LIFE'S A BEACH FOR CONDO MARKETS IN PATTAYA AND HUA HIN
|LIFE'S A BEACH FOR CONDO MARKETS IN PATTAYA AND HUA HIN|
|BANGKOK POST Issued date 1 April 2012|
|By Surachet Kongcheep|
The deep blue sea and relaxed lifestyle are major drawing cards for these resort towns and that informationis not lost on a number of major property developers
Condominiums in Pattaya and Hua Hin are popular with Thais and foreigners, reflecting the appeal of the two seaside resort towns near Bangkok. The majority of buyers in Pattaya are foreigners, while Thais buy most of the condominiums in Cha-am and Hua Hin.The Pattaya condominium market is busier,especially in terms of new launches, mainly because the land area in Pattaya exceeds that of Cha-am and Hua Hin by about 600%.
When severe flooding in the last quarter of 2011 directly affected parts of Bangkok and adjacent provinces, people who lived in at-risk areas rushed to find alternative accommodation. Those who could afford it sought out condominiums in Chon Buri, especially Pattaya, as well as Rayong, Kanchanaburi,Khao Yai, Cha-am and Hua Hin.
Many of these flood refugees were residents of housing developments and were experiencing condominium living for the first time.Some subsequently became interested in buying a unit in Pattaya, Cha-am or Hua Hin as a second home. Convenience, ease of maintenance and abundant supporting facilities make a condominium unit an ideal secondhome choice.
Cha-am and Hua Hin are very different from Pattaya in terms of nightlife and entertainment, with the former drawing families or retirees who prefer to spend relaxing weekends. Pattaya offers more colour and variety as well as shopping and nightlife, a water park for children and other activities. Some Thais still prefer to stay outside of Pattaya, in areas such as Wong Amat, Jomtien and Na Jomtien, because they are quieter, have less traffic and are closer to the beach. Foreign buyers in Pattaya may prefer to stay in Pattaya,Phratumnak and Jomtien as they spend much of their time on the beach.
The activities of listed developers from Bangkok in Pattaya, Cha-am and Hua Hin have changed significantly over the past three years.
Many condominium projects in Cha-am and Hua Hin are undertaken by listed developers. Sansiri has been in Hua Hin for many years, becoming popular there, and continues to develop a new project every year. Land &Houses launched its first project in Hua Hin two years ago and was successful, so it plans a new one this year. Major Development has been successful in Hua Hin for the iconic design at its two projects. The high take-up rate of a new project by Charn Issara also shows trust from buyers. In addition, Pran Buri, 30km down the coast, is becoming a new frontier for condominium development with 380 units launched last year. SC Asset also plans a new condo in the Hua Hin area.
Most developers in Pattaya are local companies and they are very successful in the market. Among listed developers from Bangkok, Raimon Land has been successful in Pattaya in the past three years with three projects and it launched a fourth last year.Prinsiri also has a condominium behind The Avenue Pattaya. Major Development offered a high-rise project in Jomtien achieving a high take-up rate in last year. In addition,some hotel management groups have launched projects in joint ventures with condo developers, where the selling point is a con-dominium with five-star hotel management and facilities. As well, the Bangkok market leader in low- to mid-priced condominiums,LPN Development, has now entered Pattaya in a big way. Its first project in Wong Amat along Sukhumvit Road was sold out in a few months, the second in Jomtien also had high take-up, and a third project in Wong Amat was announced in the last quarter of 2011.
The average take-up rate in Pattaya is approximately 64%, compared with just 36% in Chaam and Hua Hin. The higher take-up rate in Pattaya reflects higher demand from foreigners and Thais. The main buyers in Chaam and Hua Hin are Thais, most of whom go there only on weekends. Some developers of projects in Cha-am and Hua Hin prefer to stage their campaigns in Bangkok to improve take-up.
Average selling prices in Cha-am and Hua Hin range from 54,000 to 73,000 baht per square metre, reflecting locations closer to the beach in a lot of cases, compared with 46,000 to 69,000 baht in Pattaya. Most condominiums in Pattaya are located farther inland, as much as one kilometre from the beach.
The Pattaya market has been growing rapidly in the past two years because of movements from new developers from Bangkok and foreign buyers. In addition, condominiums with hotel management are a new concept attracting more buyers and investors. Because of the limited land in Pattaya and the Wong Amat area, new projects will extend to the southern areas starting from Jomtien to Na Jomtien.
The Cha-am and Hua Hin condominium market will undoubtedly grow this year especially after last year's floods. Many projects are already showing higher take-up although the main market Thais seeking second homes has not changed. Location is becoming a challenge, though. Most new condominiums are now located farther to the north and south of Hua Hin town along the coastline, as available land plots with reasonable prices are more limited.
Surachet Kongcheep is senior manager of research with Colliers International Thailand, email
"Convenience, ease of maintenance and "abundant supporting facilities make a condominium unit an ideal second-home choice
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