor arrivals predicted to top 6 million in 2008, the demand for holiday rentals will continue to grow.

Infrastructure and services continue to improve at a fast pace. With two international standard hospitals on the island, quality healthcare is available at a fraction of the cost in the West.

English language primary and secondary education is available on the island with international schools that follow the British or American curriculum, including the British Curriculum International School, formerly Dulwich International College.

Source: and E-Marketing

Top Ten Must Do List in Phuket

It seems every one has a ‘top ten’ list and so do we. Doing even half of the things on the list will virtually assure you have an enjoyable experience during your visit to Phuket. Complete the list and you may never go home, or if you do, it may only be to plan your next visit.
  1. Take a drive along the south coast of the island between Kata Beach and Promthep Point. This is truly one of the most beautiful and scenic drives anywhere in the world. The drive takes less than an hour, so stop at each rest area and delight in the stunning views.

  2. Take a visit to nearby Phang-Nga Bay (by Sea Canoe or or small boat if possible). You will be missing one of the true natural wonders of the world if you miss this opportunity to appreciate the striking rock and limestone formations and spectacular scenery of this amazing bay.

  3. Experience the majestic rainforest by walking a few of the trails at one of the national parks. The easiest to reach, and one of the most interesting, is Khao Phra Thaeo National Park located on the north end of Phuket Island.

  4. Drive the north coast and enjoy the sensation of having a tropical beach all to yourself.

  5. Watch the sunset from Cape Promthep, then dine on seafood at Kang Eng Restaurant in Chalong Bay.

  6. Visit the Night Market in Phuket Town, enjoy the enormous selection of Thai food, fruit and desserts -- all at incredibly low prices.

  7. Khao Rang Hill in Phuket Town affords a beautiful view of Phuket Town and is a great place to enjoy a lunch or dinner.

  8. Have your fortune told while you visit the famous Wat Chalong.

  9. Have a traditional Thai massage. Those staying in the Patong Beach area can easily reach the Hide-away Spa and enjoy this relaxing traditional Thai herbal spa and massage.

  10. Get off the beach in front of your hotel or apartment in Phuket and go somewhere.
Adapted from: and The Charm Phuket