Koh Samui Property and Real Estate

Buying Properties in Samui

For several years now, Samui has been undergoing a rapid transformation from a budget holiday destination to an upmarket resort island to rival nearby Phuket. Older, more affluent visitors from Europe and the USA, have been arriving in increasing numbers to enjoy the tropical holiday of a lifetime and, with its improved air links, large numbers of visitors from nearby Asian countries, especially Hong Kong, see Samui as the perfect short break option.

Many visitors decide that when they next visit Samui, they'd prefer to be in their own luxurious holiday home, rather than in a hotel. Others love the island so much that they decide to retire there and live permanently in the house of their dreams.

It is these visitors who have helped to create and drive the island's real estate boom. What began as a few individuals buying small plots to build a holiday home on has now become a fully-fledged industry on the island. With the completion of the Santiburi Golf and Country Club, a new international airport under consideration and the recent announcement that a branch of Dulwich International College will soon be opening, Samui's attractiveness to both the short stay guest and the long term resident are not in danger of diminishing any time soon.

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Buying Property in Koh Samui

Although Samui currently offers land and houses to meet most budgets, prices are rising all the time. For now, the market is driven by two key factors: choice and affordability. Buying property on Samui should be a relatively stress free experience. As in the rest of Thailand, there are three major avenues available to prospective buyers. The first two are Leasehold, in the form of a 30 year renewable lease on land and Limited Leasehold, which is for any period of less than 30 years (decided on by the seller) and is normally non-renewable.

The final title available is Freehold. Although the law governing freehold is under governmental review, it is currently available only to Thai nationals or registered Thai companies. A foreigner can only own 39% of a Thai company that owns freehold land. It is advisable to seek full and comprehensive consultation from brokers and developers before deciding on the most suitable option.


These companies don't own land, but maintain a portfolio of land they know to be for sale around the island and will liaise between the buyer and seller to help make purchasing as smooth as possible. Many brokerages like Zen Property also maintain a portfolio of rental properties, which many of the larger land & house companies, as well as individual owners, use in addition to their own rental service.

Management Companies

Land and House Management companies own large estates, which they sell in individual plots. The buyer may be expected to build in a particular style of house and will have to pay a monthly management fee. In return, the company will provide a comprehensive service, including villa rentals, security and maintenance. Samui has a number of companies currently providing mangement services.

Independent Developers

These companies buy large areas of undeveloped land, provide road access, ensure utility supply and then split them into individual plots for sale. Once sold, the company maintains no financial or management interest in the land - it is up to the owners, as a collective or individually, to maintain the land and make decisions regarding security, rentals and maintenance.

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