Pattaya hotting up in investment circles

Pattaya could become the next big thing in property investment circles as foreign investment increases and outside interest grows.

Pattaya is a city on the east cost of the Bay of Bangkok. It is located roughly south-south-east of the Thai capital and it has a population of just over 100,000 people. All in all, it would seem like a simple town in the vein of hundreds of such towns all over the world, but the location of this city and the current shape of the property market have coincidentally joined to make it a possible hotspot for property in the near future.

The first jump for Pattaya occurred in the 60s, when it was converted from a fishing village into a beach resort town. Its unique location gave it some of the best sand in the area and therefore it became a well-kept secret for people that were looking for the resort lifestyle in a place that is not crowded by tourists entering the area on a consistent basis. However, that same exclusivity eventually started to make many people very interested in development of more resorts in the area and of course when that happens, a healthy and vibrant property market is not too far behind.

This has been very evident in recent years as in 2007 Pattaya received 6.85 million visitors with approximately 20 per cent of them being of Thai origin. Contrast this with the 2002 figures for Pattaya tourism which were under 2 million people, most of which were travellers from elsewhere in the country. In just a half decade, Pattaya has catapulted from a well-kept secret into the premier tourism destination for Thailand and that is precisely what has so many property investors interested in the city.

There are already a number of foreign investments within the Pattaya market, with investments of approximately THB 200 million having been put in by locals as well as people from Europe, Asia and North America. However, if Pattaya develops into a so-called "five star town" as many analysts believe it will, that amount will be miniscule compared to what eventually gets invested.