Phuket apartments - buying, renting and selling

Upmarket Phuket apartments overlook Kamala Beach

Upmarket Phuket apartments overlook Kamala Beach

If you plan on being on Phuket for a month or more, renting an apartment will save you a lot of money while still offering excellent accommodation for your stay. Many people who visit annually have even chosen to buy apartments in Phuket and rent them out for the rest of the year. Small apartments or condos are a good choice for those who won’t be spending much time in Phuket or are not interested in the upkeep of a house or villa.

Condominiums and duplexes are not as readily available as apartments, but still possible to find. Apartments in Phuket are plentiful and varied, so there’s sure to be something to suit in terms of design, size, location and price

Renting an apartment in Phuket

Contracts for Phuket apartments are usually for long-term rentals of three months or more, but you can find apartments for one or two months, or sometimes even weekly or daily.

One of the easiest ways to find an apartment rental in Phuket is by checking the classified ads in the Phuket Post and Phuket Gazette. Rent can start from a few thousand baht a month for an unfurnished studio in Phuket Town, all the way up to tens, or even hundreds of thousands, for furnished apartments with sea views and penthouses in resort complexes.

Of course, Phuket apartments in residential parts of the island, and without a sea view, are much cheaper. It’s best to decide ahead what your needs are and how long you will be staying, as well as your budget. For instance, if you are planning on staying long term, you will probably want a kitchen and may find it cheaper to rent an unfurnished apartment and buy your own furniture.

If you are only staying for a short holiday, however, then you may want a place that is fully furnished and caters to a certain level of luxury. Serviced apartments, which are becoming more common, mean that your holiday is not interrupted by having to clean up. If you are not going to hire a motorbike or car then you’ll probably want to rent an apartment within walking distance of a main road so you can catch a tuk-tuk or motorbike taxi.

Buying apartments in Phuket

Foreigners can buy an apartment or a condo unit; the latter with a freehold title to a portion of the land, provided that 51 per cent of the units in the building are Thai-owned. If all the freehold apartments available to foreigners have been bought, you can still lease an apartment for 30 years.

In some cases, two 30-year extensions (for a total of 90 years) are written into the contract, though whether these rollovers are enforceable is unclear. Additionally, Phuket apartments are more secure and easier to maintain since they don’t include gardens. Many people also enjoy the social life an apartment complex offers through its common areas and facilities.

Apartments in Phuket range from basic to luxurious with full facilities and property management. Prices range from about a million baht for a basic studio apartment in Phuket Town to opulent apartments in Patong and other popular areas up to 60 million baht.

Those shopping around with a view to staying year-round will probably want to have a good look at some of the more residential parts of Phuket - Chalong, Rawai, Nai Harn, Surin, Bang Tao - as the bright lights and bustle of Patong can soon lose their thrill. With endless possibilities on this property-booming island, there are plenty of agents advertised in the local media and we’ve listed some on the business services page.

Updated with assistance from Property Report - Asia's leading real estate magazine.

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