Koh Samui's real estate market was defined by its commercial and hospitality segments for many years. Major transaction usually involved a new strip mall or a large resort project and while these developments helped the island become what it is today, it was largely confined to large scale, local investors with a very long term view. In recent years however, residential investments have increased, paving the way for better residential products including apartments, condominiums and private villas that now make Koh Samui not just a holiday destination but also a place where people live either full time or for part of the year.
Villas have become one of the most popular investment classes on Koh Samui due to the island's status as one of the most visited destinations in Thailand. What started as a backpackers' paradise has become one of Asia's premier playgrounds for well-heeled sun seekers and there is no shortage of things for them to do on an island teeming with activity on its culinary and night club scene.
Travellers from a range of countries, with a range of budgets are starting to realise the benefits of renting or owning a private villa on Koh Samui, not only for their own enjoyment but also as an attractive investment.
Some developers attract potential investors with promises of double digit returns, and while that may have been the case before the global financial crisis, such deals are a lot harder to come by these days. However, Koh Samui still offers great value for money and there are some great deals to be had on the island, especially for investors with the long term view. If the property is in the right location and well maintained it is not uncommon for investors to cultivate a 6 to 8 percent return on their investment.
Of course, not everyone is looking to sell or make rental income form their Samui property. Many foreign investors on Koh Samui are simply looking for a second home for private use. Somewhere they can stay for a couple of months every year to escape a European or American winter. Other investors buy property to retire to on the beautiful tropical island one day.
Koh Samui has seen vast improvements to its infrastructure over the years and the island now hosts international standard hospitals and quality schooling, which makes it possible even for families to relocate. The airport ensures easy access to large cities around the region including Bangkok, Singapore and Hong Kong, which makes Samui real estate a very attractive proposition.