Buying Land in Krabi, Thailand
The province of Krabi covers around 4700 square kilometers and stretches from the Phuket Peninsular down the Andaman coast to Trang province. The Province has about 100km of the most amazing coastline in the world and also includes hundreds of Islands, the largest of which is Ko Lanta.
Krabi Town is the capital of the province and is situated close to the coast about midway down the province. The new international airport and Bus station are located on the outskirts of the town.
Tourism within the province is largely restricted to the coastline and the Islands. Within these tourist areas, roads are excellent and services are fully available.
On the mainland, development has been focusing steadily on the old fishing town of Ao Nang and the beaches to the North. The whole of this coastal region is where development is at its highest. Land values do not really have much of a prerequisite to work on. But generally speaking, the closer you get to the coast, the more expensive the property.
Ao nang town itself is the center of the mainland tourist scene. This is where about 80% of the tourist catering hotels are located and there where the major restaurants, tourist shops, and bars are.
Location Location Location
People want to buy land for many different reasons.
to start a business; hotel, restaurant, shop etc
to build a house to rent for large parts of the year
to build a luxury villa to rent on daily or weekly basis
to build a luxury villa to live in full time
to build a budget house to retire to
to build a house to raise a family while working in the area.
Each of these categories will have different priorities.
Your have to be within reach of your customers, so depending on the type of business you will be looking for land in or near to one of the populated areas or adjoining one of the larger roads. Hotel or guest houses need to be located within 5 km of a beach.
Luxury Villa for rent
This is where the majority of the development in Krabi is centred. There have only been very few in the past, however, it appears that this number is going to increase exponentially over the next two or three years. It is this category who have the most specific requirements.
- within reach of the tourist spots
- ideally will have some sort of view, wither sea view or cliff view
- need to be close enough to main roads to get high grade utilities (or bring them in very expensively)
- The value of these requirements means that it is worth spending relatively high amounts of capital for the right location.
For this category it is likely that you will pay between 20 thousand anywhere up to 100,000 pounds for one rai of land.
Luxury Villa to live in.
People in this enviable category have the widest choice as they are not restricted to the land within 2 or 3 km of the tourist spots. Land with amazing views is available at relatively low prices just another 2 or 3 km away and as long as you have transport, then this is perfect.
For this category you can pay as little as 10,000 pounds for one rai.
Budget house to retire in.
Land for this category of buyer has tended to stick quite close to the tourist areas. It really depends on your need or desire to either live close to other expats or for isolation. It seems that the majority of people in this category enjoy a community life and therefore are perhaps advised to buy offplan a plot within one of the many small developments that are in the process of construction. The upside of this, is that everything is done for you, the downside is that this is a relatively expensive way to buy a house. Typically you would pay between 80 and 150 thousand pounds for a three bedroom detached house on a 4 to 800 meter square plot of land.
What Makes land valuable
A piece of your own beach sounds like an impossible dream but it is possible. Most of the beachland has already been snapped up for resorts and hotels but there are still pockets that are available even in the most looked after areas. The price is high though; on the most popular beaches it can be as much as 20 million baht for a rai (1600 square meters) and sometimes only 20 meters or so of actual beach front. 20 million baht sounds like a huge amount of money, but it equates to approximately 300,000 pounds or 450,000 Euro which, to put it in perspective is about average for a three bedroom semi detached house in London, and whereas London has room for expansion, Krabi's beachfront doesnt. This means that there is no doubt that supply will run out and values will go up.
Your other choice is to look a little further away from the popular tourist resort areas of Ao Nang and Klong Muang and maybe even to one or two of the Islands nearby. Beachland in these areas, although still not cheap, is more affordable, however we advise anyone aiming to buy in these more out of the way locations to really examine their motives first. If you are planning to rent the house out as a holiday home for most of the year then this option may be impractical. But do not let anyone tell you, I have now noticed a few very exclusive villas going up about 7 km from the beach and town. The people building these seem to have decided that an idyllic quiet location with a nice mountain view is rentable and they may well be right. Certainly in a few years with hindsight this may prove to have been a very wise decision as all the space in closer areas gets filled up, the villas within this area may start to feel cramped and urban.
If you can not have a piece of beachland then maybe you can see the sea? A more affordable option for sure. However, local people have done on to the value of such land and it is going for a premium. There are also problems associated with buying a plot of land high up, firstly, getting services to it and secondly finding a piece with clear land title.
This is in our opinion where you can score in Krabo. Krabi is famous for its dramatic mountains mountains unexpectedly from the ground with sheer cliff faces. There are hundreds of places where the mountains can be seen from covering a huge area and this means that the land is consider cheaper. Land in this category within a 5 – 10 km distance from Aonang is what we would advise anyone to buy. Prices vary quite considering depending on a number of different factors like distance from an electric supply, possible of telephone / internet connection, water and roads.
Do not count this out. But do not pay too high a price for it. An example: we were recently approached by a person wishing to sell a piece of land. We went to see it and although perfectly adequate for a house, it had no view whatever, there is a slight hill on the horizon but not what anyone would call a mountain view. We asked how much they were asking and they said that two hundred meters away, a piece had just sold for 2 million for one rai, so allowing for inflation, they wanted 2.5. We tried to say that this was way too high. We then saw the piece around the corner which does have an amazing view of the mountains stretching to the horizon and was clearly worth the 2 million that had been paid for it. We tried to explain this to the guy but unfortunately he could not believe that fate had dealt him such a bad hand.
With any of the above categories the type of land should be taken into consideration. It is most likely to be either rubber tree or palm oil plantation land. More than 90% of land in Krabi is farmed in one of these two ways. There is nothing wrong with this, and very mature palm oil trees are beautiful and maintain shade, but if there is a piece that is not one of these and has either established fruit trees or even better, an assortment of mature trees, then it has to be worth considering more.
So, all these factors taken into consideration along with services, proxies to shops, he type of other housing close by makes for a very complicated mix. But it's by no means impossible to get good value.
The published development ethics in Krabi is to maintain its beauty. Large sections have been designated as no build national park. All mountains are no go areas and on the beaches there is in theory a strict limit to the height of the buildings. In practice these rules are often bent or even broken.
But for anyone planning to spend time in Krabi it is in their own interest that these apparently inconvenient rules are applied. What we would like to see is that they are applied consistently to everyone. Therefore we will not advise people to pay money under the table to have land that has for good reason been designated as national park to be given permission to build.
This changes many peoples perspective on building. The mainly affected areas are the ones that claim to be sea view as without building on mountain land, there are very few available vantage points, and these are restricted to being very close to the coast.
But we have to stress that we are committed to sustainable planned development of the area that keeps the charm and beauty that is now in Krabi
Due to the high land values there is a real goldrush feel to the property market in Krabi. All the local landowners, most of whom own just a few rai, have heard of the prices being paid. They hear that one rai can go for as much as 10 million baht, a figure which may be many times their lifetime expected earnings. This is definitely true for the few who happened to be lucky enough to have inherited the land in demand. But obviously this does not apply to all land. Many of these people now have completely unreal expectations. Due to the value buyers place on views and vantage points, it is possible that two adjoining segments of land owned by different people will be worth entirely different values. One with a beautiful panoramic view of the mountains may be worth up to 4 million baht, the neighboring one with no view at all may be worth as little as 500,000. It is a lottery and one that the people who have lived and loved their land for maybe generations find it difficult to understand. It is tragic unexpectedly for one of them to be able to sell a small plot and retire on the procedures where his neighbor has has to continue working his land for a meagre living.
Due to this lack of understanding of the value of a view, there are bargains to be had, but it is also possible to get thoroughly ripped off. If you go and see a plot and see a large expensive house in construction next door and are reliably told that the land sold for 2.5 million a rai, then it would be easy to believe that the plot you are seeing is worth the same. But is the plot next door has an amazing view, and yours does not, then it does not have the same value. Alternately you may be shown a plot full of rubber trees from the middle of which you can see nothing. The owner of the land may not realize that cutting down a few trees will open up the most beautiful view in Krabi, in this situation you really can get a bargain. Just use your imagination and common sense and judge each plot of land on its own merits.
A local tour operator, Krabitrek , offers a friendly, professional service to anyone wishing to buy property in Krabi, they know the best areas and the correct estimated costs without having a vested interest so you can be sure of honest unbiased advice and information.
The Krabi property scene is still very much in its formative stages and has earned a reputation as something of a goldrush town .. Values of particular areas are only down to what the buyer thinks they can not get for it as there is not really enough of a preceded to accurately set a price.