After millions being limited to the confines of their own home during lockdown – the adage ‘it’s just a bed’ carries less weight. People who spent their lives commuting to and from an office, attending endless meetings have realised that they could do most of it from home. Everyone has been ushered into the post Covid-19 existence, whether they like it or not.
Evidently you could live anywhere in the world that has a fast internet connection, leaving your decision solely down to lifestyle and budget.
Reading the current market
Real estate markets across Asia are alive with ‘blood in the water’ deals since Covid-19. Investment properties are often first for the chop when people need to liquefy assets into quick cash.
Thai ‘travel and tourism’ has at present ground to a halt. Properties that were bought with the intention of renting to the traditionally lucrative industry are there for the taking. Cash rich prospectors are eagerly awaiting the doors to open like a black friday sale.
Location, Location, Location
Thailand’s successful measures against Covid-19 has given it yet another good mark as a desirable destination to settle down. Showing the country has so much more to offer than just being a good holiday destination
Top international Schools, warm climate, pristine beaches, incredible cuisine, chilled island lifestyle, safety, multiple long term expat communities, combined with the convenience of an international airport, are just some of the reasons Phuket reigns supreme on any relocation list.
Where there’s pros, there’s cons
Unfortunately with all the advantages, there are disadvantages. Rush hour traffic can be a thing in Phuket, the island’s water infrastructure needs some attention, but quite simply, living in Phuket is not cheap.
What can you get for your money?
You can buy a property in Phuket ranging from $80,000 USD for a small condo and easily find Villas that reach into the millions of dollars..
Properties in the lower price range tend to be geared for the ‘travel and tourism’ market. Small 1 bedroom condos have been proven money making machines in the past however are completely useless if you’re relocating with your family.
Gated communities filled with affordable stand alone houses are popular with Thai middle classes and working expats alike, especially those that have immersed themselves into Thai life. These types of properties are often sold out. Thai nationals often buy before construction has even finished, usually paying off the property over 25 years or more. However, mortgages are not viable for a foreigner, so renting these middle range properties is commonplace.
Renting a luxury villa is an option if you have money to burn but if you have that kind of money, purchasing a high-end Villa has its advantages.
Due to the lack of tourism, Villa’s across Asia have obviously fallen to affordable prices for now. However with the world being shook by covid-19 and social distancing, it’s likely these spacious self contained properties that will be most sought after. If villa prices would make the fastest comeback, luxury long term renting would not be a sustainable option for relocation.
Contemplating long term relocation with a healthy budget.
A large villa purchase can be a big decision. Procuring close to a tourist area will potentially assure your purchase. If you ever change your mind for whatever reason, your villa doubles as a highly sought after rental investment.
Buying Villa as a foreigner
Seeing as mortgages are not readily available for foreigners. Purchasing off-the-plan property is still popular, with stage payments during construction standard practice.
Speaking with Keri Van Velzen the project manager of Manick Hillside development in Phuket, Thailand, their strategy is building villa by villa. This method of stage payments during construction has been found an effective supplement for lack of mortgage options. Coupled with the ability to eliminate over stretching construction resources. The slow and steady method is a welcome sight to many looking to pay in stages. Living next door to your neighbours villa being built for a few months is much more preferable to losing money to an unfinished project.
Owning land as a foreigner in Thailand can be a maze of obstacles. Simply put – with a good lawyer, a Thai company and a sprinkle of money, anything is possible.
Like any market, price is dependent on location. Buying too close to a tourist area can have its downsides for day to day living. However purchasing too far away might hinder your property’s chances as a highly desired rental investment.
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Serial Entrepreneur and Founder of Asia Lifestyle Magazine.
Originally from the UK, Asa Marsh has been based in Asia for years. Many know Asa throughout the Asian real estate market, when he guided his company Easy Living Phuket to achieve “Top 10 in Southeast Asia – 2018”