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The market remains somewhat quieter than it was during the first couple of the traditional low season months. Nevertheless, I still believe that this is a typical low season much along the lines of recent years when the months between April and November have been characterised by a series of mini peaks and troughs in terms of how busy the market has been.
 
Thus, experience suggests that things will pick up again somewhat in the not too distant future. I say this because I am not aware of anything that should have fundamentally affected the market and therefore I believe what we are seeing are just normal market fluctuations.
 
A business acquaintance of mine in the hotel industry recently sent me a very interesting report on Pattaya from the perspective of that industry, which made for fascinating reading. Amongst other things, it reported that during 2011 the overall occupancy levels in Pattaya hotels averaged 66% for the year, which was a 9% increase on 2010 and a 17% increase on 2009. This figure is all the more impressive when one considers that there was a 28% increase in the number of hotel rooms in Pattaya from 2009 to 2010. According to the report, Thailand, Russia and China were the top three markets with a combined share totalling some 59% of the guests who made up those occupancy figures. 
 
For some statistics, the latest available data is for 2010. Amongst other figures reported for 2010 were that Pattaya had nearly 8m total visitors that year. A quarter of those visitors were Thai, which meant that, in terms of numbers rather than percentage points, the total number of Thai visitors to Pattaya had doubled from the year before, 2009.
 
Personally, I suspect that such a huge increase in such a short time frame indicates two things. Firstly, that a greater number of Thai individuals are now visiting Pattaya (as of course the figure doesn’t necessarily mean that 2 million different Thais
came to Pattaya in 2010) and secondly that many of them are coming here more regularly. 
 
As to the reasons for such a huge increase in the number of Thai visitors, I suspect that there are a number of factors. For one thing, the bigger and much improved highway between Pattaya and Bangkok has reduced the travelling time between the two cities quite significantly. Of course this would assume that a large proportion of the Thai visitors are coming from in or close to Bangkok and I am confident that this is right. For another, Pattaya is now a far nicer and more interesting place for many Thais than it was a few years ago. The shopping is far better, as is the choice of high end hotels, quality restaurants and nightlife, particularly for well to do young Thais. All in all, it is a much more attractive proposition than it was in the relatively recent past. 
 
 I have talked quite often about the greatly increased interest in Pattaya real estate amongst Thai buyers and particularly those from Bangkok. I think the figures in the report evidence that Pattaya is indeed now much more popular with Thai visitors and the logical conclusion to draw would be that many of those visitors like the new Pattaya enough to buy property here. Moreover, I think that
the trend indicated by the report for 2010 has continued and even grown further in the year and a half since then.
 
Certainly that is the sense one gets from being around and about in Pattaya during the last couple of years and based on reports from developers. The overall conclusion of the report is much the same as what I have been saying about the Pattaya market generally for some time; that one can expect there to be sustainable growth in the City overall, in the local real estate market and in the area’s hotel industry based on the strong trading fundamentals that exist here. And of course it is always comforting when others come to the same conclusion that you have reached yourself. 
 
We continue to get some great new properties listed with us, some of which represent absolutely fantastic value for money. One in particular that stands out this month is an exceptionally nice property in, arguably, Pattaya’s finest gated community, Silk Road Place, which offers lovely tarmac streets, gorgeous communal landscaping, stunning communal amenities and excellent security.
The house has three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a big, very attractive private pool. It looks absolutely fantastic, in fact one of the nicest looking properties, both inside and out, that I have seen for a while. It has been decorated and furnished to a truly wonderful standard, with expensive and beautifully coordinated furniture throughout.
 
The built-in appliances and double fridge in the kitchen are all expensive, top of the line products. The house itself is a quality build, with double skin walls and UPVC windows, as well as having gorgeous bathrooms and general high quality finishing. At just 8.6m Baht this property is way below the normal market price and 4m Baht less than a house of identical design in the same village, albeit with a lessor interior, that was listed with us a few weeks ago.

So whomever buys it will have undoubtedly got themselves a genuinely incredible deal. If you have any questions or queries in relation to the above, or if you would like to discuss any other matters related to the local real estate market, please call me on 087 137 0392 or email me at tgladwin@sallmannsthailand.com.