Today let’s take a closer look at property on the North East Coast of Phuket, Thailand; north of Phuket Town.
You will discover why it's not as popular as the West. Why it is ideal if you enjoy boating. And what you need to look out for when you buy.
The truth about the North East Coast
The North East of Phuket is largely un-developed and there is a good reason for this:
There are no real beaches.
You will come across one or two but these are man-made beaches (i.e. sand was brought in) and they need constant maintenance as the sand washes away.
The reason for this is that the East Coast is tidal, whereas the West is not. At low tide on the East Coast the water goes out a long way and reveals large areas of mud.
This is ok if you enjoy beachcombing. But if you prefer to lie on the beach, swim in the sea and feel the sand between your toes, the East Coast is probably not for you.
So, if a developer or agent recommends you see some East Coast properties at a certain time of day, be wary. They have probably checked the tide tables and you will be seeing the coastline at its best - high tide.
You should insist on viewing properties at low tide also. Then you can make your own mind up about the view - when it looks at its worst.
No beaches - but you’ll like the view
What the North East Coast lacks in beaches it more than makes up for with its views.
In fact, I think they are some of the best in Phuket.
Many properties have views of Phang Nga Bay’s limestone karsts and the islands of Koh Raet, Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi.
Perfect if you love boating
Phang Nga Bay just off the East Coast is one of my favourite places. It is a national park, full of incredible wildlife, caves and deserted beaches. If you own a boat you have all this on your doorstep.
Phuket's marinas are all on the East Coast as the seas on the West Coast are too rough in the wet season. The oldest and furthest north is Yacht Haven, which opened in the late 1980’s.
Since then another three have been built; Boat Lagoon, Royal Phuket Marina and Ao Por Grand Marina.
Royal Phuket Marina and Boat Lagoon are the most developed with shops, bars and restaurants. Boat Lagoon also has full service facilities and a dry-dock.
Retail and residential areas are planned for Ao Por Grand Marina - but these could be a few years away.
North East infrastructure and amenities
Unless you live at Boat Lagoon or Royal Phuket Marina it’s unlikely you’ll find the North East very convenient.
Limited development means there is a shortage of amenities and you will have to drive to pick up anything you need, sometimes fairly long distances.
You won't find any large supermarkets and the smaller mini-marts are limited and basic.
Restaurants are confined mainly to local roadside shacks and a small number of independent hotels.
What kind of property can you find here?
There isn't a huge choice of property on the East Coast. Most is located around Ao Por, on Cape Yamu, or at Royal Phuket Marina and Boat Lagoon.
As land is less expensive, villas in the North East usually have larger plots than those on the West, particularly at the upper end of the market.
Most have good views of Phang Nga Bay and some have their own waterfront.
If you’d prefer an apartment, there are a number of small developments in Ao Por which are also worth considering.
You can also find property on some of the islands off the North East Coast.
Koh Yao Noi, for example, has some independent resorts and a few branded hotel developments.
Is the North East a good investment?
If you are buying for investment it is still far too early. Interest from property investors in the North East Coast of Phuket is limited.
Five years ago everyone was talking about the East Coast catching up with the West due to cheaper land prices and less tourists. But in truth, it has never happened.
Your capital appreciation will also be lower than on the West Coast and when you sell you'll have far fewer interested buyers.
Yes, you will find property prices are less. But you’ll have difficulty renting your property unless it is linked to a good five-star hotel.
Even then, you need to do your homework. Ask to see details of occupancy rates. Look at the room rate per night compared to West Coast rivals. And calculate your nett return carefully.
You won't find maintenance and common area charges any lower than at West Coast resorts - so you need to factor this into your decision too.
Should you buy on the North East Coast of Phuket?
In reality, you should only consider buying on the North East Coast if it suits your lifestyle.
It is unlikely you will see large gains in the value of your property and rentals will be harder to come by.
In my opinion, it will be at least five and probably more like ten years before the North East Coast starts to gain the same popularity as the West - if ever.
So if you buy here it should be because you enjoy peace and quiet, the lack of tourists and limited development.
If that is more important to you than the convenience of having things on your doorstep, the North East could be ideal for you.
To find out more, you can get a free copy of ‘The Definitive Guide to buying property in Phuket’ here.
Article source - http://blog.phuketoceanvillas.com/phuket-property-location-location-location-part-3/
Article Directory: http://www.articletrunk.com
Rebecca Smith is a real estate journalist and author with over 15 years’ experience. She has published 3 books to date:
'The Definitive Guide to buying property in Thailand'
'The Definitive Guide to buying property in Phuket'
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