Choosing Between the Koh Samui and the Phuket Real Estate Markets in Thailand

Choosing Between Koh Samui and Phuket Real Estate Markets in Thailand

While there was once a time when Phuket attracted investors in their droves, today more people are realising that Koh Samui is the Thai island worth investing in. If you're trying to choose between the two areas, learning more about them can help you make your decision.

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Koh Samui appeals to a broader range of people and investors

Although both areas feature their fair share of nightlife, Phuket attracts a particularly wild crowd. If you’re investing in a property with a view to renting it out to people visiting Thailand, Koh Samui could open you up to more customers. With an array of quieter beaches, easy access from Bangkok’s international airport, and fewer rowdy bars, Koh Samui is ideal for: Families visiting Thailand, couples seeking romantic breaks, those who want peace and relaxation.

You’ll need a lawyer or legal consultant to perform these checks for you. Failure to complete such checks would give you serious headaches later on if something was overlooked. You may end up buying property that you can barely develop due to missed regulations, or you’ll have difficulty dealing with nebulous owners who only came out of the woodwork when your property starts to become successful. In contrast, property for sale in Phuket, Thailand attracts more revellers and backpackers. While this doesn’t necessarily make the area undesirable, it does mean you’ll narrow your target market. The broader and still-growing Koh Samui market attracts more buyers and renters than Phuket in this case.

Similarly, if you want to live in the property yourself, you may find that Koh Samui offers a more relaxing atmosphere. Foreign investors looking for overseas property to buy will find a more interesting variety in Koh Samui.

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1. Ease of Access and Higher Appreciation of Property

Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok welcomes flights from around the world, including major carriers such as American Airlines and British Airways. Because of this, it’s a hub for those who want to go on to explore the rest of Thailand.

Passenger flights to Koh Samui international airport from Suvarnabhumi have drastically increased. This means that while Phuket will expect the same amount of traffic it always does, Koh Samui will receive more flights over the next few years. In fact, the Koh Samui Airport will be upgraded soon as the Thai government has pledged to invest in it shortly. There is also an increase in direct flights from Mainland China, Singapore, Hong Kong and many other international destinations. This increased connectivity will result in property yields increasing across Koh Samui in the near future. It also means that real estate in Phuket, Thailand will not see any noticeable increase due to air connectivity with Bangkok.

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2. Access to schools and other essential amenities

The expat community throughout Thailand enjoys excellent access to hospitals, schools, and other facilities that make life safe and comfortable. Like anywhere else, however, there are variations between areas.

While both Phuket and Koh Samui provide expat schools, Koh Samui has more academic facilities in a smaller area. As a result, if you’re choosing between the Koh Samui vs Phuket market and providing an education for your family is an influencing factor, you’ll find that Koh Samui provides more options. With medical facilities that are of a roughly similar standard, Koh Samui’s advantage in education will help in the long run. With these sound infrastructure foundations, properties in Koh Samui will be valued more favourably since they are serviced more effectively. Phuket real estate was Thailand’s rising star but infrastructure investments in Koh Samui have proven that this idea is now changing.

3. Over-development

The appreciation of Phuket real estate in Thailand’s investment portfolio has been a leading light for property development in the country. However, much of the early development was unplanned and it has lead to over-development taking place in a few areas. This over-development in Phuket is still taking place which is  why property prices in Phuket tend to fluctuate. There is a lot of property for sale in Phuket, Thailand but is there enough value? By comparison, Koh Samui is still growing and the development patterns are under control. Lessons have been learned from Phuket by the government and property developers, and these lessons are being implemented in Koh Samui. There is reason to believe that Koh Samui’s growth will be sustainable in the long-term and tourism numbers will continue to be met by investments from hoteliers and property developers.

4. The cost of living between Koh Samui and Phuket

For many people, the amount of money they’ll spend on a daily basis will influence their decision when choosing between Koh Samui vs Phuket. Again, according to Numbeo, there are only a few differences.

Most notably, if you want to purchase staple items such as meat, you’ll find almost a 25% increase in cost in Phuket. Therefore, if you want to live in Thailand long-term, you’ll find Koh Samui is the more sustainable option. In Thailand, property for sale in Phuket will always attract investment but there is no reason to believe that Koh Samui won’t reach that same status soon enough.

Whatever your decision, make sure you focus on how you intend to use your property, the cost of living, and the value of being close to important infrastructure such as good schools.

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