Pattaya waits for rebound

Despite improving sentiment, Pattaya property developers are waiting for a turnaround in tourist arrivals at the start of high season in October before launching new projects.

Charlie Warner, chief executive of publishing and organising firm Exact Trading Co, said four projects in the mid-to-high-end segment are planned for launch in the fourth quarter.

"Developers want to see how tourist arrivals rebound, as they are the main property buyers," he said. "During the sluggish period, many developers told us sales dropped by 20% from usual."

In the first seven months, only five significant projects worth a combined 10 billion baht were launched in Pattaya. 

With only nine projects due to be launched this year, it is the first drop since 2010. From 2010-13, new projects totalled at least 15 per year.

Most active buyers were Russians seeking a condominium studio priced 1-3 million baht. They accounted for 60% of buyers. Thai buyers accounted for 25%.

Mr Warner said the number of Thai buyers kept rising, with many investing in units for the attractive rental market. There was strong demand from long-stay tourists for studios at large projects with 1,000 units and many facilities, yet lower rates than hotel rooms.

These units offer rates of 3,000 baht per night for an unlimited number of guests, 20,000 baht per month for a stay of less than six months or 15,000 baht per month for a stay of more than six months.

To boost the property market in the fourth quarter, Exact Trading will hold two property expos.

Pattaya Property Show runs from Oct 3-5 at Dusit Thani Pattaya involving 50-60 exhibitors including developers and realtors. The event is expected to record sales worth 6 billion baht.

The Thai Property Expo is being held from Nov 7-9 at Bangkok's Conrad Hotel, where about 40 developers will introduce projects in major tourist destinations such as Khao Yai, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Rayong and Koh Chang. Projects in London and Melbourne will also feature.

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