Thailand is the third most popular place to buy property after the US and Spain, according to Themovechannel.com’s Top of the Props, with the Kingdom accounting for 6.78 percent of all enquiries on the real estate portal in April. According to the site, this is Thailand’s highest ranking ever, driven largely by an increase in activity in Pattaya.
For those with a knowledge of Pattaya this may come as a surprise but the infamous costal retreat has in fact undergone what could be termed a gentrification in recent years. Of course, Pattaya will be Pattaya but the city’s image is changing from a seedy getaway to a sound investment case. One cannot deny the flurry of activity in the condominium market in areas such as Wongamat, Pratumnak Hill and Jomtien.
Major drivers include the Laem Chabang industrial estate, just some 20 kilometres north of the city and easy access to Bangkok with plans to introduce a high speed rail link between the two cities by the end of 2018. Existing infrastructure also make Pattaya an ideal host to events and conferences.
On the downside, despite all these changes, Pattaya does have a reputation for being relatively uncivilised and the crime rate is one of the highest in the country. The city is notorious for its sex industry and organised crime gangs and families could be forgiven for wanting their children to grow up elsewhere.
Pattaya has up and downs, as any market. The question is, would you invest there?