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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.