Getting Back On Track
With the festive period now over and done with, and as we settle into the new year, the local property market continues to tick over quite nicely, even though it is probably fair to say that the traditional increase in interest from Western European buyers, and in particular the British, has not yet properly kicked in. That said, it is not especially unusual and I believe that particular demographic will do more in the coming weeks and months as increasing numbers arrive for their winter breaks. While it does not tend to be a particularly big market for us, I understand that the demand for local real estate from Russian visitors has increased significantly already, as high season arrivals grow again after an initial lull due primarily to the pre-Christmas flooding.
The extremely impressive sales of, in particular, off plan condos achieved in Pattaya over the last couple of years or so have created strong interest in the city amongst many property developers, both those with prior Pattaya experience and also those who have not previously developed in the area. Accordingly, there has been a noticeable increase in the amount of interest in prime development sites recently. However, there is now a shortage of good sites, particularly close to the centre of town. The logical conclusion to draw therefore is that development will start to move a little further down the coast, and mainly to the south, rather than to the less attractive and more industrial north. Already there are new developments just to the very southern end of Jomtien, technically in Na Jomtien, such as the new, very large and high end Centara development and the Nam Talay project. There is also new development down further towards and in Bang Saray and I fully expect this trend to continue over the coming months and years.
The continued growth of the greater Pattaya region has recently earned further recognition. The International Association of Golf Tourism Operators named Pattaya as the best golfing destination in Asia/Australasia at its recent annual conference. The area will shortly become even better in that respect with Siam Country Club announcing that they are developing a further 18 holes to complement the, I think, 45 top quality holes that they already have. Towards the end of last year, I suggested that on the back of the floods, particularly in the industrial areas north of Bangkok and in Ayutthaya, the Eastern Seaboard and thus Pattaya would likely benefit. In particular I said that I thought a number of big companies would relocate to the Eastern Seaboard industrial estates from those areas, given that they appear likely to flood again in the future. So I was very interested when a good friend of mine based in the Amata City industrial estate told me last weekend that in the previous week alone 8 new companies had signed deals to move from those very areas into the Amata City property, which is just outside of Pattaya.