Are Short Term Lets the Future for the Pattaya Condo Market?


Over recent years we have seen a number of changes in the Pattaya property market, not least in terms of the number of short term rentals that now take place. It seems like only 3 or 4 years the ago the idea of someone renting a condo for 1 month, let alone 2 weeks was almost unheard of and landlords and real estate agents would have turned their noses up at the very suggestion with many just refusing point blank – often with less than complimentary remarks to accompany the refusal.

As times have changed, developers have started building smaller condos that are often described as “more like hotel rooms” with large emphasis being placed on space saving features. Many of the condos are now less than 30sqm and not ideal for those staying for the long term, not least because of the lack of storage space available that would undoubtedly be needed by anyone staying here for any length of time.

So what has driven these changes? The answer is quite simple really; the groups of people who are coming here have changed. A few years ago the majority of visitors were coming from Western Europe, the US and Australia and were usually single men of retirement age or those working offshore with Thai wives and families. These groups would make Pattaya their home and would want accommodation that reflected this fact. Move forward a few years and we see the majority of visitors are coming from Russia, China or Korea and are essentially coming on holiday and not looking to live here throughout the year.

These guests are looking for apartments where they can do their own cooking and generally take care of themselves for the duration of their stay and not feel constricted by the rules and timings that placed upon people by hotels. Obviously, the prices that are charged need to reflect the rates that these guests would pay on a full board basis in a hotel and landlords need to recognise this. The basis of the deposit also now needs to change where previously a 2 month deposit had been requested, this would be thoroughly unreasonable if someone was staying for just for a couple of weeks.

It would seem reasonable to expect that short term lets will become more and more common but long term rentals will naturally still exist. There are a number of people who are living and working here who are looking for stability and somewhere to stay long term so the demands for such properties will not die out completely. Who knows what will happen in another a 3 or 4 years as very few would have predicted the changes that have taken place in the last few years.

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