If you are an expat, would you want to work in country with high pay and stay in another country with lower cost of living? Living comfortably and luxuriously during the weekends instead of renting a small unit in the country where you work? According to Phuket Gazette in an article in propertyguru.com.sg there are already expatriates doing it. They are relocating their families to Phuket and commuting to work in major cities in Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok during the week. This could be done because of Phuket’s international airport. I did a check in google. Take a look at the image. The flight takes nearly 2 hours and there are up to 16 flights from Singapore to Phuket depending on the day.
According to Kevin Hodges, the North Branch and Investments Manager for Siam Real Estate, the reasons for these expatriates to do so include lower living expenses and infrastructure in Phuket. It has a number of international-standard medical facilities, improving infrastructure, beaches, numerous leisure activities, a low cost of living and a growing expat community. Besides that, if they were to stay in Singapore or Hong Kong, the expats could only afford much smaller units. There are also lots of international schools to choose from as well.
Assuming I do not doubt this, I would like to advise these expats to consider Penang instead. International schools, beach, lots of shopping malls and even popular medical facilities meant that it is on par if not better than Phuket. Secondly, it is also nearer in terms of flight duration. Third reason, there’re even MORE flights from Singapore to Penang on a daily basis. Take a look at the image below sourced from google. In terms of property, there’s no comparison because expats can buy freehold condominiums too. The only restriction is RM1 million or higher but rest assured, the choices are aplenty and when converted into SGD, it’s lower than even a HDB flat of 1,000sf or higher in Singapore. Lots of lifestyle type of products. There are definitely more restrictions in Thailand when we want to buy a property too.
ASEAN countries are not too far away from one another, especially Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. It’s okay, I guess it’s alright even if they were to choose Phuket. The most important thing is that they know that there also other equal or better choices around. Happy travelling dear expats.
written on 6 Feb 2016
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