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Thailand Property – The new face of Pattaya condo buyers

Nationalities of condominium buyers in the Thai city of Pattaya have changed dramatically since 2010 – from the Europeans and Scandinavians working in the Asia Pacific region to local Thais and expatriates who reside in Bangkok, according to the latest Pattaya Market Report published by Knight Frank Thailand.

Daniel Lorenzzo

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Pattaya city Thailand beach and fun destination

Nationalities of condominium buyers in the Thai city of Pattaya have changed dramatically since 2010 – from the Europeans and Scandinavians working in the Asia Pacific region to local Thais and expatriates who reside in Bangkok, according to the latest Pattaya Market Report published by Knight Frank Thailand.

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Nationalities of condominium buyers in the Thai city of Pattaya have changed dramatically since 2010 – from the Europeans and Scandinavians working in the Asia Pacific region to local Thais and expatriates who reside in Bangkok, according to the latest Pattaya Market Report published by Knight Frank Thailand.

Pattaya city Thailand beach and fun destination

since 2010, the make-up of buyers has changed to Thais and local expatriates from Russia, Germany, the Middle East, Australia and India.

The company’s Managing Director Phanom Kanjanathiemthao said that in the past, condominium projects in Pattaya were attracting buyers from the UK, Sweden, Norway, and Finland – many of whom were working in Asian countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore and China. However since 2010, the make-up of buyers has changed to Thais and local expatriates from Russia, Germany, the Middle East, Australia and India. Most of these expatriates live in Bangkok.

“Most Indians buy condominiums for investment, while the Thais tend to buy as a holiday home because Pattaya is quite close to Bangkok. I can say that Thai buyers who buy condos in Pattaya prefer a similar lifestyle as in Bangkok. This is quite different from those who choose to buy condos in Hua Hin,” said Phanom.

According to the research, the number of newly-launched condominiums in Pattaya last year was 2,887 units. The majority of sea-view projects was developed in the Jomtien area.

In terms of unit types, studios and one-bedroom units seemed to be popular, while projects launched before 2009 offered larger units, with two-bedroom units representing 43 per cent of total supply, followed by the one- and three-bedroom units at 30 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

“The product trends in Pattaya are quite similar to Bangkok; offering a smaller unit size to decrease the selling price,” said Phanom. “From our research, the best selling unit types are one-bedrooms priced between THB3 million (US$97,810) and THB5 million (US$163,020), and two-bedrooms priced between THB6 million (US$195,605) and THB7 million (US$228,205). And of course, people always go for the sea-view units.”

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The changing face of Pattaya property buyers

Thailand Property market

Perhaps it is useful to take a step back to remember that Thailand is the only Southeast Asian nation never to have been colonised by European colonialists and that democracy in Thailand only took root in the 1930s. Clearly there will be lessons to be learned as democracy continues to mature in Thailand. The United States itself underwent numerous civil conflicts and social upheaval in its 230 years of democratic history. More recently, Thailand has proved its resiliency throughout various adverse events that run the gamut from economic crises, political uncertainty, natural disasters, and flu pandemics.

Some observers are concerned that the global financial crisis may affect the Thai real estate market. Generally, a real estate bubble occurs when property prices rise quickly in a short period, primarily from speculation – resulting in a supply-and-demand imbalance. When property prices are rising faster than the cost of money and banks continue increasing loan-to-value ratios, funding becomes easier – propelling additional speculation.

Thailand is member of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) trade bloc and has free trade agreements with India and China, two fast-developing economic powerhouses. Consequently, many multinational companies are using the country as a regional base for its operations or a place to station employees who travel around Asia. Foreign investment in Thailand is constantly expanding, supporting the strong economic growth of the country.

Real estate developers in 2010 are more cautious and many have professionalized their operations

Thailand’s property market was able to rebound from past crises and there is every reason to believe it will be able to absorb the blow of recent political tensions. The taxation situation has actually improved the conditions for purchasing property in Thailand, and if property prices do dip slightly as a result of the current situation it may actually be a good time to buy as there is a very real possibility Thailand property will regain its golden outlook soon. As a result, the financial condition of most major housing developers in Thailand is much more robust than in the past. The development of the local bond markets and increasing domestic savings has the made the industry much less dependent on foreign funds, a significant difference from 1997.

The 2008 global financial crisis has directly and indirectly impacted the Thai Real Estate Market . As Global Financial Crisis a result, it has also adversely affect the real estate market even though the industry has strengthened immensely since the 1997 financial crisis. The crisis – caused disposable – income decreases will result in falling consumer sentiment and confidence and the postponement of any purchasing decisions on the Thai Real Estate Market . Although the overall environment may be negative for many housing developers, those with good reputations, strong balance sheets and operating efficiencies may use the opportunity to gain market share.

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