Property in Thailand is probably one of the most lucrative investment arenas, worldwide, with prices almost 1/3 of an equivalent unit in most top Western destinations. This particularly applies to Pattaya where the total value of condos sold leapt from US$12m in H1,2005 to an astounding US$222m in H1,2008 (Bt 392.4m-7,258.33m), with prices rising from US$1,929 prices per square metre (psm) to US$3,264 psm (Bt63,096.51 - 106,767.98). In one case, The Cove topped Bt220,000 psm; the equivalent of top Bangkok prices. Being such a lucrative arena, however, makes the property market highly susceptible to scam merchants, one such we will elaborate on after giving you the background to the Pattaya Property Market.
At the height of the property boom in 2006, the spin merchants were hailing Pattaya as Thailand’s premier tourism destination, with 6.1 million tourists in 2006 and an expected 6.8 million for 2007, literally whetting the voracious appetites of speculative investors, who were told by a worldly-wise, hyper-affluent client of one of Thailand’s largest foreign developers, Raimon Land, that “you can grow your investment by 30% to 40% in the first year if you buy off plan. Annual rental yields are 10% to 12%.” “Backed by a thriving economy and a populace brimming with retirees, tourists, expatriates and prosperous businessmen, Pattaya is fast turning the heads of savvy investors looking for handsome returns in a beach destination. Pattaya continues to attract astute property investors, who believe today’s market conditions offer the opportunity to lock into excellent future returns, either from rental income or through capital growth,” Raimon Land’s ‘Why Invest … Pattaya, March, 2008’ hyperbolized.
To hear such spin merchants speak, anyone would think Pattaya was the equivalent of Florida or the Bahamas, where the streets were literally paved with gold and fortunes were to be made overnight, merely by buying property one day and selling the week after at a substantial profit, particularly off plan. In reality, Pattaya is a cosmopolitan city, largely inhabited by non-natives. The actual natives, i.e. those 104,318 residents registered in the city are largely of Thai-Chinese stock, the remaining circa 400,000 are principally workers from Esarn, or foreigners.