Bits and Bob Around Town


Bits and Bob Around Town


What Low-Season?

It’s been quite the impressive low season as far as rentals are concerned. Obviously we’re a bit insulated in our own business, so I can only say how we’ve been business wise, but speaking with other agents around town there actually seems to be a shortage of good rental properties at the moment. This time of year we’re typically filling holes between contracts over the peak season, but there are now very few holes to be filled (ahem).

I’ve been quite vocal over my concerns of over-building the past couple of years with the glut of large scale condominium projects both in development and actually underway. With over 10,000 units currently under development in Jomtien alone, I was concerned that many of these units have been sold to investment clients looking to turn a rental income – only to be disappointed in the future when the demand wasn’t there.

However, I’m starting to feel much more bullish about the rental prospects. If this year is any indication as to market demand, I think we are definitely in need a lot more rental properties – particularly in the low to mid-end which many of these new buildings are catering to. We are currently unable to fill daily requests on 3 – 6 month rentals for units ranging from 10,000 – 25,000 THB per month. Hopefully this great demand keeps up – I’m quite sure it will actually increase with the expected increase in local labour demand stemming from the 2015(6?) ASEAN agreement.


Housing Demand

Now this one I’ve been calling for a while. The demand for houses in the past year seems to have increased dramatically. I think the combination of more Thai buyers (who can easily own land in their own names) and more expats putting down stronger roots here has pushed demand for house purchases and rentals here at the highest point I’ve seen in many years.

I know quite a few more ‘boutique’ housing developers here (guys doing small projects or ‘one-off’ houses) that are having a hard time keeping up with demand. Another factor that seems to be pushing more people into houses is how busy the area is becoming. Fighting traffic congestion in both Pattaya and Jomtien seems to be inspiring people to look a bit further outside the city for their daily lives. I must admit, the thought of getting a bit outside of things is now looking a bit more appealing, though being out of food delivery range seems to be keeping me complacent. I think we’ll see quite a number of new housing projects springing up in areas such as Huay Yai, Silver Lake and Chaiyapruek 2 over the next couple of years.

Purchasing houses for investment returns is also proving to be very good. There is a big demand for 3 or 4 bedrooms single family homes for rent. You can quite easily purchase a three bedroom home with a pool and garden on the east side for about 6 million THB and turn around and rent it for 50k + a month. The nice thing with house rentals is that tenants typically stay on for 2 or 3 years, giving you solid annual returns with no down time.


The Riviera Wongamat

Congratulations to Winston Gale and his team for the hugely successful launch of their new project, The Riviera Wongamat. I been fortunate enough to visit their project a few times with clients, as well as attend one of their fantastic agent’s nights, and each time have been amazed at the amount of new ‘sold’ stickers on their building matrix. It really is a superb project – great location, excellent room design, pricing, etc, etc. Winston had great success partnered with Rony Fineman on The Palm Wongamat project which was about 90% sold before they even put a hole in the ground and I’m expecting much the same with The Riviera Wongamat. If you’d like any more information on this five-star project, please contact me for more details.

Heights Holdings

I’ve been very impressed with the development and progress of two of Heights Holdings flagship projects, The Wongamat Tower and Peak Towers, which pretty much bookend the Pattaya area.

I popped into Wongamat Tower last week to check out a unit we sold for a client and was very impressed with the quality of finish and the amount of progress made in the past 8 or 10 months. Also, the views are absolutely stunning. I’m sure this building will be in very high demand for both sales and rentals in the future. There are still some very good units to be had off-plan as well as some great prime re-sale units as well. Again, please contact me if you’d like more info.

Peak Towers in Cozy Beach is also going up quite fast and is becoming visible from all corners of Jomtien and Pratumnak. Again, this should prove to be a landmark project with superb views, great facilities and top-notch location. I think rentals in here will prove to be very good as well.