Why investing in Koh Samui, Thailand?

Why investing in Koh Samui, Thailand?

Why investing in Koh Samui, Thailand?

Of all the places to invest in Thailand, Koh Samui is among the most popular. It is no wonder why, after all the island has so much to offer to people living there. There are also some solid investment opportunities to be found.

Below are some of the reasons why it is a great idea to invest in Koh Samui.

Table of Contents
  1. What are the advantages of Koh Samui?
  2. How is the property market in Koh Samui?
    1. Koh Samui real estate property prices
  3. Where to invest in Koh Samui?
    1. Chaweng
    2. Lamai
    3. Maenam
    4. Bophut
  4. What are the building regulations in Koh Samui?
  5. How to start your property investment in Koh Samui

What are the advantages of Koh Samui?

Koh Samui is an island located approximately 760 km from Bangkok and is a wonderful alternative to other popular destinations like Phuket and Pattaya, whether you are looking for a place to live or just to spend unforgettable holidays, as the island offer astonishing opportunities is you’re looking for a house, an apartment or a villa for rental.

One reason many people choose to invest in Koh Samui is its stunning natural beauty, including its gorgeous white sandy beaches. The way of life is very relaxed but there’s also a vibrant nightlife when the sun goes down. The island has a trendy feel, with cool bars and other places to eat and drink.

The island has attracted a significant expat population, which helps to make life easier for foreigners living there. English is widely spoken, as are other languages, and foreigners will also be able to find western foods and other home comforts. You will find hospitals and shopping malls and pretty much everything else that most people could need.

How is the property market in Koh Samui?

New developments are limited in Koh Samui, and this helps to maintain the natural beauty of the island. It also means that there is a lot of competition for available property and this helps to push prices up in the long term. The rising property prices are a good reason why you should invest in Koh Samui.

The local economy is understandably focused on tourism and this includes catering to the expats and Thais living on the island. Tourism is not the only thing driving the economy on the island, and more businesses have been moving onto the island in recent years.

Investors can also expect to find a range of property types for sale, including beach houses, villas, luxury condos or lands. The price range can also vary considerably from budget accommodation, to high-end luxury villas and houses.

The Koh Samui property market is also more affordable than in many other parts of the world, and is also quite interesting comparing to the other locations in Thailand.

Koh Samui real estate property prices

A brief estimate of ‘regular apartments’ in Koh Samui puts the cost at around $1,650/sqm. These are apartments at the lower end of the market, although they are still modern, and many will have features like pools and other facilities. Koh Samui also offers top of the range accommodation when it comes to size, luxury, and facilities.

Regular apartments at the lower end of the scale will generally sell for approximately $45,000 upwards. Those at the higher end can cost upwards of around $800,000.

Below are average prices per square meter of properties in other countries that cover 120 sqm.

  • Honk Kong: $28,570
  • United States: $17,191
  • United Kingdom: $21,179

Where to invest in Koh Samui?

Koh Samui may be a small island but there are still various locations to choose from.


Chaweng is where most of the action is taking place on Koh Samui island. It has a large beach, but this tends to be quite busy, especially during high season. The popularity of Chaweng means that competition is high, meaning it has some of the highest Koh Samui property prices. Nearby Chaweng Noi is less busy and not quite as costly as Chaweng, but demand is increasing, and so are the prices.


Lamai is another popular spot on the island, but the nightlife is quieter. It is a popular location for couples who want a compromise between having things to do and being able to enjoy a quieter vacation. Top-quality accommodation is quite easy to find in this area, but not at the prices you will likely find in Chaweng.

For people looking to invest in Koh Samui, Chaweng makes a good compromise regarding lifestyle and price.


Maenam is an ideal destination for people who want a quiet life. It has a long, serene beach that does not get too busy and you will also find activities in the area. It can be a little quiet for some people, but it also makes an ideal spot for families.The low-key nature of Maenam means that regular property prices are relatively low. However, the area is also home to some of the island’s most luxurious properties.


Bophut is one of the best locations on the island for families. It has many eateries and plenty of activates for children. A former fishing village, the area also has a certain charm about it that encourages people to return year after year. As a relatively quiet part of the island, Bophut prices are not high, but they are increasing as more people are attracted to the area.

What are the building regulations in Koh Samui?

As mentioned, property investors on Koh Samui are subject to some strict regulations regarding what they can do with their property. This is particularly the case with property close to the beach. Restrictions concerning proximity to the beach are as follows:

  • Up to 10 meters: No constructions are permitted in this area
  • 10 to 50 meters: You are permitted to build a single-story building to a maximum height of 6 meters. This height includes the roof, and the construction cannot cover an area of more than 75 sqm
  • 50 to 200 meters: You are permitted to build up to a maximum height of 23 meters, which includes the roof. Constructions cannot cover an area of more than 2,000 sqm
  • 200 meters +: You are permitted to build up to a maximum of 12 meters, which includes the roof

People who invest in the Koh Samui real estate market are also limited to certain environmental regulations, which are defined by height above sea level:

  • There are no additional restrictions on land under 80 meters above sea level.
  • For land 80-140 meters above sea level, a family home can be a maximum of 400sqm. 50% of the land must be left green and constructions can be a maximum of 6 meters. There are also restrictions on architecture.
  • For land 140 meters+ above sea level, additional requirements include that 75% of the land must be green. Construction is not permitted if the gradient is more than 50 meters above sea level.

How to start your property investment in Koh Samui

In Thailand, the property ownership laws are quite specific and it is important to know that foreigners are not permitted to own land outright. However, there are other options available that give them opportunities to get involved in the property market in Koh Samui.

This includes leaseholds, which can last for a maximum of 30 years, and that can be extended, but note that the landowner is under no obligation to do so. The other option is to open a Thai company and have the company own the property. This also comes with some limitations, including the fact that foreign shareholders cannot own more than 49% of the shares.

If you wish to invest in Koh Samui real estate property it is best to hire the services of a local estate agent to help with finding a property and the rest of the process. Below are a few tips on how to choose the right agent.

  • Ask for references from the agent.
  • Ask for referrals or recommendations from other people.
  • Ask how long the agent has been in business.
  • Ask the agent about their knowledge and experience in the local market.
  • Ask how many properties they have on their books.