International Real Estate Blog
You will discover why it is popular, the place in Phuket that’s applied for UNESCO World Heritage Status and why Cape Panwa is a bit different to the rest of the East Coast.
Just a few years ago property prices on the South East Coast were much lower than on the West.
It was simple supply and demand - less people buying property in the area meant lower prices.
Today property prices in the South East are still lower but they are starting to catch up.
Like the North East Coast you won't find many five-star hotels here. It’s most suitable for boat lovers and retirees. The exception is Cape Panwa - but more about that in a moment.
If you are considering a more permanent move to Phuket, Rawai is worth a look.
You’ll pay less for your property because it's not really a tourist town. And that means it’s popular with expats.
There are many foreign-owned restaurants and bars on the seafront. You may even find it a little too Westernised.
But the town has retained some of its original charm - especially near the harbour as fishing is still a primary source of income for many locals.
This means Rawai has an excellent fresh fish market. Here you can buy live lobsters, live prawns, live crabs and many types of fish.
Most property is located within a few kilometres of the ocean but you won't find many apartments in the area.
If you are buying your property as an investment I wouldn't recommend Rawai: It's unlikely you will get good rental yields and capital appreciation is not as high as in other areas of Phuket.
But if you intend to spend longer periods in Phuket it might interest you.
Like Rawai, Chalong is not a tourist town. So I wouldn't recommend you buy here for investment.
Again, you’ll find prices lower than on the West Coast. But you may have difficulty renting your property at a good price. And it will be harder to sell as there is less demand.
A new marina is being built and this may have some positive impact on prices, but it is unlikely to be significant in my opinion.
On the plus side, you have good supermarkets such as Villa Market on your doorstep. And there are plenty of DIY shops, furniture stores and restaurants close by.
If you have visited Phuket Town you will probably be surprised to hear it’s just applied for UNESCO World Heritage Status.
Most of Phuket Town is pretty basic and lacks any charm at all - except for the areas around Thalang, Krabi and Dibuk Roads.
Over the last few years the local government has spent lots of money restoring shops and houses along Thalang Road to their original condition. They have also buried the ugly electricity cables.
For me, it is all a bit too well done. The houses look as though they have just been built, rather than renovated, and they are painted in some very bright colours.
You won't find much high-quality property on sale in Phuket Town as it’s mainly a Thai area, but it does have some good restaurants with reasonable prices.
If you don't already know Koh Siray - it's a small island just off the East Coast of Phuket, connected via a road bridge.
Koh Siray has a Sea Gypsy settlement and is where the ferry leaves for some island tours.
There are a small number of property developments - many of which have struggled to sell, as the area is not popular with tourists.
So I recommend you use caution if you are considering buying property there.
The area around Cape Panwa is unspoilt and naturally beautiful. You will even find a few beaches in the area, like the one at the Cape Panwa Hotel.
It's a bit of a trek from the airport - a good 90 minute drive. But if you want privacy and to avoid tourist crowds one resort may be exactly what you’re looking for - Sri Panwa.
Sri Panwa breaks a few rules when it comes to buying property on the East Coast.
In fact, it is one of the few places with a real beach and it’s run as a five-star resort.
The properties were built around the trees and the developer maintained as much of the natural rainforest as possible.
The downside - there isn't much property still for sale. Prices start at 50,000,000 Baht (US$1,625,832) for a two bed ocean view villa.
Oh, and the views are really something too.
There are some other developments in the area such as Bel Air Panwa. But they are struggling to sell after over five years on the market. So I wouldn't recommend them as a good investment.
Should you buy on the South East Coast?
In reality, you should only consider buying in this area if it suits your lifestyle and you will be spending longer periods in Phuket.
Buy in the South East because you like to be away from tourist areas but still have contact with expats.
It is unlikely you'll see large gains in the value of your property and rentals will be harder to come by.
If you are buying for investment, I recommend you concentrate on the North West and South West of Phuket.
Would you like to know more about Phuket property?
Get your free copy of ‘The Definitive Guide to buying property in Phuket’ by going here.
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