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Nepal4me

Million Dollar Homes On Samui

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Rent like that gets a very special place...

My home is valued at 25+ realistically.. I rent for 70.. so his return on >600k USD is a hair over 20k USD before maintenance of which there seems to be a lot.. so he is getting a 3 - 4% return on capital in a risky market.

Personally I am staying invested overseas and pay my rent...

Sorry, not really sure what you're talking about.

Your home at 25+ ???

Rent for 70 ???

Where is this home? Is the comparison meaingful, i.e. apples to apples?

>600K USD ???, if you're referinging to the villa I'm proposing, 20M baht = US$500

averaging my conservative 100K to 150K per month, i.e. 125K baht or about US$3k = about a 7% ROI before mntc. Actually you can make enough on the extras, maid service, driver, wine cellar, food cooked by in-house cook to cover the mntc fees. People renting places like this want services and if they're paying significant rent, then paying for an in-house cook/maid is negligible. Any repairs would obviously be on top. Hopefully few for the first few years.

Even the 7% return is only a bonus because I'm in it for the big score, i.e. the potential capital appreciation. That's where my gamble is.

It is a meaningful comparison due to the fact I am in Patong Phuket.. This is probably the highest rental return per invested capital on the island due to highest tourist numbers etc...

So MY home at approx 25 mil value (600k USD) compares a lot to Your inward 500k investment... My location is one of high rental returns (I could get this place for less outside of Patong but still on Phuket) at 70k per month and its still a lot worse (on the invested sum) then my investments perform outside of Thai juristiction..

Of course if you are vacation letting you can get high returns but long term rents, I think is a purely loss making category (in a asian currency) compared to my investments..

Also to be considered is the global state of the worlds ecomomies... Deficits spiralling out of control.. Nearly all the western economies hiunged and leveraged on massive credit both persoanl and government.. Recession looming.. Property bubble fueled by credit influx like the world has never seen before... Highly possible for a real estate crash and resulting severe depression in the global economy over the next 2 - 5 year timeframe.. If this happens expect the second home / holiday home / rich retirers market to be effected..

If it seems so easy to double your money it probably is not what its claimed to be.. Over the last few years it has been possible here on Phuket and increasinly so on Samui.. But that is highly possible to be the end of the cycle (the time when everyone thinks real estate is easy money is time to leave the market)..

If you want it as a long term home to live in for years then I would never avise against building your dream home.. For speculative gains I would say the risk level is higher than you percieve and the returns may not be as large..

I have been in construction and real estate development until retiring to Thailand (at 28) and now I simply actively manage my investments.. I thought I would get into the market here and I dont deny that good money can be made but have also seen a lot of good money lost.. Mine stays offshore..

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I got the Phuket Land propaganda piece today.

As you might expect its all ...Phuket sales are boomin' ..."what was $2m last year is now $3m"

If thats the case, why haven't their staff been paid their commissions for the last few months?

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It is a meaningful comparison due to the fact I am in Patong Phuket.. This is probably the highest rental return per invested capital on the island due to highest tourist numbers etc...

So MY home at approx 25 mil value (600k USD) compares a lot to Your inward 500k investment... My location is one of high rental returns (I could get this place for less outside of Patong but still on Phuket) at 70k per month and its still a lot worse (on the invested sum) then my investments perform outside of Thai juristiction..

***I still can't really understand what you have. Is the home valued at US$600K owned by you? Are you renting a $600K home owned by someone else and paying 70K baht/mo? Are you renting out your 600K home for 70K baht/mo??? If you're getting 70k baht/mo on a home worth US$600K then your getting about 3% return. I would hope your getting better return abroad. I think this is probably not your meaning but I can't figure out what you do mean.

Of course if you are vacation letting you can get high returns but long term rents, I think is a purely loss making category (in a asian currency) compared to my investments..

*** If you are saying renting out short term to vacationers provides a better return than long term rents, I would agree. I indicated that the villa is to be built and sold 2 years later, that's my direction right now. Possibly if it seems I can get high short term returns especially during Xmas/NY/Chinese NY/Euro vacation then I'll keep the place and use it myself periodically when it's not rented out. Make a decision when to flip it at a later date.

Also to be considered is the global state of the worlds ecomomies... Deficits spiralling out of control.. Nearly all the western economies hiunged and leveraged on massive credit both persoanl and government.. Recession looming.. Property bubble fueled by credit influx like the world has never seen before... Highly possible for a real estate crash and resulting severe depression in the global economy over the next 2 - 5 year timeframe.. If this happens expect the second home / holiday home / rich retirers market to be effected..

*** If we have a global recession, the problem will not be limited to my Samui Villa. All assets will be hit. Any money in the stock market or in other equites will be hit regardless.

If it seems so easy to double your money it probably is not what its claimed to be.. Over the last few years it has been possible here on Phuket and increasinly so on Samui.. But that is highly possible to be the end of the cycle (the time when everyone thinks real estate is easy money is time to leave the market)..

*** I am concerned that prices have gone up in Samui but it's really not yet developed at all. Over the next 2 or 3 years, you will see likely hundreds of huge homes going up. But the island isn't getting bigger, when it's fully developed, they won't be developing any more homes. Even if we get some hundreds of new huge villas on the island, the demand from HK/Sing and worldwide isn't going away. The US$1M number is still not a huge sum to the rich in HK or Sing or elsewhere.

If you want it as a long term home to live in for years then I would never avise against building your dream home.. For speculative gains I would say the risk level is higher than you percieve and the returns may not be as large..

*** There is risk, probably the greatest risk I see is the gov't coming in and screwing with people setting up companies to buy homes. That does scare me. The thought of a beautiful home not being able to be sold for at least my 20M baht investment doesn't scare me.

I have been in construction and real estate development until retiring to Thailand (at 28) and now I simply actively manage my investments.. I thought I would get into the market here and I dont deny that good money can be made but have also seen a lot of good money lost.. Mine stays offshore..

*** all eggs in one basket isn't a good idea, I have assets off shore also but I think there's a ton of money to make here. The returns are great. I have a couple of condo's in BKK and get an 8% return on them. That's great return, no I'm not worried about the upcoming condo market crash. My location is great, it'll be hit, but less hard than the Sukumvit area. Even if it does go down in value, the location is so great the demand for rental will continue. Maybe my return goes down to 6%, I'm holding the condo's for many years, there will be a return, cycles are all about that. For long term rentals, BKK is good, for vacation home returns, the islands are better. That being said, in both cases, it's location, location, location.

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It is a meaningful comparison due to the fact I am in Patong Phuket.. This is probably the highest rental return per invested capital on the island due to highest tourist numbers etc...

So MY home at approx 25 mil value (600k USD) compares a lot to Your inward 500k investment... My location is one of high rental returns (I could get this place for less outside of Patong but still on Phuket) at 70k per month and its still a lot worse (on the invested sum) then my investments perform outside of Thai juristiction..

***I still can't really understand what you have.  Is the home valued at US$600K owned by you?  Are you renting a $600K home owned by someone else and paying 70K baht/mo?  Are you renting out your 600K home for 70K baht/mo???  If you're getting 70k baht/mo on a home worth US$600K then your getting about 3% return.  I would hope your getting better return abroad.  I think this is probably not your meaning but I can't figure out what you do mean.

Thats exactly what I am saying... I rent a home for 70k per month... The value of the home on the market is approx 25+... the owner of the home is getting a piss poor return on his capital.. And then he has to maintain it out of that 70k..

Also to be considered is the global state of the worlds ecomomies... Deficits spiralling out of control.. Nearly all the western economies hiunged and leveraged on massive credit both persoanl and government.. Recession looming.. Property bubble fueled by credit influx like the world has never seen before... Highly possible for a real estate crash and resulting severe depression in the global economy over the next 2 - 5 year timeframe.. If this happens expect the second home / holiday home / rich retirers market to be effected..

*** If we have a global recession, the problem will not be limited to my Samui Villa.  All assets will be hit.  Any money in the stock market or in other equites will be hit regardless. 

Correct hence the reason I have made 6 digit returns (usd) in the last 12 months investing in recession proof or benefiting investments (gold / silver / real money), in fact made very close to 5 digit gains in silver this week alone.. The recent counter trend USD rally is a temporary step in the downward spiral.. Paul Volker (formed Fed chairman and ultimate conservite speaker) claims an 80% probability in a dollar collapse and global instability in a 2 - 5 year timeframe..

Housing equity and in turn the US economy (and in turn much of the rest of the world) is tetering on the brink of a credit crunch that will make the stock market issues look like a playground.. So get out of USD.. Get out of the bulk of equity.. Get into commodities and hard money..

*** I am concerned that prices have gone up in Samui but it's really not yet developed at all.  Over the next 2 or 3 years, you will see likely hundreds of huge homes going up.  But the island isn't getting bigger, when it's fully developed, they won't be developing any more homes.  Even if we get some hundreds of new huge villas on the island, the demand from HK/Sing and worldwide isn't going away.  The US$1M number is still not a huge sum to the rich in HK or Sing or elsewhere.

Those buyers will be fleeing the market in droves if the possible economic picture I paint does come to fruition.. Of course I cant guarantee it but I would say that it is more probable than improbable at this point.. The exact time scale you consider is approx in the aftermath and bursting of the houseing bubble (which every one from the Fed down says is coming)..

Building your dream home is one thing.. Speculating in real estate towards the end of a real estate bubble in a volatile location is something I would be very careful off...

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there will be a lot of millionaires either moving to Samui or just keeping million dollar homes

What is this obsession about 'millionaires' ?!

Most people with liquid assets of that size don't generally label themselves.

If only to avoid being tabbed for drinks all the time.

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Does not add up to me, but what do I know. Millionaire mansions shoe horned onto puny lots like sardines with an undersized road connecting them. Is this Samui or the making of little Hong Kong? Is that really the island resort experience city dwellers with lots of cash are looking for? For those who need a conversion, the lots discussed are 0.29 acres and a hummer might find it impossible to fit in its lane.

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Millionaire mansions shoe horned onto puny lots like sardines with an undersized road connecting them. Is this Samui or the making of little Hong Kong? Is that really the island resort experience city dwellers with lots of cash are looking for?

Precisely - this is living on a housing estate.

Not Millionaires Row is it.

I need a vast garden so I can strut around nud_e..............if I so choose.

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LivingLOS your landlord is indeed getting a piss poor return.

I don't have the confidence that you have that we will have this great global instability. People have been doomsaying for decades and we have always come back. I just read that the value of real estate in California alone has increase by US$1T (that's 1 trillion USD) in the last 10 years so clearly that bubble can and will likely either burst of simply get hit hard and not recover for 5 or 10 years. Even that is just pure speculation. Interest rates are still very low and people are clammering to move to CA, prices are even likely to increase in the short term, which of course inhances your prediction of potential px meltdown.

Even if we do experience this meltdown, we will come back, it will just take time. The western world will get hit harder than Asia and the monied people that are buying in Samui are mostly from Asia, although they may be Brits, Yanks or whatever living in HK/China/Singapore etc.

I also agree with you that the US is not that safe a place for the bulk of assets, epsecially in real estate. I have reduced my US holdings significantly, in fact I recently moved a chunk here, got 40.65 bt/$. Pretty happy about that, a lot better than I would have got over past recent months. I just can't imagine having my Samui home worth significantly less than what it will cost to build/furnish etc even during a financial crisis.

Does not add up to me, but what do I know. Millionaire mansions shoe horned onto puny lots like sardines with an undersized road connecting them. Is this Samui or the making of little Hong Kong? Is that really the island resort experience city dwellers with lots of cash are looking for? For those who need a conversion, the lots discussed are 0.29 acres and a hummer might find it impossible to fit in its lane.

.29 acres or 3/4 rai is a pretty nice size lot. It's not a country mansion but if you look at the layout of the land, it slopes up the mountain side, everyhome with a great view and there is in fact signigicant privacy. I also like to strut around my home naked, I definately want to swim in my infinity pool naked with privacy. That is how the subdivision is being designed. If you look at other hi end subdivisions, .29 acre lots are not shoe horned, they can be really really nice with privacy too. I relooked at what a 6 meter wide road looks like, it's ok, you don't want an 8 meter wide road in a subdivision with only 15 homes. If you do the math, a Hummer is maybe 1.8 meters wide, even if 2 hummers are going in opposite directions. 1.8 plus 1.8 is 3.6 meters. That leaves another 2.4 meters or almost 8 feet of space, it's even enough for 3 Hummers and room to spare. That's more than you get on lots of roads and certainly more than enough room for cars driving thru a subdivision.

The comparison to HK is also wrong, one house per .29 acres or 3/4 rai. In HK??? Forget it, they exist but they are worth many millions unless way out in the NT's. In HK, they have dozens and dozens of people per .29 acres. This comparison hasn't been thought out, but as you said "what do you know?". :o

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The width used for a Hummer is less than the width of a Toyota Land Cruiser so you are already way off. Secondly, you take no account for striping, curbing, shoulder, and intersection/curvature (e.g. a car needs more space turning than going straight). Last, is there even a sidewalk for taking a stroll? No? Not good! When you look at it in context of a high end villa, clearly the road is too small and not well thought out. But then again maybe that is because there is nothing high end about the place…

A fraction of a rai really is not a big lot on Samui. Anyone who has been there knows you can rent cheap, beach front bungalows on bigger plots than that. Isn't there some irony in having to pay upwards of a million bucks for a similar sized plot that's not even on the beach? And surely you are aware that on sloping land, persons on higher ground have observation into the lots of those on lower ground. So what are people to do, screen it with landscaping thereby blocking the sea views of the neighbors? The floor plans on an earlier link had no high end features I could detect. I mean who would see a 1 car garage or 5 meter master bedroom as opulent? And I don’t get how Chaweng beach vicinity is an advantage--great for rubbing elbows with stacks of tourists, but is that really the experience affluent people are after? Ok, so that was probably just a little marketing hype.

Ok, so I see small lots, weak floor plans, location issues, and other red flags. Maybe the HK mind sees things in a different light and will go crazy over them. No denying it might be a great investment in the end.

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Your real world does sound exciting Torn, but it is your circle of mates etc.I don't think 95% of the members on this board are in that league.It's all very well to have assets worth a mill,but to have it lying around in loose change for investment purposes is another world IMO.

my cousin recently bought a nice apartment in HKG for USD650,000.Has nice harbour views too.(That was 9 months ago....)...hate to think what it is worth now :o

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consider securing property in Chiang Rai. It's a fraction the price, and it's not innundated with tourists and surly Thais - as is southern Thailand where foreigners flock. As for tacky building methods, you'll find that throughout Thailand.

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LivingLOS your landlord is indeed getting a piss poor return. 

I don't have the confidence that you have that we will have this great global instability.  People have been doomsaying for decades and we have always come back.  I just read that the value of real estate in California alone has increase by US$1T (that's 1 trillion USD) in the last 10 years so clearly that bubble can and will likely either burst of simply get hit hard and not recover for 5 or 10 years.  Even that is just pure speculation.  Interest rates are still very low and people are clammering to move to CA, prices are even likely to increase in the short term, which of course inhances your prediction of potential px meltdown. 

Even if we do experience this meltdown, we will come back, it will just take time.  The western world will get hit harder than Asia and the monied people that are buying in Samui are mostly from Asia, although they may be Brits, Yanks or whatever living in HK/China/Singapore etc. 

I also agree with you that the US is not that safe a place for the bulk of assets, epsecially in real estate.  I have reduced my US holdings significantly, in fact I recently moved a chunk here, got 40.65 bt/$.  Pretty happy about that, a lot better than I would have got over past recent months.  I just can't imagine having my Samui home worth significantly less than what it will cost to build/furnish etc even during a financial crisis. 

Does not add up to me, but what do I know. Millionaire mansions shoe horned onto puny lots like sardines with an undersized road connecting them. Is this Samui or the making of little Hong Kong? Is that really the island resort experience city dwellers with lots of cash are looking for? For those who need a conversion, the lots discussed are 0.29 acres and a hummer might find it impossible to fit in its lane.

.29 acres or 3/4 rai is a pretty nice size lot. It's not a country mansion but if you look at the layout of the land, it slopes up the mountain side, everyhome with a great view and there is in fact signigicant privacy. I also like to strut around my home naked, I definately want to swim in my infinity pool naked with privacy. That is how the subdivision is being designed. If you look at other hi end subdivisions, .29 acre lots are not shoe horned, they can be really really nice with privacy too. I relooked at what a 6 meter wide road looks like, it's ok, you don't want an 8 meter wide road in a subdivision with only 15 homes. If you do the math, a Hummer is maybe 1.8 meters wide, even if 2 hummers are going in opposite directions. 1.8 plus 1.8 is 3.6 meters. That leaves another 2.4 meters or almost 8 feet of space, it's even enough for 3 Hummers and room to spare. That's more than you get on lots of roads and certainly more than enough room for cars driving thru a subdivision.

The comparison to HK is also wrong, one house per .29 acres or 3/4 rai. In HK??? Forget it, they exist but they are worth many millions unless way out in the NT's. In HK, they have dozens and dozens of people per .29 acres. This comparison hasn't been thought out, but as you said "what do you know?". :o

It's a bit funny you talk about this subject Nepal4me....you, in fact, are selling the house/project/villa to yourself; you don't need an agent to sell to you....you are IN LOVE with the project and you're trying to convince yourself, right?

You have had a lot of feedback, and that's OK...now, make the decision and start building.

If you are...IN LOVE with the site and project....well, just do it.

It's your life, follow your dream. If you don't...you'll never know.

LaoPo

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It's a bit funny you talk about this subject Nepal4me....you, in fact, are selling the house/project/villa to yourself; you don't need an agent to sell to you....you are IN LOVE with the project and you're trying to convince yourself, right?

You have had a lot of feedback, and that's OK...now, make the decision and start building.

If you are...IN LOVE with the site and project....well, just do it.

It's your life, follow your dream. If you don't...you'll never know.

LaoPo

LaoPo, BINGO!

You are correct. I love this opportunity and I have loved it since before my first post. I started the post because I really wanted to get other's thoughts and opinions just to see if anybody could come up with anything that would come out and hit me and point out something serious that I missed. There were a few posts that were in fact quite useful and did cause me to reflect on things and consider some things that I hadn't fully considered before so from that perspective, the post was useful for me. There were a couple of childlike 'rants' that had no perspective whatsoever where the replier didn't have a clue even what project, what beach or failed even to read the original post and have any understanding of what he/she was ranting about. But made for humorous content and hey you're going to get all kinds of posts, some useful, some not, that's what message boards are all about.

I have made my decision (actually formally yesterday), and am in the process of transferring a sum of money and am buying a 'just under' one rai plot. 1500 sq m at the seemingly extortionary px of 7.75Mbt/rai (BTW they are now selling for 10M/rai and they are selling well at the 10M px). Having done the research, I'm convinced more now than ever my return for this particular place if I choose to sell after 2 years, can be close to double. This is based on my 1500 sq meter land and building the 500 sq m villa for half a mil versus what is selling for a mil today. Obviously this will only happen if the doomsday scenario that LivingLOS paints does not come to fruition, time will tell, at least he made me think about some important issues. If that does happen, I'll just keep the place for myself and possibly rent it out some of the time, under the doomsday scenario, for a lot less than what they rent for today. I'll still have a really cool place to chill out at when I want.

So there you go, it's a done deal, it's a go. To be honest, I'm still looking around Thailand for other opportunities. Unfortunately prices have gone up everywhere, Koh Chang is really expensive now, land is rare and it's mostly not even Chagnot land, mostly PBT5 land. Now there's a scary scenario. As beautiful as the North is, Chiang Rai prices have also doubled recently and it's far from the beach. I couldn't build something in CR and have it increase in value like the Samui opportunity. Maybe down south of Hua Hin but again prices are up and there's no airport altho maybe a new road?????? I haven't completed my tour of every area in Thailand so I'm sure there are other great places to consider that I'm not even aware of yet. I'm going to keep on looking, it's a fun project if nothing else and gets me out to places in Thailand that normally I would never get to.

Thanks to all for their input.

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Interesting thread. I am in the process of selling my NYC condo as I feel the bubble may bust here in the USA. Rent until I move back to LOS in 1 year or so. I have been researching this a lot and came across an article showing how property has increased even more in other places around the world. Like London. It seems this crazy rate of increases in property is a world-wide thing. Even in LOS!

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I have to say that I was unable to find a land-agent in Samui who was not a complete w**ker!! In the end we went direct to the Thai families who owned the land and picked up 3.5 rai of chanote land, just 150 metres from the beach at 2.5 million per rai.....

Much better value than some of the stuff hyped by the agents :o

Simon

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Interesting thread.  I am in the process of selling my NYC condo as I feel the bubble may bust here in the USA.  Rent until I move back to LOS in 1 year or so.  I have been researching this a lot and came across an article showing how property has increased even more in other places around the world.  Like London.  It seems this crazy rate of increases in property is a world-wide thing.  Even in LOS!

That's what we (thai wife) and I did here in Los Angeles. Sold our house to a builder, it was a R2 lot so he's going to build two homes on it. Feels good to be out of the real estate market. The checking account looks real good now.:o

Rented a small apt. keeping expensives down and saving for our retirement in LOS.

Anyone in real estate now needs to get out before it's to late. I heard people say that three years ago so I could be wrong.....

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Interesting thread.  I am in the process of selling my NYC condo as I feel the bubble may bust here in the USA.  Rent until I move back to LOS in 1 year or so.  I have been researching this a lot and came across an article showing how property has increased even more in other places around the world.  Like London.  It seems this crazy rate of increases in property is a world-wide thing.  Even in LOS!

I have to say that I was unable to find a land-agent in Samui who was not a complete w**ker!!  In the end we went direct to the Thai families who owned the land and picked up 3.5 rai of chanote land, just 150 metres from the beach at 2.5 million per rai.....

Much better value than some of the stuff hyped by the agents :o

Simon

Simon, I have to agree with you on the state of land agents on Samui (actually mostly throughout Thailand). I have talked to a couple of straight-on guys there, but for the most part, they're pathetic. You did really well with the 3.5 of chagnot near the beach. For anywhere near the beach on the Island, that's a good px. Be interesting to see what you do with the land. Where on the island is it located?

I did a lot of soul searching before acquiring my land (I'm the guy that started this post) but in hindsight, it was a great buy. I have a little over a rai, in Choeng Mon paid about 7.5 Million. The high px, relative to yours is because it comes with full infrastructure. They are building a new subdivision next door, and like the first one, it sold out in 2 months with no advertising. Since the first one went so fast at 8m/rai, they thought, ok, let's try 10m/rai. Same thing sold out in 2 months. So if I wanted to sell my land now, what could I get 11 million????

That's not where the money is in Samui now, the money is in developing something. The trick is for a layman to figure out how to build a villa and not get taken to the cleaners and actually have all the details finished and not have corners cut. That's the biggest risk in going the route I went with my land. I am pretty sure I'm going to manage my build so I'll get what I want and what I pay for.

I saw a crappy built villa, overlooking the airport, complete with the noise of the jets taking off. They were asking 65M BT for it. That's insane, the crazy thing is they'll probably get 55M for it. This is in the Choeng Mon area and every thing has gone way up. Little wedged in condos or whatever you call these things at RDI on the beach (sort of, actually behind the villa's on the beach). These little 180 sq meter places are going for US$750K/30M BT. The quality is quite excellent but I can't imagine wanting one of them. I've spent a lot of time especially on Samui of late and there are incredible opportunities there as long as you aren't one of the people that come down, pay 16 M Bt for a 120 sq meter place. Those actually exist, south of Lamai, there is a new really high end development going in and they are actually asking 16 M bt for a 120 sq m loft.

One of the big drivers for the increase in price is the markets accessed via the non-stops to other countries in Asia, now especially in HK. What every developer on Samui is doing now is going to HK to the property shows and talking up what they are doing, showing the plans for villas, townhouses etc and when they tell the people in HK "these dream homes on your dream island are only US$1M", the HK guys say "wow, sign me up". I just heard there are going to be non-stop flights to Japan and to Korea starting next year. Gee, wonder what that'll do to the market prices???

Craig, if you have a lot of time and can spent it researching Samui, you will one way or another find a great way to invest your NYC condo profits.

There are a lot of things going on in Samui and it's changing rapidly, it's going upscale and upmarket. It's really an exciting place (financially speaking) to be right now.

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Craig, if you have a lot of time and can spent it researching Samui, you will one way or another find a great way to invest your NYC condo profits.

There are a lot of things going on in Samui and it's changing rapidly, it's going upscale and upmarket. It's really an exciting place (financially speaking) to be right now.

samui is still a dime store / charity shop / woolworths compared to the bahamas , hawaii , florida , or the med.

so long as free competition is stifled by vested intereted groups and the infrastructure is held back by lack of political will (vested interest groups).

so long as the hospitals remain ethically challenged and so long as the public transportation system remains run by hoodlums and thugs , the island will never progress beyond being a c-grade (although a very pretty c-grade) destination for c-grade people.

the same goes for a lot of the resorts in this country , until corruption is totally eradicated thailand will always be a third world country with cheap beer and charm , but little else for the discerning tourist.

just somewhere to come for a few weeks to drink belch and fart and argue with the locals in order to get that 150b t-shirt for 100b

samui , up market ??? !!!!!!.................... open your eyes. :o

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samui is still a dime store / charity shop / woolworths compared to the bahamas , hawaii , florida , or the med.

so long as free competition is stifled by vested intereted groups and the infrastructure is held back by lack of political will (vested interest groups).

so long as the  hospitals remain ethically challenged and so long as the public transportation system remains run by hoodlums and thugs , the island will never progress beyond being a c-grade (although a very pretty c-grade) destination for c-grade people.

the same goes for a lot of the resorts in this country , until corruption is totally eradicated thailand will always be a third world country with cheap beer and charm , but little else for the discerning tourist.

just somewhere to come for a few weeks to drink belch and fart and argue with the locals in order to get that 150b t-shirt for 100b

samui , up market  ??? !!!!!!.................... open your eyes. :D

Taxexile, you've lost all perspective on Samui. I know you lived there for some years and one of the reason's you left is because of all the bad things that you note above and in other posts. Your assessment of Samui is wrong though, sure things like infrastructure lack in a big way, the taxi system sucks, they have drainage problems, it would be easy to go on and on about the negatives but the reality is things are changing. You lose credibility when all you can say are negative things about virtually everything Samui and exaggerating your points to a degree that isn’t reasonable. The picture you paint about Samui make it sound like Somalia (ok, I’m exaggerating here).

Samui is getting its own autonomy in terms of governance, soon they won't have to report into Surithani on the mainland. The revenue generated will start going back directly into the island. They will clean up the infrastructure, they will start to get the taxi system operating more cleanly, just as other places in Thailand have. Remember only a few years ago, the taxi mafia ran the taxi biz out of Don Muang airport. Things can change and they do. The gov’t in Thailand has problems but they are not totally mindless, they recognize where they can make money and the revenue from tourists with lots of money is very attractive.

This money that is coming onto the island is the real driver for change. We are talking 100's of millions of US dollars coming in. That's a conservative number. The US$100's of millions is only 200 average homes because a lot of these places are way over a mil. Buyers especially in HK and also in other Asia locations are literally lining up to buy on Samui. Projects often sell out with no advertising, the property shows are opening the eyes of people abroad. This means big tax revenues for the local Samui gov’t.

Go back to Samui today, the development is crazy, it makes the Sukumvit condo development scene look like a blip (slight exaggeration :D ) and they are not building low end stuff, 90% of the development is high end, really expensive stuff. There is a far greater pool of potential buyers to draw from than the Sukumvit pool of buyers. The potential buyers are mostly from Asia and also now from Dubai and Europe not to mention even farther afield.

It is changing from a cheap grade ‘C’ island selling tacky tourist stuff. The Central group is proposing to move in next year with a mall and a cinema. There are a number of retail areas going in, especially in Cheong Mon. The retail stores recognize the buying power of the people that are buying the million dollar homes and staying in the multiple new 5 Star resorts. These are moneyed people from overseas with large spending budgets. It is no longer the tacky backpacker island of days gone by.

This is not the future, this is now, they’re not making any more land there, when it’s developed fully, the prices will really go up. Look closely at what’s going on, there’s a lot of money to be made there. Watch and see, 3 years from now, Samui will be totally different. You can deny it or you can accept it but it’s real.

But don’t get me started :D

BTW, your “C” grade destination/people comment is crazy. The hundreds of “million dollar + net worth” people that HAVE bought there THIS year aren’t “C” grade people. They’re movers and shakers, that’s why they’ve accumulated this kind of wealth. Hmmmm....I wonder who's eyes are not open :o

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BANGKOK 25 May 2017 19:36
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