Koh Samui is a fascinating, beguiling and cosmopolitan island, full of lush landscapes and coconut infringed beaches...
The island now offers an array of accommodation options, from traditional Thai bungalows, boutique resorts & 5 star hotels, to apartments, condominiums & luxury villas.
The island is unique in many ways, manages to offer all the requirements of a developed destination with recent infrastructure upgrades, yet still retain the traditional feel of a tiny tropical island.
Unlike the larger island Phuket, which is linked to the mainland by a short bridge, Samui is secluded and sheltered by the oceans that surround it, and its size means your are normally never far from the sea.
This has prevented the island from a becoming a high-rise city like Pattaya or Phuket. This has had a very positive effect on constraining over development and protecting the environment.
In fact the question should be: 'Why not invest in Koh Samui?'
Investing in a foreign country can seem a daunting prospect at first...
Whether you are looking to buy property in Koh Samui as a rental investment, holiday home, or to relocate or retire, there are potential but predictable pitfalls, as well as huge emotional and financial benefits.
This guide is provided as ‘tool-kit’ to ensure your purchase proceeds as effortlessly, efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.
The words ‘Koh-Samui’ are derived from Chinese words “saboey”, which means “safe haven”, and “Koh”, the Thai word for “island”.
Samui was originally discovered hundreds of years ago by Chinese and Malaysian fisherman & traders, who were drawn to the island’s intrinsic beauty, abundance of fresh fruit & fish, and many safe, secluded bays.
Sheltered in the Southern Gulf of Thailand, the island is only 228 km2, with a population of only 63,000 people. This is more manageable, compared to other tourist hotspots, making the island more desirable.
Some still picture Koh Samui as a primitive tropical island, but it has now transformed into leading holiday destination, with numerous awards, and featuring the finest 5* resorts & Luxury properties in Koh Samui.
Both celebrities and backpackers alike flock from around the world to indulge in its intoxicating charms and hidden retreats.
With over 700 resorts and hotels, two championship golf courses, and international hotel brands such as, Four Seasons, Conrad Hilton and the spectacular Samujana Residences, Koh Samui is now developing into to a truly up-market holiday destination.
The main property buyers on the island nowadays are Hong Kong expats, Europeans (although UK buyers have dropped off since 'Brexit'), particularly French buyers, Middle Eastern, namely Israeli & Dubai, South East Asians, including Singapore & Malaysia, and Northern Asian; including Russians, Chinese, and still some Australian investors.
There has also been a noticeable increase of older, more wealthy visitors & investors coming to Samui, as accommodation and entertainment has become more diverse, with many popular new projects in appearing in the investment hotspots of Plai Laem and Chaweng Noi.
Asian visitors have also seen a steady rise since the arrival of the International Airport with direct flights from China. It is now more convenient to travel to Koh Samui, with hourly international airlines and budget airlines from as little as $25 from Bangkok to Surathani, with a ferry or speed-boat option to the island for travelers on a budget.
All of these have made it a more viable and appealing place to live. It is now the preferred choice for many investors, which has had a positive impact on property prices.
From an investment standpoint, Samui also remains relatively inexpensive compared to the likes of Spain and Portugal, which have historically been the most popular places to invest for European buyers. This value is even more apparent when you compare Samui to Singapore and Hong Kong, where the land prices are significantly more expensive.
One of the secrets of Samui’s success is its tremendous overall value, compared to other holiday destinations. The island has longer high season periods than most other islands in Thailand and can therefore deliver some excellent returns through the luxury property rental market.
Many other alternative destinations offer only 4-6% yields, mainly due to their rapid price increases, making Koh Samui a competitive choice.
The new environmental building laws, infrastructure and mature market, means investing in Koh Samui Real Estate is more secure than before.
In all these ways, Koh Samui presents an immense appeal to international holiday-makers & property-buyers financially, providing a relaxing lifestyle destination to repatriate or retire in paradise.