For the past few issues I’ve been dwelling a bit on the effects of COVID 19 on the real estate market, and while not all sunshine and roses (nor doom and gloom), I think I’ve been honest with my observations, much to the scorn of local barstool prophets with their sky-is-falling negative forecast on the future of Pattaya (and the world in general). For anyone who knows me well enough, I think they’d all agree that I’m a very pragmatic person, sometimes to a fault. Having said this, I’ll typically seek out positives in a situation and focus on solutions and opportunities rather than problems, and this has generally served me well over the years. And I don’t seem to be alone in my optimism – nor has it been borne from wishful thinking alone.
Pattaya residents really do seem to be sitting in two very distinctive camps right now – those whose pessimism has caused them to retreat into a ‘why bother’ ethos, and those who can’t help but see opportunity on the horizon and are gearing up for a successful close-out of 2020 and a year of massive opportunity in 2021. Some may accuse me of wearing rose-coloured glasses with this outlook, but those in-the-know and those moving forward with the right attitude should see where I’m coming from.
The past few months have seen a huge surge in Thai buyers, something I’ve been talking about the past few months. Condos, houses, land, and even hotels have traded hands at quite a rapid pace.
Where’s the proof of this?
I can speak for my own company and quite a few of my peers in the business in saying that this is absolutely true. Not only that, but a trip to the land office would also set any skeptic straight, particularly downstairs where land and houses are transferred. My last three visits over the past few weeks were very encouraging. As frustrating as it can be to sit in a busy land office, I was quite happy to do so.
I know of several houses in Siam Royal View changing hands over the past couple of months to the tune of several hundred million baht, with one going for almost 100m THB. Another house in Bangsaray area recently sold for the unfathomable sum of around 300m THB. And several houses in the Jomtien area have also been sold for 15 – 25m THB. While several of these larger purchases were done with Thai buyers, Chinese also represented a surprising amount considering their lack of representation here at the moment.
What this tells me is that when the borders are opened up again – look out! I see a massive influx of Chinese buyers for land & house as well as condominiums. I know of a few prominent condo developers gearing up for this imminent surge who want to be ready for when the time comes. Sitting back and waiting for flights to start up again will be too late. Western buyers are also still well in the game with several of our more recent sales going to folks from Australia, the US, and Switzerland – and these were a few substantial sales.
There is also a brand-new luxury housing estate being launched in Jomtien that I have the pleasure of being involved with. Serenity Jomtien Villas is located on Thepprasit Soi 17, just behind the Rompho Market and adjacent to Jomtien Park Villas. It’s a fantastic 8 rai plot of land walking distance to the beach, taxis, immigration, restaurants, etc. It consists of 26 modern pool villas, 14 three-bedroom houses, and 12 four-bedroom houses with modern luxury designs, lots of outdoor living, private pools, etc. It’s been a labour of love for my partners and I who have seen the growing demand for new luxury housing in Jomtien. As nice as villages such as View Talay Villas, Jomtien Park Villas, Palm Oasis and Chateaudale are, they are all 12 to 20 years old now and the market for something new certainly presented itself. We are officially launching at the time of print and anyone (prospective buyers, agents, etc.) looking for more information can either go to www.serenitydevelopments.asia or contact me directly for more information (okay, shameless plug over).
Another area where I see massive growth is around the new motorway bypass opening onto Sukhumvit by Ocean Marina. Icon Siam will of course be a massive draw there with a huge luxury shopping complex, parks, etc., with an investment in excess of 10 billion THB. While it will no doubt be delayed a bit due to COVID, but no means do I see the plans being scuppered. There are also plans for several new condominium projects in that area, again with a couple being eyed by renowned developers, that I believe will be mainly targeting the Asian markets, including Thai buyers, due to its ease of access to both Bangkok and the ever-expanding U-Tapao airport.
There are also plans for major projects in Wongamat, including the newly launched luxury Arom Wongamat Condo, plus new projects on the horizon for Habitat Group, Ramada Mira North Pattaya, as well as the soon to be opened Marriott Courtyard.
The Mabprachan area is also quite hot with several large plots of land being eyed by developers as well as several individual building lots recently being sold. Add to this projects like the fantastic The Plantation Estates (which I recently had the pleasure of touring and was massively impressed) catering to families and those again wishing easy access to both Bangkok and the area industrial estates, not to mention the great cycle/walking path and many restaurants and bars cropping up in the area.
There’s no denying the hardship that many people are still facing, particularly local Thais suffering from the lack of international tourists. But to harp on these matters and not look to the future is foolish and frankly, very unproductive. I foresee a prosperous future for Pattaya and if we all keep our eye on the ball we should all prosper with it.
By Stu Sutton
Stu Sutton is managing director of Jomtien Property and has worked exclusively in the Pattaya/Jomtien real estate market for 16 years. Please feel free to contact him with any queries, compliments or good jokes at 086 108 6575, [email protected] or visit Jomtien Property’s website at www.jomtien-property.com