Kingdom Property Co. Ltd.’s first condominium development in Pattaya has taken a major step forward following the securing of project financing from Krung Thai Bank PCL.
The new condominium development will be called Southpoint Pattaya and will be built on a four rai free-hold plot in the Pratumnak area, an increasingly popular location just south of Bali Hai in Pattaya City, an area currently undergoing a major transformation including the development of a new marina.
Kingdom Property’s executive director Nigel Cornick has had his eyes on Pattaya for almost a decade, as he was one of the driving forces behind the condominium boom that helped push the city’s image from a sleazy former R&R to the lush seaside resort is has become today.
“There is a lot of unfair criticism surrounding Pattaya,” says Cornick. “The city is attractive as the main commercial centre of Chonburi province which is the wealthiest in Thailand due to the many industrial estates, the automobile industry and the strong import and export base.”
Cornick also points to the changing demographics of Pattaya, which was previously a favoured spot of traditional European markets such as the U.K. and Germany. Today, he says, the visitor makeup has changed and Pattaya now sees a lot of visitors from Russia, China and local markets which Cornick argues are more family oriented. “Pattaya has become a family holiday destination rather than anything else,” he says.
The arrival of high-end resorts and hotels in the past five years has also helped change the image of Pattaya. High-end brands such as Sheraton, Hilton and Amari have given the seaside resort a certain up-market feel.
While still on the drawing board, Cornick reveals that Southpoint Pattaya will be in the high end of the market, but priced in the mid range. He predicts clients will be divided into two main groups, those buying for rental and investments and those who buy as a second home.
“Rental yields in Pattaya are actually higher than those in Bangkok,” Cornick says, explaining that the location of the industrial estates on the eastern seaboard, such as Laem Chabang Industrial Estate, has meant there is high demand for good quality housing in Pattaya. He says some developments in the city have long waiting lists and rental yields stand at around six to eight per cent compared to around four per cent in Bangkok.
A continued increase in the number of visitors to Pattaya also creates a good foundation for buying to rent. Cornick notes that Pattaya is expecting as many as eight million visitors this year with some nationalities significantly increasing their presence; the number of Indian visitors have increased almost eight-fold from 300,000 in 2011 to an expected two million this year.
Is Mr. Cornick worried about the global economic woes? No, he says, “the good fundamentals of Pattaya cannot be overlooked.”
Once completed Southpoint Pattaya will be managed in a manner similar to serviced apartments. The project will open for pre-sales in the third quarter of 2012 and is scheduled for completion in 2015. The estimated project value is THB 2 billion (US$63.5 million) and units, which come in studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom configurations, will start at THB 1.5 million (US$47,656).
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