When Pattaya welcomes arrivals from overseas once more, they may be surprised with what they see. Nearly THB1 billion has been spent redeveloping beaches and public areas in a bid to make the region more attractive. The results are a sight to behold.
“The beaches across the Eastern Seaboard are now clean. Even Jomtien Beach is clean, and people are out there swimming in it. That wasn’t something you would see a few years ago,” Tommy Almond, Lazudi Consultant, explains.
These cleanup efforts align with the region’s focus on infrastructure. The M7 motorway has significantly reduced travel time between Bangkok and Pattaya while also improving road links between Chonburi and Rayong. Work continues on the highspeed rail line connecting U-Tapao International Airport with Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports in the Thai capital.
“There has been so much investment in the region when it comes to infrastructure. Getting around is easier. Getting to other parts of Thailand is easier. This will be improved even further when the train connecting Bangkok to Chonburi is completed. The entire region will benefit,” Lazudi Consultant Steffen Heitman notes.
Infrastructure improvements will also allow more people to truly explore the region. From island hopping to a day out with the kids, Tommy believes the Eastern Seaboard now has something for everyone.
“When you drive around the Eastern Seaboard, you realize just how much there is to do here. Parks and entertainment venues can seemingly be found around every corner. It is the most underrated destination for families in Thailand. Everything you could want is right here,” Steffen reports.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Pattaya has tried to rebrand itself. Past attempts have come up short, but these efforts feel different, according to both Tommy and Steffen, two Thailand real estate veterans.
“Pattaya is earning a new reputation as being a family-friendly place. The entire region is changing. A lot of action has been taken which is making it attractive to more people,” Tommy says. “These efforts are different from past attempts. There seems to be more commitment to see this transformation through to the end.”
Growing appeal of Pattaya extends to real estate
The Pattaya real estate market is also evolving. Shifts in both demand and buyer demographics may be surprising to some, but are another sign the Eastern Seaboard has truly changed.
“We are seeing an increase in clients from Bangkok and Thai clients in general. More people have realized just how great it is here. Chonburi is an appealing place to own a second home,” Tommy states.
He adds this group has different requirements and bigger budgets than traditional buyers. While demand remains for THB1-2 million condominiums, developers have also begun bringing more diverse projects to the market in order to meet shifting requirements.
“We are now seeing a better mix of project types as developers respond to new trends. We are seeing ultra-luxury villas being built again. That has to do with more families viewing Pattaya and the Eastern Seaboard in a positive light,” Steffan reports.
Developers have become mindful of not only what buyers are looking for but also where. There are several locations along the Eastern Seaboard where interest is rising.
“You are seeing several other areas along the Eastern Seaboard where people are now considering. Si Racha is growing, especially among Thai buyers. Rayong is taking off and there is room for even more growth here as well. Bang Saray is an up-and-coming location which has a lot of potential,” Tommy says.
Gearing up for reopening
While it remains to be seen when exactly tourists will be welcomed back to Thailand, Tommy and Steffan expect them to return in droves once Pattaya reopens.
“People are already making plans to return. It’s not going to be a slow build. There will be an influx of arrivals to the Eastern Seaboard,” Tommy says. “Clients tell us how excited they are to come back. Those who haven’t bought real estate have a shortlist of properties they want to see when they get here. And I don’t even think we are scratching the surface yet.”
Earlier this year, Lazudi opened its Pattaya office, and the firm is currently hiring staff in anticipation of Thailand reopening. Inquiries have increased in the past few weeks and the team wants to be ready. In the meantime, property buyers looking for a deal may still find one.
“Price wise, it is still a good time to buy. You are seeing nice units available for low prices. You can get a lot for your money and most property seekers will have options to choose from,” Steffan points out. “Prices will rise once tourism restarts so there are benefits to making a decision now as opposed to waiting.”
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Steffen Heitman & Tommy Almond