UA-610852-2 Issue 107|Retire to Pattaya Thailand UA-610852-2

Retire to Pattaya Thailand!


Issue 107

Pattaya real estate: A bubble about burst?

Real estate throughout most the world has risen dramatically the past few years--And Pattaya is NO exception.

It seems their are NOW more 'farangs' selling real estate then teaching English!

I say this sarcastically, BUT their has been a definite increase in the marketing and selling of property to the expat market--maybe with good reason as price increases of 50-100% in the past three years are common!

So is NOW the time to buy your Pattaya condo or bungalow?

Maybe, maybe not!

I'll admit to being a TERRIBLE forecaster on real estate prices as I've passed on several properties in Thailand, and other countries in the past years, only to seem them increase dramatically in price!

With that said, here's some reasons to BUY in Pattaya:

1) The new international airport being built, replacing Don Muang the current Bangkok airport, will be a short ONE hour drive from Pattaya. Increased tourism and correspondingly more foreign residents are expected.

2) Relatively cheap. Compared to other parts of the world, ocean facing condos for less than $75,000USD, NEW three bedroom, three bath home, gated compound less than $100,000! Difficult to find anywhere else that's reasonably safe with decent infrastructure.

3) Demography. North America, UK, Western Europe, and Australia have rapidly aging native populations. Many of these persons have saved little, and will have only meager pensions upon retirement. They'll look to retire to 'low-cost' areas, thus continuing to inflate prices.

Now, why NOT to buy property:

1) Property ownership is tightly regulated by the Thai government. In a condo building, for example, foreign NAMED ownership CANNOT exceed 49% of the total units. Regarding a home, yes, you can own the PHYSICAL structure but NOT the land! Farang CANNOT own land in their name, thus many establish a 'Thai Corporation' for the expressed purpose of doing so BUT this is being increasingly scrutinised by the authorities! Be careful!

2) Infrastructure issues. The on-going water shortage, that you can read about in the Pattaya newspapers, is a SERIOUS concern--And unfortunately one of the many BASIC municipal problems that continue to fester. See the TWO year 'construction' along the Beach Road promenade, for another example.

3) The 'price' to rent is CHEAPER than owning. If a condo or house rents for $400USD monthly, it SHOULD sell for around $48,000USD. In Pattaya, today, that property is priced about $70,000--A 32% difference!

4) If you buy, you're probably stuck. The real estate market in Pattaya is, relatively, ILLIQUID. If you should ever need to sell, you'll probably find it taking A LONG time. Further, BEWARE the 'zoning laws' are rarely enforced thus your seemingly 'quiet' bungalow could have a Karaoke nightclub move-in next door!

For SOME, buying Pattaya real estate has been excellent investment. And for others, OWNING their residence is a priority-as opposed to 'throwing away money' for rent.

And if you do buy, I HIGHLY recommend the following:

1) Choose the location, VERY carefully! A small home/condo in an OUTSTANDING location will always have buyers. Remember--location, location, location!

2) Move SLOWLY. Spending a minimum ONE YEAR in Pattaya before buying. Consider renting in close proximity to where you're buying to gain a 'feel' for the neighborhood.

3) Re-read the Real Estate pages on my site. I provide additional ideas on renting, buying, so on.