The property market in the Thai resort of Pattaya is bouncing back again to become a hot spot for condominium buyers, attracting foreign and Thai investors, according to consultants.
Pattaya’s strategic location will continue to be a key driver for growth in tourism and its property market, says international real estate consultants CB Richard Ellis.
It is the closest beachside town to Bangkok, just over an hour’s drive from the capital, and it has all the amenities including shopping, good food, quality five star hotels and properties, golf courses, and beaches. These factors combined makes Pattaya well positioned for further growth, CBRE adds.
A number of celebrities are also buying in the resort. The latest is former snooker world champion Jimmy White who has bought an apartment in the recently launched luxury beachfront project The Palm Wongamat Beach.
‘The choice was easy, I bought in the best location. After a lot of research and hunting for a holiday home, The Palm met all my requirements. Wongamat is one of my favourite beaches in Pattaya and The Palm’s beachfront location is ideal. I can enjoy excellent sea views from my unit, the facilities are extensive and the price is right,’ he said.
CBRE said that almost 70% of the units at The Palm Wongamat Beach have been sold, despite pre-sales beginning only six months ago. Out of total units sold, over 65% of the buyers at The Palm Wongamat Beach are foreign and 35% are Thai end users and investors.
‘The sales performance at The Palm Wongamat Beach indicates there is strong foreign demand in Pattaya driven mainly by non resident Europeans, particularly Russians who are looking to purchase affordable luxury holiday homes,’ it said.
There is also a significant portion of Thais who have bought apartments as a holiday home or/and as an investment, with several purchasing multiple units as the project is perceived as offering value for money.
There are a number of reasons for tenants favouring apartments over condos, according to CBRE. In an apartment building if there is a problem with the unit, the building manager is on hand to resolve this. In a condominium building the property manager is responsible only for the management of the common areas and not the individual units. Condominium building managers have no responsibility for repairs or maintenance inside individual condominium units.
‘Locations is an important factor, but location alone is not enough. The unit types and sizes need to match market requirements as do the fixtures, fittings, furniture and appliances. It is a combination of both location and design that enables projects to succeed in a competitive market,’ explained Theerathorn Prapunpong, director of Residential Leasing Services at CBRE.
In order to succeed, apartment developers need to clearly identify the needs of tenants in terms of unit type and size and examine the competition for each size of unit. Getting the combination of location, size and design to maximize returns is complicated and need a depth of market exposure and experience, and CBRE is now providing a design development consultancy service for developers, analysing and interpreting real market information from over 300 expatriate residential leasing transactions that the company concludes each year.