So here is your guide to what each area of Phuket, Thailand can offer you.
To keep it simple I’ve split Phuket into 4 zones:
Today Part 1 - North West Phuket (North of Patong)
Kamala is a good option for a rental property as it is close to Patong and popular with tourists.
Its long stretch of beach is flanked on the left by a headland known as 'Millionaires Mile'. Here you will find huge ocean-front villas with prices from US$3,000,000 upwards.
Nearer to the town you can find a good range of reasonably priced properties starting at around 3,500,000 Baht (US$ 113,839) for a studio and 6,000,000 Baht (US$ 195,153) for a two bedroom apartment.
When Phuket was first developing as a tourist destination in the late 1980’s, Amanpuri built their resort villas on the headland next to Surin Beach. They chose the location for its privacy and natural beauty.
But it wasn't until the late 1990's that private villas and apartments started to be built here.
The first high-end estates, such as Ayara Surin and Baan Thai Surin Hill sold for prices over US$ 1,000,000 back in 2000, due to their location and ocean views.
And today these villas sell for prices in excess of US$ 2,500,000. But in many you will have to pick up the cost of refurbishments.
Surin Beach is one of the most expensive places to buy property in Phuket. But you are likely to see the best return on your investment due to limited supply and high demand.
You won't find any new ocean-view villa developments in Surin as there is little buildable hillside land available.
Just north of Surin, Bangtao Beach is an impressive 8km stretch of sand - one of the longest in Phuket.
In the 1980’s, when Amanpuri were building their resort in Surin, Laguna were building a resort complex of what’s now six, 5-star hotels next to Bangtao Beach.
Property at the northern end of Bangtao Beach is usually more expensive than in the south. This is because the north is close to Laguna Resorts and has the best beaches. The south is a harbour where long tail fishing boats are moored.
Many expats live in the Bangtao area as it's quiet and not over-developed. You also have conveniences like Tesco's, MacDonald’s and plenty of shops, bars and restaurants on your doorstep.
Prices in Bangtao start at around 8,000,000 Baht (US$ 260,171) for a two bedroom apartment, with villas from 16,000,000 Baht (US$ 520,342).
Just north of Bangtao Beach you'll find Layan Beach - one of my favourite spots.
The reason I like it? It’s one of the quietest places on the west coast of Phuket; with calm seas and a gently sloping beach.
But there aren’t many property developments in Layan because it borders the Sirinath National Park. This means most of the land in the area can’t be built on.
As a result, you can get very good rental yields in the area. In fact I know one owner who is making over 16% on his one bedroom apartment.
Naithon is a quiet town which almost shuts down in the low season (April to October). It’s also next to the Sirinath National Park.
And because it’s so peaceful and green, you’ll find several high-end villa developments here such as Malaiwana.
Malaiwana has a good location, right on the ocean front and its own beach club.
The villas are very high quality, perhaps the best you'll find on Phuket.
And what's more, the prices are low enough for you to make a very big capital gain when you sell.
There has been talk of Naithon being the ‘new Surin’. In my opinion that’s a way off. But I am convinced that property prices are on the way up in the area.
Naiyang is close to the airport.
And it’s perhaps for this reason it seems to be forgotten - although there’s little airport noise.
The town is rural but has several good hotels and guesthouses.
Naiyang is convenient for the Blue Canyon Golf Course but it's around thirty minutes to the nearest large supermarket.
There are a few property developments in the area. But it’s unlikely your rental returns and capital appreciation will be high.
Mai Khao Beach
Next to the airport you'll find Mai Khao Beach - Phuket's longest stretch of white sand, which goes all the way to the northern tip of the Island.
Apart from the huge resort development of West Sands, the JW Marriott hotel and Mai Khao Dreams Villa Resort and Spa, you won't find much more in this area and it’s a long way from town.
The North-West coast of Phuket does have a lot to offer.
And although prices in this area north of Patong can be some of the highest in Phuket, it does produce some of the best rental yields and capital appreciation in Thailand.
Capital growth in this area is typically between 10% and 25% per year. But it can be as high as 50% per annum for properties with a good ocean view in Surin.
Places to watch out for are Naithon and Layan which remain relatively undeveloped due to the Sirinath National Park.
If you want to know more, you can get a free copy of ‘The Definitive Guide to buying property in Phuket’ here.