Despite what you might think, there is plenty of real estate in Phuket for sale. Its an island roughly the size of Singapore and although much of the prime west coast seafront land has been snapped up, some of it does still change hands and remains undeveloped. With a hilly hinterland, there are plenty more opportunities for sea views further back from the beach. Others are realising that the cheaper land away from the busy and desirable areas is equally suitable for second or retiree homes.
Phuket land covers a vast lush tropical, hilly landscape that offers some convenient locations, some privacy and some sea views, or all three. Many permanent residents prefer to stay east of the hill range that separates the lovely West Coast bays from the rest of the island where all the commercial activity is. They have the advantage of good access to Phuket town, the malls and facilities, and a less crowded neighbourhood. The Chalong area in particular is favoured by locals, while places like Kathus hillsides (not to be confused with Kata) is a nice place for an up market secluded villa.
The biggest impediment to land ownership is the Thai law that forbids foreigners owning Thai soil. Therefore many foreigners place the ownership in the name of a Thai spouse or company that has 51 per cent Thai ownership. As frequently pointed out in this section, you never have proper ownership or control, but with trusty partners you can become a del facto owner. However, swindle cases of occur fairly regularly. so make sure you have some legal checks and balances in place. The government began more vigilantly checking the real status of companies that owned land on behalf of foreigners, insisting that the Thai partners prove their capital investment.A^
Foreigner can however own buildings freehold when attempting to buy land in Phuket. There are various options available in order to become a proprietary owner; these include 30 year leases with a twice over renewal possibility. It should be noted however that any sale of the land would render the lease invalid, so some sort of compensation safeguard need be written into the contract to avoid this situation. Also, ownership of shares in a land-owing company, allows foreigners more reign on purchasing power, mortgages from the bank and loans. With a good lawyer, good advice and estate agent people can generally buy with peace of mind and security.
There are several types of land ownership in Thailand, but you should always consider a deeded property. The deed in Thai is called a chanote and a lawyer will be able to help with the land transfer. Using a lawyer will help you understand the process in more depth and help with the language and legal barriers.
When buying property in Thailand, a foreigner must bring in 100 per cent of the purchase price from overseas. In order to do this, you will need a Tor Tor 3 document (Exchange Control Form) from the Thai bank. You will need to transfer the funds in order to provide evidence of this to the land department in Phuket. Another consideration to bear in mind is that the name of the party remitting the money on the Exchange Control Form and the name of the property buyer must be the same.
The only other remaining option open to foreigners is using a Thai spouse to purchase the land and property. You will have to prove that the money used in the purchase of freehold land legally belongs solely to the Thai spouse with no foreign claim.
Land area measurements in Phuket Thailand
Land in Phuket and Thailand is always measured in talang wa or rai. A wa is 2m in length and a talang is squared, therefore 4m2 = a talang wa, and there are 400 wa in a rai. A rai therefore is 1600m2 and can also be split up into 4 ngan (of 100 wa each). Typically a villa will occupy about 150 to 200 talang wa. The Thai prefer to spend most of their budget on the building and will therefore build a modest home on 100 talang wa or less, but its not uncommon to develop on a whole rai with a nice tropical garden, depending on the area. In Phuket a rai will sell anywhere from 1 million baht in a coconut grove in a remote but accessible corner of the Northeast coast, to 10 million baht and upwards near the beachfront. In Chalong expect to pay about 4 million baht.
1 talang wa = 4m2
100 talang wa = 1 ngan (not commonly used anymore)
400 talang wa = 1 rai
1 rai = 0.42 of an acre
1 rai = 0.16 of a hectare