Real Estate InvestmentAs an internationally renowned holiday destination, Koh Samui attracts visitors and investors from all over the world. Due to a flourishing luxury real estate market, the number of affluent visitors to Samui has increased rapidly in the last 5 years. British and Hong Kong expats account for the largest number of property buyers. Many wealthy European, Asian and Australasian investors are drawn to Koh Samui, seeking to invest in luxurious villas and quality accommodations on this five-star island retreat.
Emerging as the second most progressive island for real estate development, Koh Samui rivals Phuket as Thailand’s most desirable location to buy a second home. Not only has Koh Samui kept its attractive island charms compared to its larger, more developed cousin, the island’s promising outlook has recently been secured by many high wealth, design focused hotel groups - Le Meridien, W Retreat, The Four Seasons and Conrad Hotels - all choosing to develop their luxury hotel chains on Koh Samui.
Boasting over 150 deluxe hotels and spa resorts, countless first-class restaurants - and two 18-hole championship golf courses - Koh Samui has become a desirable holiday haven for the internationally wealthy and well-heeled. This transformation into an up-market holiday destination is reflected in the real estate market, where prices have increased dramatically over the last few years. According to the Financial Times in October 2016, ‘Thai real estate continues to be rated as one of the most reliable growth markets in the world.’
Improved direct air links to the Asian finance centres of Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur mean that Koh Samui has become Thailand’s second international flight hub after Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. Samui Airport handles over 1 million passengers per year and is due for an upcoming 1 billion baht revamp. Flight capacity will increase from 44 to 50 flights daily - and with the addition of 3 new routes to mainland China, the island can expect a significant increase in Chinese visitors and investment.
Koh Samui provides modern luxury living in a romantic island setting. The island is unique in that it offers the necessary requirements of affluent living, yet still retains an exotic tropical island feel with its copious white sand beaches and jungle backdrops. Laws exist in Koh Samui which have had a positive effect on constraining over development, thus protecting the environment. Buildings cannot exceed 12 meters in height, for example, unlike the high-rise skylines of Phuket and Pattaya.
Granted municipality status in 2012, Koh Samui became locally self-governing. Significantly improved infrastructure includes better schools, hospitals and transport links, along with golf courses, leisure facilities and cinemas - making the island an appealing and viable place to live semi-permanently, or permanently. Increasing number of expatriates, generally affluent in nature, have chosen to relocate to Koh Samui. Their arrival has impacted property prices in a very positive way.
The Global Property Report states that Thailand’s property market - forecast to show annual growth of 5 to 10 per cent from 2016 to 2020 - is ‘a solid investment for the foreseeable future’. Another key factor behind Koh Samui’s property market is its tremendous overall value, compared to other holiday destinations. From an investment standpoint, Samui remains relatively inexpensive compared to luxury real estate in both Europe and South East Asia.
This value is even more apparent when Koh Samui is compared to Hong Kong and Singapore, where land values are considerably higher. Thailand rental yields are also among the highest in Asia. Excellent returns can be achieved through the luxury property rental market, where yields of 8-10% are achievable. Highly resilient, despite political upheaval, Thailand’s luxury property market has continued growing rapidly since 2013.