Accommodation in Phuket

Accommodation in Phuket
Updated 2022-05-10 11:43

Phuket is a popular destination for expatriates who are working or retiring on the island. Phuket's expat community is also arguably one of the richest in the country, and the luxury housing estates, golf courses and shopping malls most certainly cater to the market.

Phuket has the highest per-capita income of any province in Thailand, and the island's prosperity means that it has great roads, world-class hospitals and many amenities that cater to the needs of expats. However, it also means that it has one of the highest costs of living in the country, and Phuket now has some of the most expensive real estate outside of Bangkok.

Tourists in Phuket tend to centre around Patong, Karon and Kata. Also, there are also those who opt to live away from the crowds and stay in boutique hillside villas around Surin, Kamala or Bang Tao in the north of the island; those who hide in the valleys south of Kata, near Rawai and Nai Harn; and the professionals who live in Chalong or Kathu.

Buy or rent in Phuket?

Most expats who choose to settle in Phuket, even for the long term, still prefer to rent. There are a number of reasons for this.

First, buying a property in Phuket can be quite expensive. It's a long-term commitment and, in a lot of cases, you won't be able to make your investment back. A lot of properties in Phuket and Thailand in general deteriorate quite quickly and you will also need to factor in substantial upkeep costs. Long-term rent, on the other hand, is often very affordable and comes with much less hassle.

Second, there are a lot of restrictions for foreigners who want to buy property in Thailand.

Foreigners are not allowed to own land outright in Thailand. However, Thai law allows foreigners to buy a condominium, so long as they pay for it with foreign currency. Alternatively, foreigners will need to invest at least THB 40 million in the Thai economy to legally be able to purchase a private residence of up to 1,600m² in the country. Those wishing to buy or build their own house usually do so through their Thai spouse or business partner.

As a result of these restrictions, many foreigners prefer to secure a long-term lease agreement. The law allows leases of up to 30 years but, if you sign a 30-year lease, make sure it is registered so that you will have recourse if your landlord tries to evict you prior to that time.


If you decide to purchase real estate in Thailand, it's essential that you consult with a lawyer and a real estate agent before making any final decisions. 

Good to know:

Leases are only valid for three years if they are not registered at the Land Department.

Many leases contain renewal clauses that provide for a renewed 30-year lease once the initial 30-year period comes to an end. A renewal clause is a promise to renew a lease, but it is important to understand that it does not always mean an automatic renewal, as your landlord's cooperation is tantamount.

Types of accommodation in Phuket

Many people live in houses rather than condominiums in Phuket, and there are some exceptional villas with private gardens, swimming pools and gorgeous views. Rent prices range from THB 60,000 to THB 200,000 per month. However, investors, property developers, and business people are all vying for prime property, so there is now a lot of competition for a sea view.

If you are happy to live inland in residential parts of the island without a sea view, there is plenty more space and houses are a better value. A fully furnished, two-bedroom house with aircon will cost about THB 18,000 a month in Phuket town. Cheaper rental is available in Phuket Town, Chalong, Rawai, Nai Harn and Kathu, as these areas are away from the bustle of the touristy west coast, while still being within easy reach of the southern beaches and the international school.

An unfurnished single-storey house will cost you less to rent per month, so if you are looking to save money and live in Phuket long-term, then consider buying your own furniture, and if the cost doesn't bother you, then there are lots of fully furnished places to choose from.

Condominiums and duplexes are not as readily available as apartments in Phuket, but they are still possible to find. Apartments in Phuket are plentiful, and there is for sure something to suit your needs in terms of size, location and price. If you are on a tight budget, it is possible to find a cheap studio apartment in Phuket town, that comes with only the basics of a bed, wardrobe and fan, for a few thousand Baht per month. If you are willing to pay double that, you can maybe get an apartment or a condominium with cable TV, aircon, hot water and nicer furnishings included. However, the nearer to the beach you go, the more expensive it gets. Rent can go up to tens or even hundreds of thousands of Baht for spacious furnished apartments with sea views or penthouses in resort complexes.

Most leases can be made for three months or more, but some residences are available for even shorter periods. However, the longer the duration of the lease, the better deal you can negotiate.

Searching for accommodation in Phuket

There are plenty of local real estate agents in Phuket who can serve your needs, but make sure you get a firm rental agreement that holds the landlord accountable for maintenance. Dealing with a foreign-managed agent can help avoid any issues. Make sure to have a contract just in case there will be problems in the future as renting in Thailand needs to at least pay for a deposit of 2-3 months.

A good way to look for accommodation in Phuket is by hiring a car with a driver for a day and looking for houses with rental signs in areas where you would be interested in living. You could even hire a motorbike to navigate your way around the small residential streets where rent may be cheaper. Sometimes, rental homes are not actually well-advertised online, so it is also a good idea to ask around at local restaurants to see if anyone has heard of them anywhere on the grapevine.

It is also worth searching online and in expat publications, such as the Phuket Times. You can also try posting an advert on the websites of the Phuket Post and the Phuket Gazette with details of what you are looking for.

How to find accommodation in Phuket

Phuket is one of Thailand's most popular cities. And this means two things. First, there are lots of options when it comes to renting accommodation. Second, the competition for the best properties is also very high. 

With that, we don't suggest that you rush in your accommodation hunt. While it's a very good idea to start researching Phuket's real estate market before you come to Thailand, it's a very bad idea to commit to long-term rent remotely, without first seeing the place or the neighborhood. This is why we suggest you book a hotel room for the first week of your stay and use this time to learn more about the city's neighborhoods, accommodations options, and more. Plus, it may also give you more time to interact with more experienced Phuket expats and get more information on the best areas to settle in Phuket. 

As there are many expats living in Phuket, a lot of them choose to get together on a regular basis. So, if you are moving to Phuket, what better way to get to know the place and get advice than to ask the people who have been through the process of moving there themselves? Check local forums like

Phuket Expats. You can also inquire on Reddit and Quora Thailand forums when it comes to the most up-to-date information on rent prices in Phuket. 

To start your apartment hunt, check online resources like PulseRealEstate, Thailand Property, and others.

When you arrive in Phuket, you can start visiting the places you've selected. Make sure to not only check the property itself but also the neighborhood around it. Make sure it fits your needs and lifestyle. 

You can also explore the city on your own. And, if you come across a condo complex or gated community you like, you can ask at the management centre about available rentals. 

Best areas to rent in Phuket

Where you rent in Phuket depends on what you are looking for. Here, you can live in the centre of action in busy neighborhoods like Phuket Town or Patong Beach or head into the mountains, rent a villa and look down on all the hustle and bustle from your private pool. It all depends on your preferences and, of course, your budget. 

Phuket Town

Phuket Town is the de facto capital of Phuket. During the day, it's also one of its busiest areas. At night, however, most restaurants and bars close and you will be greeting enough peace and quiet for a good night's rest. 

Phuket Town is not the best place for full-moon parties. Nor is it home to the island's most beautiful beaches. However, it's a good place to explore authentic Thai culture and dissolve your throughs in the busy streets. Here, you will find lots of cheap street food, temples, museums, local bars, and more. You will find small condos in Phuket Town starting at around THB 11,000. 

Patong Beach 

Patong Beach is probably the most touristed part of the island. Depending on what you are looking for, this can be a big plus or a huge disadvantage. It's the centre of the island's nightlife with easy access to some of the best restaurants and bars. The area is also home to the modern Jungceylon mall.

Patong is not the best beach in Phuket — not by a long shot. But it is spacious, with nice water and a friendly beach buzz of jet skis and tourist chatter. 


Chalong Bay is located on the southeast end of the island. It is the main boat harbor of Phuket where you will also find lots of diving centres. There are also quite a few Muay Thai gyms in the area and 

Karon and Kata beaches are a short drive away. A one-bedroom bedroom apartment near Chalong pier can set you back around THB 16,000. If you are looking to rent a three-bedroom house, you may be looking at upwards for THB 40,000. 


Kathu is a small town sitting right in the middle of Phuket Island. Here, hon will be able to find better rent deals as the neighborhood is a bit far from the beach. With that, there are definitely advantages that come with its central location. 

From here, you can get to Phuket Town in just a ten-minute drive. Patong  Beach is a 15-minute15 minute drive away. 

If you are looking to get away from all the tourist action, Kathu won't disappoint either. 

Karon and Kata Beaches

South of Patong, you will find Karon and Kata beaches. These neighborhoods are probably the best choice if you're looking to stay close to the beach with easy access to restaurants and bars but without the noise and bustle of Patong  Beach. 

From April to September, Kata Beach is also known as a decent surf spot with a few surf schools happy to teach you all the tricks. 

How to rent accommodation in Phuket

To rent accommodation in Phuket and generally in Thailand, you will usually need to provide a copy of your passport, a copy of your work permit and proof of income. If you are renting a property through a real estate agency, you may also be subject to a credit check and be required to provide a character reference from your employer (but these are quite rare).

In most cases, rental agreements are signed for six months to one year. However, the duration of the lease and the rental price are negotiable with the owner and can start from three months. 

Generally, a lease and security deposit are all that is needed to secure property in Thailand. In most cases, you can expect to pay a two-month deposit along with the first month's rent. However, some Thai landlords request a three-month deposit. At the end of the lease, the deposit should be returned, as long as the property and furnishings are in good condition. If you leave before the end date of your lease agreement, you will forfeit your deposit unless specified in the contract. Make sure to carefully check the property before signing the lease and take note of any existing damage. It's also standard practice to take inventory of all the furnishings and appliances that the property comes with. 

Take note that foreigners are not allowed to use their rented accommodation for commercial purposes and are not allowed to sublease either as it is a violation of Thai law (Condo Act Sec 17.1 as follows):

"In the case where a space in the condominium is set aside as a place to carry out the business, the system on entering and exiting such an area shall be specifically set up in order to prevent the disturbance of the peaceful enjoyment of the joint owners.

No person shall be permitted to engage in any trade transactions in the condominium except it is a trade transaction in the area of the condominium designated in accordance with paragraph one) that disallows condominiums and apartments for short-term renting."

Useful links:

Thailand Property Phuket

Siam Real Estate 

Hipflat Phuket 

Phuket Expats


We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.