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Buying a property in Koh Samui: a complete guide

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property investment Koh Samui

Yes, the analysis of Koh Samui's property market is included in our pack

Thinking of buying a property in Koh Samui? You're not alone!

Many people are enchanted by Koh Samui's island paradise and dream of owning a luxurious beachfront villa or a modern condominium there.

Is it a wise investment, though? Are property prices increasing on Koh Samui? How much does it cost? Should you consider investing in Chaweng or Lamai? Is there any hidden tax? Which places offer rental yields exceeding 7%?

We have all the answers you need.

The BambooRoutes team knows this market like the back of their hand. As a matter of fact, we've gathered all our findings in a pack. Get it now.

In the lines below, we'll share useful information and some practical tips.

How is the real estate market on Koh Samui?

When evaluating the strengths of a property market, everyone has their own opinion. We do things differently - we rely on data and actual facts.

Types of properties

In Koh Samui, you can find various types of properties for sale.

These include stunning beachfront villas with private access to the sea, cozy hillside cottages offering panoramic views of the island, modern condominiums in bustling areas, serene residential land plots for building your dream home, and charming commercial spaces perfect for setting up businesses.

Whether you're seeking a peaceful retreat or a bustling hub, Koh Samui offers a diverse range of properties to suit your preferences.

Better to buy or rent?

(If you want to live there yourself and not rent it to others)

Whether you're considering settling in Koh Samui or already living there, you might be pondering the buy vs. rent decision in this tropical paradise island in Thailand.

Generally, buying is a better choice than renting in Koh Samui due to the potential for increased rental returns, appreciation in property values, and the ability to enjoy the benefits of home ownership.

That said, renting provides the advantage of flexibility for those who want it.

Property prices on Koh Samui

On average, according to the updated data from Bank Of Thailand, purchasing a property on Koh Samui should cost you around $4,500 per square meter.

Obviously, there are some big differences. A luxury villa on Koh Samui might have a higher price per square meter than a cozy bungalow. We actually give you a more detailed breakdown in our pack for buying property on Koh Samui and in Thailand.

To put things in perspective, it means that, instead of buying an apartment in Paris or London, you can afford 3 properties on Koh Samui.

Also, housing prices on Koh Samui are 21% cheaper than in Bangkok.

The most expensive neighbourhoods on Koh Samui are probably Chaweng, Choeng Mon, and Bophut, while the cheapest are likely to be in the more rural areas.

Koh Samui Property Price per Square Meter


First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that Thailand is, today, a relatively stable country. The last Fragile State Index that has been reported for this place is 70.

Keep this in view when pondering the viability of buying a property in on Koh Samui.

Besides that, if we look at the IMF's GDP forecasts, Thailand's economy is expected to soar by 15.1% in the coming 5 years, resulting in an average GDP growth rate of 3%.

If you want to invest in real estate on Koh Samui it's a good thing because, usually, when the economy grows, people make more money, and this encourages them to invest in real estate, which drives up the demand and prices for properties.

Also, in Thailand, the average GDP per capita has dropped by 0.9% over the last 5 years. It's an alarming number.

Looking for more updated data? We've done a big-picture study to find out if it's a good idea to purchase property in Thailand right now.

Buying property on Koh Samui

Buying real estate on Koh Samui can be difficult due to the lack of reliable and up-to-date information available. That's why we have created the pack to buy property on Koh Samui and in Thailand.

Buying process

Within our pack, we've covered the entire buying process extensively. This includes a detailed breakdown of prices and yields based on the area, advice on negotiating prices, and information about obtaining a mortgage.

Now, we're providing you with a simplified version.

This is the step-by-step process to purchase a property in Koh Samui:

  1. Research the market and find suitable properties on the island.
  2. Engage a licensed real estate agent familiar with Koh Samui's regulations.
  3. Review and negotiate the property's price and terms, considering the leasehold or freehold options.
  4. Hire a reputable lawyer experienced in Thai property law for due diligence.
  5. Draft and sign the Reservation Agreement and Sales & Purchase Agreement.
  6. Pay the initial deposit (usually 10%) to secure the property.
  7. Conduct a thorough title search and verify property ownership at the local Land Office.
  8. Complete the due diligence process, including checking building permits and land use regulations.
  9. Finalize financing options, if required, with a local or international bank.
  10. Prepare the necessary documents, such as passport copies, marriage certificate (if applicable), and the Foreign Exchange Transaction Form (FETF).
  11. Transfer the remaining funds to the seller and pay all applicable taxes and fees, including the Transfer Fee and Stamp Duty.
  12. Complete the property transfer at the local Land Department, and obtain the title deed (Chanote) and property ownership in your name.

Also, if you're not from the country, you might want to check our article on how to buy property as a foreigner in Thailand.

Where to find a property

Discover these websites to find properties in Koh Samui:

  • A Place in the Sun - A prominent overseas property portal with over 100,000 properties available worldwide, including Thailand.
  • Savills - Your reliable source for expert buying, renting, and letting services tailored to your property requirements.
  • DDproperty - One of Thailand's leading property websites, offering an extensive array of properties for sale and rent, complete with detailed information, maps, and photos.
  • Dot Property - Your ultimate hub for discovering and purchasing a wide range of properties for sale in Thailand.
  • FazWaz - A top-tier real estate marketplace for buying, renting, and selling property in Thailand.

Also, know that we have included contacts of real estate agencies, property lawyers, moving companies, expats communities and more in our pack for buying property in Thailand.

Which properties for which budget?

As mentioned before, the average price per sqm on Koh Samui is $4,500. A 1-bedroom property of 60 square meters would cost approximately $270,000, and a 2-bedroom property of 85 square meters would cost approximately $383,000.

However, the amount you pay for a property can be different based on its characteristics and where it's found.

Prime property locations on Koh Samui typically mean higher property valuations. For around $1,090,000, you could get a villa in Chaweng, but a property in Lamai could be priced at $480,000.

Of course, certain regions are more affordable. You might encounter a small condo in a remote area for $90,000, or you could find a house in Lipa Noi priced at $280,000.

We give a more detailed pricing list in our full pack for buying property in Thailand.

Risks and pitfalls

Here are the main pitfalls specific to buying property in Koh Samui, Thailand:

  • Complex foreign ownership regulations restrict land and property acquisition.
  • Encroachment on protected land areas could lead to legal issues and property loss.
  • Unclear land titles and overlapping claims may jeopardize ownership rights.
  • High humidity and tropical climate demand extra maintenance and repairs.
  • Local zoning laws may limit property usage and development options.
  • Risk of property damage due to tropical storms and monsoons.
  • Limited access to public utilities and infrastructure in certain areas.
  • Potential language barriers and cultural differences may lead to misunderstandings during transactions.

We don't want this to happen to you, so we have included a full checklist for your property investment in our pack of documents. Avoid these mistakes and save a lot of money.

real estate Thailand

Everything you need to know is included in our Thailand Property Pack

Living on Koh Samui

Koh Samui offers a unique blend of modern amenities and a relaxed, tropical lifestyle, making it an ideal place to buy property.

Cost of living

The cost of living on Koh Samui is generally lower than in other parts of Thailand. However, the cost of living can vary depending on the type of accommodation, lifestyle, and amenities desired.

Here are some examples to better understand the cost of living in Koh Samui, Thailand:

  • Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the charming neighborhood of Fisherman's Village: $700 per month.
  • A meal at a local restaurant with "Tom Yum Goong," a popular Thai spicy soup: $5.
  • Monthly scooter rental for convenient island exploration: $70.
  • Utilities (electricity, water, internet) for a small apartment in Chaweng Beach area: $60 per month.
  • A refreshing "Nam Oi" (Sugar Cane Juice) from a local street vendor: $1.
  • Ticket to a traditional "Samui Cultural Show" with Thai dance and music: $10.
  • Monthly membership at a beachfront yoga studio: $50.
  • A bottle of local "Leo" beer, a Thai favorite: $2.


We want to show information in an easy-to-understand way. So, we made a summary table that lists the different parts of Koh Samui. For yields, prices and rents, check our property pack.

Neighborhood Description Strengths Weaknesses


Chaweng is a bustling and lively neighborhood with a beautiful beach and a wide range of restaurants, bars, and shops.

Great nightlife, excellent dining options, and a vibrant atmosphere.

Can be noisy and crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons.


Lamai is a more relaxed and laid-back area with a stunning beach and a good mix of dining and entertainment choices.

Beautiful beach, less crowded than Chaweng, and suitable for families.

Not as vibrant as Chaweng, limited public transportation options.


Bophut is a charming fishing village with a lovely beach, boutique shops, and a popular walking street market.

Quaint and picturesque, great dining options, and a cultural experience at Fisherman's Village.

Less nightlife compared to Chaweng, prices can be higher in certain areas.


Maenam offers a peaceful and tranquil setting with a beautiful beach and some excellent dining choices.

Quiet and less crowded, suitable for those seeking a relaxed atmosphere.

Limited nightlife, fewer entertainment options compared to other areas.

Choeng Mon

Choeng Mon is an upscale and luxurious neighborhood with a beautiful beach and high-end resorts.

Exclusive and private, ideal for luxury travelers and couples.

Higher accommodation costs, limited budget options.

Life on Koh Samui

Koh Samui has a thriving tourist economy, with many luxury resorts, restaurants and shopping opportunities available. The island is also home to a range of local businesses, including fishing, farming, and retail.

What expats usually like the most on Koh Samui are the warm tropical climate, the beautiful beaches and the vibrant nightlife. They also enjoy the numerous outdoor activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, and trekking.

Access to healthcare on Koh Samui is generally good, with a range of international-standard hospitals and clinics available.

Renting out on Koh Samui

This part is for you if you want to buy a property with the goal of renting it out and making money from it, rather than living there.


According to the data reported by Wikipedia, the home ownership rate in Thailand is 80%, which is rather high.

Unlike Bangkok, where there are expats and white-collar people looking to rent a place, most people in Koh Samui buy a property to actually live there.

If you decide to rent out long-term, you might want to target expats and retirees who are looking for a tropical escape in Koh Samui's beautiful beaches and lush landscape. Families and young professionals who want to experience the island's vibrant culture and nightlife are also likely to be interested.

Here is a little summary table we've made for you.

Property type and area Profiles of potential tenants What they are looking for Expected monthly rent in $

Villa in Chaweng

Families, tourists

Nightlife, beach access

$1500 - $3000

Condo in Lamai

Expats, retirees

Quiet, relaxation

$800 - $1500

House in Bophut

Expats, digital nomads

Close to amenities

$1200 - $2500

Beachfront villa in Maenam

Luxury travelers, honeymooners

Private beach access

$2500 - $5000

Apartment in Fisherman's Village

Tourists, couples

Boutiques, restaurants

$800 - $1500

Sea view condo in Bangrak

Expats, retirees

Panoramic views

$1000 - $2000

Pool villa in Taling Ngam

Families, nature lovers

Scenic and tranquil

$1800 - $3500

Now, you will probably ask us about the yields. Unlike for other places, it would be difficult to give you the average rental yields for Koh Samui due to insufficient long-term rental properties available for analysis. Also, it's quite diverse. For example, rental yields in Chaweng and Lamai are quite different from those in less developed areas.


You could also decide to rent short-term to travelers visiting Koh Samui for a holiday, or to business travelers in need of a place to stay while on the island.

If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in the Chaweng and Bophut areas. These areas are known for their nightlife and shopping, and are popular with tourists looking for short-term rentals.

Currently, there are approximately 7,100 active Airbnb listings on Koh Samui, reflecting a highly dynamic and bustling short-term rental market. The average daily rate stands around $70.

You have the opportunity to generate a nice additional income stream then. According to online testimonials and analytics platform like AirDNA, Guesty and Inside Airbnb, people who offer short-term rentals on Koh Samui can make around $900 per month. Also, the average occupancy rate is estimated at 62%.