As in most popular areas around Thailand, apartments and condominiums have traditionally proved to be the most popular option for investors on Phuket. Demand for such properties is high, not least because they represent the easiest form of ownership as a foreigner. Thai law forbids foreigners owning land outright, but has a structure allowing 49 per cent ownership of an apartment building, which effectively means full ownership of apartments within that building for selected investors. Many foreigner that choose to retire on Phuket or live on the island for extended periods find that buying an apartment represents a practical solution.
Prices for apartments and condos vary enormously depending on factors such as size, location and on-site amenities. Buyers can pay 10 million Baht for a 125 square metre, two-bedroom condo unit, up to more than 50 million Baht for a top-end luxury property ina sought after beachside location. Rental options also vary, with long term rates providing an alternative for those who wish to spend longer in the apartment without comitting to a full purchase.
Prime locations for condos in Phuket include the southern coastal hotspots of Patong, Karon, Kata, as well as the more up-market residential areas on the eastern and western coasts such as Layan, Bang Tao, Surin and Chalong. The tropical paradise lifestyle most people dream of no longer come cheap in these areas, however, as apartments in the popular spots close to the beaches are in high demand internationally.