It is the middle of November 2015. I arrived in Pattaya in May 2014 right at the beginning of the low season. I was teaching then and the kids go back to school in Thailand in May. Shortly after the Songkran holiday, or Thai New Year Celebration Pattaya quiets down to off season status, and just like countless resort towns across the globe hibernates until the high season comes around again.
My experience with Pattaya prior to this was a fun filled holiday weekend I had spent at the end of October and beginning of November 2012.
Pattaya High Season 2014
The high season was just kicking off and it was already movin and shakin all over the place. Imagine my excitement when I moved to Pattaya at the beginning of May 2014 giving me the entire slow season to get my bearings. The beginning of low season is the perfect time for house hunting whether you want to rent a house, or buy a condo, your choices increase and the prices decrease during the slow season.
Martial Law was declared in Thailand complete with a coup only a few weeks after arriving in Pattaya. The nation was hit with a curfew and tourism ground to a halt. Resort areas such as Pattaya, Koh Samui, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Bangkok had their curfews lifted earlier than other parts of the nation since their economies are so heavily dependent on travel and tourism.
There were additional factors that compounded the effect the coup had on Pattayas tourism that year. In addition to the coup, the Russian economy slid to half its former glory and that burst the Russian property buying bubble that had been building for the better part of the last decade. Russian holiday makers also decreased and some nations warned against travel to Thailand because of perceived political unrest.
As if the decline of the Ruble were not enough, during that same year President Putin installed travel restrictions on international travel, as well as increasing taxes and fees for airlines that provided international flights, while simultaneously lowering domestic flights. This was done to promote domestic travel within Russia.
So that first “high season” wasn’t much of a high season. Things were very slow, the clubs were not that crowded the beaches had plenty of room, and the high season became the low season once again and there was not a lot of difference. Traffic and my commute was also a cinch the whole year round. After my first year I decided I wanted to move, now remember I moved in at the beginning of the slow season and as a renter I signed a one year rental contract to get the best rate on a condo in Jomtien Beach. I knew that finding a house this year was going to be awesome. Anything left vacant in July after the slow season I had just gone through was going to be a good deal because owners using the property for income are not going to want to go empty for another season.
Timing Your Investment in the Pattaya Property Market
Every investor always wants to get in on the market to buy when the market is at its lowest point, and then sell at its highest point. That is the golden rule of investing, buy low sell high. Now that we are again going into the busy season I know that the economy in Pattaya is bouncing back. The most obvious indicator to me is Friday night traffic. I have lived in resort towns the entirety of my adult life.
When the US economy was brought to its knees in 2008, when Lehman Brothers fell and the stock market took a swan dive I watched my Las Vegas commute of 4 miles that took up to one hour during the worst parts of the day take less and less time. Within a month of the crash it took 40 minutes during rush hour, and by the time I left the job my commute time was down to ten minutes. There was literally no more traffic jams. After spending ten years in Las Vegas and watching the traffic get worse and worse, it was quite an eerie feeling for it to all dry up in such a short amount of time. Traffic was a direct indicator of the local economy which was fueled by tourism.
Many feared the property market would never bounce back. This of course is just as absurd an assumption as that of a five year old child who is sick and thinks they will never again feel well. Property always bounces back, it may not be quick, but over the long term property values will increase.
When the Economy Begins the Slow Road to Recovery in Pattaya
Pattaya is in the same situation now and the economy is now bouncing back. In the last ten days Thailand has welcomed 1 Million visitors and the number is expected to reach 29.5 Million before the end of the year. As with all tourist towns there has been a transition to who is now coming to visit this world class resort town. Where once you could see Russian travelers you now see Chinese, Korean, and now Thais are using Pattaya as a place to go and relax as well.
The economy of Pattaya is now on the upswing. The Friday night traffic on all major roads became gridlock, and Walking Street has become crowded once again. In 2014 Walking Street barely had crowds even on Saturday nights, now the weekends are packed and even weekdays are filling up again. Bali Hai Pier is seeing large numbers of tour buses, so much so that the city has plans to expand the parking area, and streamline the flow of traffic for taxis.
Should I Invest in the Pattaya Property Market Now?
Anyone who invests in the Real Estate market with any sense will tell you that a prime time to buy is during a crash or shortly after as the economy climbs its way back to where it once was. The savvy investor will keep up on the news, and watch which property developers in Pattaya are still competitive.
You may be wondering why I would write an article like this working as a new Real Estate Agent in the Pattaya market. The answer to that is simple. I am not the person who will tell you the market is booming when it isn’t, just like I won’t cry about the market being dead when it isn’t. There are always good real estate deals to be found all over Thailand . Now is a great time to buy or rent in Pattaya, or even to buy rental property.
Jomtien is an even better place as it is growing rapidly whereas Pattaya has built on most of its free land. Here, you can take a quick look at our signature boutique condo developments Habitus and Skylight Jomtien Beach Condominium , both built on this increasingly popular residential area in Pattaya.