Lifestyle and investment properties in Thailand have always been a popular option for overseas buyers, with inner-city areas like Bangkok previously being the destination of choice for investment properties, and popular resorts like Phuket a pull for those wanting an idyllic holiday home. Yet the tides are changing and the beach-front city of Pattaya is rapidly moving into the spotlight.
“The property market in Thailand has continued to strengthen,” comments Lee Chettoe, Senior Property Consultant at Knight Knox International. “The floods last year merely shifted the focus of investors from Bangkok city centre over to Pattaya, which is currently the fastest-growing city in Thailand.”
Pattaya is certainly a city with huge investment potential, particularly as the eyes of the world will be turned towards the Asian city in 2015, when it becomes the central hub for the launch of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). Chosen for its reputation as a safe city with a strong infrastructure and easy international access, it was also the ideal choice because English is the official language of the 10 ASEAN member nations and Pattaya already has many English newspapers, TV stations, radio stations and internet sites.
Reinforcing the strength of the Pattaya property market, Chettoe also says, “There has been a noticeable uplift in the amount of enquiries we have received for apartments in Pattaya, particularly from British investors, which has allowed us to expand our portfolio considerably, to cater for the surge in demand.”
Speaking to agents on-the-ground in the city is encouraging, as it appears that all available land plots are being cleared in preparation for future projects which are needed to fuel sales. In turn, this will boost tourist numbers and provide work for overseas relocating industries, increasing the number of ex-pats and foreign workers looking for second homes.
One such agent, Andy Moss, Director of CPA Developments, has worked in Pattaya for the past three years and is confident in the sustainability of the market in Pattaya, saying, “The predication of the market slowing down is one prediction that could not be more wrong. Sales numbers increase every month and new developments appear on a weekly basis, to the point where land sales and prices are at an all time high.”
In spite of recent events, the country has shown rapid signs of recovery after the heavy floods last year, which devastated towns in the ChaoPhraya basin and Bangkok, and put a huge strain on the tourism industry which they so heavily rely on.
The investment opportunities in Thailand are endless, even more so now with the proposed building of a new four-lane Superhighway from India, which will allow merchants and tourists a direct route from Assam (north-east India) through to Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The CBRE Asia Pacific Retail Capital Value Index also rose by 3.4% quarter-on-quarter at the beginning of2012, further highlighting the increased demand for investment in the Asian markets.
When you also take into account the current stability of the Thai Baht and the recent CBRE (CB Richard Ellis) prediction of the country’s GDP rising to 7.3 % in 2013, investors will be hard-pressed to find a country riper for investment.
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