What is the status of the Pattaya property market? On Sunday, October 30, Michael Barricelli gave his views to the Pattaya City Expats Club at their meeting at Amari’s Tavern by the Sea Restaurant. Master of Ceremonies Richard Silverberg introduced Michael noting that he is the founder and managing director of Big Mango Properties with offices in Pattaya and Bangkok. He is also co-publisher for two property-related publications; the Pattaya Condo & House Reference Guide and the Property Newsletter – Pattaya.
Michael gave a very comprehensive presentation covering many aspects related to the Pattaya property market such as: (1) market drivers and general interest indicators; (2) factors impacting on the Pattaya market; (3) who is buying property in Pattaya; (4) what is selling in Pattaya; (5) factors to consider on whether to buy a condo or a house; (5) describing the distinctly different “Markets” that exist; (6) the due diligence for “Off Plan” purchases; (6) the common pitfalls when doing a property search; (7) remembering to budget for all acquisition costs; and (8) the ongoing costs of owning property.
PCEC board member David Meador updates members on Pattaya activities for the week, before handing to MC Richard Silverberg to introduce the guest speaker.
He mentioned that some of the market drivers are a continuing concern about the overall health and stability of EU and North American economies, the perception of a relatively stable political environment in Thailand along with core indicators which are strong (GDP, exports, job market), and mortgage financing is still available for Thais despite some tightening. Factors impacting on the Pattaya market include some strengthening of foreign currencies against the Thai Baht, the supply of condos continues to increase in most areas, there is access to quality healthcare, and continued development of high end hotels and shopping centers. Michael pointed out that the biggest increase in supply is in the Pratamnak Hill and Jomtien areas. Further, builders are making smaller room size units to keep prices within buyers’ budgets.
Michael Barricelli of Big Mango Properties gave PCEC an unbiased and comprehensive review of the Pattaya real estate situation, finishing with a check list of do’s & don’ts for use when buying property in the ‘Land of Smiles’.
Michael noted that buyers come from various groups. Retirees still find Thailand a favorite destination for retirement. Thais, especially those in Bangkok, are seeking second homes. Russians have been a recent addition. The American and British are active in the market again. Michael’s view was that British and American expats are now coming to terms that their lower currency value is not a fluke and are no longer waiting to see if their currency value rises. Further, later arrivals from Britain and America have no recollection of when their currency was much higher in value and are accepting the market prices. He said Australians are also very active in the market since their economy and currency value is strong. Also, there is increased interest from “new” buyers coming from India and China.
He said that houses were not selling well but rentals are in demand. Condos, except in the moderate market were selling well. Also, Michael pointed out that there are distinct markets in Pattaya – these different markets can be categorized by the amount of baht per square meter – starter/entry at less than 45,000, budget at 45,000 to 65,000, moderate at 65,000 to 90,000, high end at 95,000 to 135,000, and exclusive at more than 135,000. The prices mentioned are for condos. Michael said that houses tend to be 30% lower.
Former PCEC chairman Richard Smith discusses the activities of the Cross Cultural group, providing free English classes to Thais who are likely to deal with foreigners in their jobs.
Michael then listed several benefits and drawbacks related to owning a condo or a house. He also gave several pointers on what one should do for due diligence if purchasing “off plan” (before building is completed) and emphasized one needs to know their own risk tolerance as buying off plan has more risk than purchasing an existing condo or one that is very near completion.
He then described some common pitfalls when doing a property search. One in particular is not to take “advice” from a purported “expert.” Someone sitting at the next bar stool may not be the “expert” they claim to be. Another is not having a budget and sticking to it or over paying because you do not understand the market. Often the buyer is not aware that the purchase price is not all the costs associated with the purchase.
Michael concluded by listing some of the acquisition costs that you need to be aware of when purchasing property and ongoing costs after acquisition. Michael then answered many questions from the audience. Michael’s presentation slides are on the Club’s website at www.pattaya cityexpatsclub.com in the General Interest section. To learn more about Michael and his company, his website is at www.bigmangoproperties .com.
MC Richard Silverberg then called on Judith Edmonds to conduct the always informative Open Forum and bring everyone up to date on upcoming events.