Known among beach lovers and those familiar with its vibrant nightlife, Pattaya is a good place to live and invest. It’s a popular weekend escape from Bangkok and is just over an hour from Suvarnabhumi Airport. In addition to being a popular tourist resort town, it is also attracting an increasing number of permanent expat residents, many of whom are employed along Thailand’s eastern seaboard. This all helps keep demand for apartments in Pattaya robust.
As Thai law restricts foreign ownership of land; condos and apartments are the prime option for foreigners willing to invest in Thai property, since up to 49 per cent of the total units in a single building can be owned by non-Thais. This means that Pattaya condos are the primary property sector in this city, with a mature industry and some very nice developments.
For a time, values increased by as much as 10 per cent per year, yet since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, the market has slowed down somewhat. Nevertheless, Pattaya is still considered one of the best condo investment opportunities in Thailand and leasing prospects are considered good.
Your search for the right condo will no doubt begin with a browse in the local press and online. There are numerous property agencies that have generous listings of apartments in Pattaya to suit all budgets and tastes. The styles are contemporary and modern, according to Western tastes, with Thailand being renowned for its elegant décor and furnishings in tropical Asian style.
At present, the condo market in Pattaya is active, but is not quite as expensive compared with other places in Thailand. There is high demand from Thai and foreign buyers alike, because Pattaya is close to Bangkok and allows easy weekend breaks for Bangkokians. In Pattaya, the higher your unit is in the condo, the higher the price will be, naturally. Sea views also add to the price, although they are not always guaranteed due to unregulated development and unethical practices at the Land Department.
The market offers mid- to high-end properties and high profile condos can be sold for up to, and surpassing, 100,000 baht (~US$3,300) per square metre. Of course, it varies according to building, furnishings, position and height/views, along with the locale – Jomtien Beach, Wongamat Beach, Northshore (North Pattaya) and Pratumnak Hill.
Central Pattaya is busy, touristy and dominated by commercial property. To cater to the ever increasing demand, the property market has even sprawled to the beautiful beaches of Na-Jomtien, Bang Saray, and Baan Amphur.
Buying apartments in older projects is a chance to make a good deal and you can renovate your unit to match your own tastes and expectations – make sure the building you buy in is well maintained, though. These are from a previous era, and although presenting good bargains and suitable lodging, they are outdated compared to the new generation of ‘Post ’97’ buildings that learnt from the Asian Financial Crisis.