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. 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.
Phuket boasts a wide range of property choices: condominiums, apartments, houses and villas, so there is no shortage of options. 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. Phuket real estate is now seeing a large influx of European and American buyers. The common price tags for properties ranges from 2 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 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.
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.