The property market on Koh Samui is governed by strict land and ownership laws that have in the past prevented some investors from entering the market with the impression that the laws and regulations are too difficult to navigate. However, in recent years, the property market has experienced a significant upswing in both demand and supply which is an indication that investors seems to have collectively agreed that the benefits of investing in this tropical island far outweigh the obstacles. With the right legal advice, a good portion of common sense and wisely conducted due diligence, the property market in Thailand and on Koh Samui is as safe and easy to navigate as any other.
The popularity of the Koh Samui property market was borne out of the island's low costs and up-and-coming tourism industry. Compared to other well-known destinations in Thailand and well-established resorts in the Mediterranean or the Caribbean, land and property prices on Koh Samui were extremely favourable and attracted a number of foreign investors who could absorb higher risks. As the island's reputation as a world-class tourist and property destination grew, so did their returns and some of them walked away with extremely handsome profits.
Although the days of super fast returns and unbelievably low land and property prices are gone, the risks have also been lowered and the market has matured for the benefit of the investor with more moderate expectations to returns and profit margins. As the island's property market matured, prices increased and focus has shifted to long term investment.
Today property buyers on Koh Samui are largely divided into two groups, those who buy solely for investment purposes and wish to sell the property relatively fast at a gain, and those who buy as a second home, a holiday residence or retirement home with the option of renting out the property when they're not using it. The latter option is often the most popular given the rental market on Koh Samui has seen a significant boom in recent years as the tourism industry has also matured and the travelling habits of tourists have changed. Koh Samui now boasts some of the most luxurious private villas in the world, often offered for rent at a fraction of the price one could expect on the Côte d'Azur or other similarly famous places.
Nowadays Koh Samui's private property market evolves mainly around private villas set either independently or as part of a larger resort or mixed-use complex. Independent villas are often constructed with incredible architecture and attention to detail when it comes to interior design whereas villas that are part of a larger complex often enjoy the added services and amenities such as restaurants, bars, pools, spas and the complex's excellent infrastructure. Oftentimes such developments also offer management services against a fee in order to best protect your investment. Such services could include agent services for renting our the property, or maintenance work such as gardening, annual renovations and fixings etc.