Koh Samui Real Estate Investment
The beautiful island of Koh Samui has an international reputation for both holiday makers and potential investors from all over the world. There has been a huge growth in the number of wealthy visitors to the island over the past ten years. Expatriates from the U.K. and Hong Kong have accounted for the largest numbers of property investors. And yet there has also been a steady increase in European, Asian and Australians looking for the right properties and who are drawn to Samui’s gorgeous white sandy beaches and warm seas. We have seen a growth in the number of new markets that have opened up, making Samui a wonderful investment opportunity for any interested buyer.
In terms of real estate investment, Koh Samui has come to rival Phuket as Thailand’s most desirable place to find an investment property. There are lots of reasons why the island has seen this growth in investment: as well as being an island paradise with an international reputation for beautiful countryside and beaches, Samui has also managed to keep its small island charm with strict laws about development and retention of the natural environment. This has encouraged a large number of top hotels to develop their luxury resorts on the island, including Le Meridian, W Retreat, Six Senses, Conrad Hotels, Ritz Carlton and the Four Seasons.
Along with its luxury hotels – with more than 150 deluxe hotels and spa resorts – the island boasts two 18-hole championship golf courses and countless top-class restaurants and bars. This all serves to make Samui a very attractive holiday destination for wealthy visitors from all around the world. People come to the island for their vacation and see the potential for investment. The real estate market has seen a huge growth in prices and returns over the past decade. In 2016, the Financial Times said of the island, ‘Thai real estate continues to be rated as one of the most reliable growth markets in the world.’
One of the reasons for its increasing popularity, and of course directly fueled by this growth, is the improved air links to and from the island. Air travel to the financial centers of Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur has made it a convenient destination for wealthy investors. Samui airport handles over a million passengers a year and has recently seen a 1 billion baht revamp. There are now up to 50 flights per day and the expectation of new routes to China is bound to see a growth in investors for the Chinese mainland.
The island of Koh Samui is a paradise for nature and comfortable luxury living. Developers have achieved a balance of all the modern necessities of affluent lifestyle, with its shopping and restaurants, while retaining a natural paradise of white sandy beaches and tropical forests. Strict laws have constrained the runaway development of some other resorts and have protected the natural environment; buildings on Koh Samui cannot exceed 12 meters and you do not see the high-rise skylines of other cities in Thailand such as Phuket and Pattaya.
In 2012 the island was granted municipality status and became self-governing. Officials have worked hard to improve the infrastructure on the island resulting in better schools, hospitals and transportation. This, along with the development of leisure facilities such as cinemas, shopping malls and community resources, has made the island increasingly attractive for permanent and semi-permanent residents. The arrival of wealthy investors onto the island has had a positive impact on property prices across the island.
Recently the Global Property Report has forecasted that the property market in Thailand is likely to show annual growth of 5 to 10 per cent from 2016 to 2020. They have reported that it is ‘a solid investment for the foreseeable future.’ In comparison with other popular holiday destinations around the world, Samui offers investors tremendous value and the potential to make excellent returns. Properties on the island remain relatively much less expensive than similar real estate in Europe and South East Asia.
Land prices in Hong Kong and Singapore are significantly higher than on Koh Samui. Rental income is around the highest in Asia. The rental market can yield returns of 8 to 10 per cent. The luxury property market in Thailand, despite its political upheaval, has proved highly resilient and has continued to grow over the past decade. The future is bright for even further development in the future.