Only the most foolhardy or the blind would say that Pattaya is not suffering a little bit at the moment. The fall in oil prices, the fall in the value of the rouble, the political problems – the list is endless as to the possible reasons as to why this is the case, but the fact is we just have to deal with it. Pattaya has been here before, during 2007, and it came through it.
With many of the proposed condominium developments put on hold or even c completely cancelled, at the present time it would appear that investors and indeed end users are looking at alternative options. The second hand or resale market for condos appears to be quite buoyant and this is probably a good thing with the accusations of oversupply that have been made in the past but it is probably the housing market that has probably gained the most in recent months.
There could again be a number of reasons for the strength of the housing market. The obvious suggestion being that you don’t have to wait for an entire project to be completed before you can move in. Condominium projects rely on the majority of the building being sold before they can be completed with often 30% needing to be sold before even building commences. In these harder times that we are experiencing this can put sufficient doubt in a buyer or prospective buyers mind to mean that the sale falls through.
I do however feel that the housing market isn’t for some, and it is said the Chinese influx of buyers will be against the idea of the ‘company’ owned properties. This may just keep the condo market alive to a degree, with some of the latest major development being launched in the midst of these hard times being Chinese developers.
Another suggestion could be the old “a man’s house is his castle” idea. There is a sense of actually owning something that you don’t get with a condo. Your house is yours and essentially you can do with it what you please – something that you can’t do with a condominium and when other factors come into play, this really could be a deciding factor.
The more cynical may argue that fear of who your neighbours may be might come into play. Over the last 5 or 6 years we have seen a major influx of Eastern Europeans, predominantly Russians and the surrounding countries and with rumours of a mass influx of Chinese coming to the city many people feel that they may not want them living 18 inches away. This is of course not for racist reasons, but different cultures have different, perfectly acceptable ways of living but there can occasionally be clashes. This is not such an issue in a house.
The next 18 months will be very important for Pattaya, the housing market is stable, the resale market is stable but new developments in terms of condominiums are suffering – will this continue? Only time will tell, but in the long term vision of it all, Pattaya has shown its resilience against the down times, has recovered once before, and I feel will do it once again.