Buying any form of real estate especially in Thailand does take a fair amount of research due to the restrictions placed on property by the Thai government. Amongst these are that foreigners may only own 49% of a condominium complex and may not own any land directly. Over the years many have tried to circumvent these by placing the property in the name of their Thai wives or girlfriends with the end result not being favorable. Before you buy any property in Thailand - be it a house in Isaan or a villa in Phuket, always consult an attorney first before you end up losing your investment or nest egg.
The property market in Phuket as at mid 2009 is showing slow down with less real estate units coming online and even less new developments being constructed. Even though the political situation clears more each day, the current global recession is hitting home. Properties in Phuket are still holding their values however buying in a down turn is usually the best time to buy property. Unlike the UK or US the Phuket market is different as there are very few 'stressed' property as most villas and condominium units owned by foreigners and expats are purchased with cash either as an investment or retirement property. Those on the market being second hand units, might be open for negotiation.
With Thailand's strict property ownership laws speak to an attorney before making any form of investment. We at Siam Legal have a branch office in Phuket who will be more than happy to help guide you and ensure that there has been due diligence done on the property if you are wishing to purchase. Speak to any of our attorneys on Phuket Island. Be it the branch manager Kert Stavorn who is an Australian attorney or Jason King the British conveyancer. They would be able to assist you better than any other firm on the island.