East Pattaya has been one of the most popular places for expats to reside for a long time now. However, the ‘Darkside’ as it is still known by some of Pattaya’s residents maybe reflects the lack of investment in the area as much as anything else. However, over the last couple of years, the region has witnessed significant investment in infrastructure – much of which is arguably better than that in downtown Pattaya.
Investment in infrastructure is often one of the key indicators of an area going places and on the up. After all, if it wasn’t, why would you bother to invest in something that was on a negative spiral? We will investigate this and other factors that are clear signals for when you should consider buying or selling a property. You might be looking to buy as the end user or you may be looking at an investment property with capital growth and an income in mind, regardless the principles are still the same.
Where is the new infrastructure in East Pattaya?
The major investments in the infrastructure in East Pattaya are all over if we were honest. Some of the most notable, and the ones that strike you most are the new highway connecting the existing 7 Highway with Sattahip, the new Robinson mall and the significant improvements to Soi Siam Country Club. That is not to mention the increase in the number of toll booths and the improved road network to Laem Chabang where many expats work.
The area of Pong on the eastern side of Mabprachan Lake is one of the areas that has seen significant growth over the last decade. Once a quiet, sleepy suburb (in the loosest possible term) of the city, you can now see numerous new housing developments, many of which are upmarket, luxury villas.
Of course, to cope with the influx, investment was needed in the roadways, the municipal administration buildings and in the modern world, fibre optic internet connection. If you drive through Pong you will see several new roads springing up and large mounds of excavated clay ready for further development. Surely this must be a buying signal if ever there was one?
When you consider the Thai government’s role in this you start to get other positive signals. A US$25 billion investment has already been agreed for a major modern rail link connecting the country with China, passing through Laos. This may not seem too relevant to East Pattaya until you realise that there is a line that will pass directly through East Pattaya.
What other investment has there been?
Roads, rail links and fibre optic are all great but we all appreciate that there needs to be additional investment to satisfy the needs of the local residents and businesses. As most will have recognised, East Pattaya is popular with families, many of whom are expats who are working for the major international companies based in the area.
The fact that these families have children means that there will be a requirement for quality schooling. The Regents School is well established and close to Pong and the Highway 36, the St. Andrews School in Rayong is also one of the mainstays but others were needed. This is where The Rugby School stepped in. Closely associated with the school of the same name in the UK, the school has 450 years of history and is traditionally regarded as one of the leading private schools in the country. This will bring the education standards up to compete with other major countries in Southeast Asia.
Shopping and Entertainment
As we previously touched upon, Robinson’s Group are moving to Pattaya for the first time and have acquired 100 rai for the construction of a major shopping mall that will include department stores, boutique shops, restaurants and a cinema. This will save those living in the east from making the sometimes arduous trek into Pattaya.
Of course, once one of the big players moves in then others will start to take note. Although only a rumour at this stage, the group that created Mega-Bangna in Bangkok, Siam Future Developments (SF) have purchased a whopping 700 rai of land. Assuming that the rumour is true and that they will follow the same model as Bangkok, we can expect major retailers such as IKEA, Home Pro and Big C to move in. This along with bowling alleys, cinemas and an ice rink are sure to appeal to everyone.
Siam Country Club Golf Club is also constructing a 4th course to satisfy demand so those looking to enjoy their golf will have yet another excellent option. If there wasn’t the demand, then once again why would major companies invest such huge sums of money? This MUST be another positive signal and an indication that now is the time to invest.
With talk of all these new projects, jobs will naturally be created. The SF project alone is expected to take 14 years to complete so will bringing construction jobs to the area for years rather than months. There has been talk of IT Tech, a massive engineering company moving to the region too. This will once again create jobs for locals and potentially expats. Of course, these people will need places to live and basic economics tells you that increased demand will mean increases in prices.
So, what are the long-term prospects for East Pattaya in terms of property? Well, the new and improved road links to Rayong and Laem Chabang suggest that there is an anticipation of increased traffic. The expansion of U-Tapao airport also will bring more people to the area and the rail link will also increase demand. The fact that shopping malls, luxury villages, schools and other entertainment venues are being built suggests that the general consensus is that people will be moving into the area.
Property prices are already on the up and demand is outstripping supply so capital appreciation is a natural result. This, when coupled with the new developments means that the property market in East Pattaya is thriving and expected to do so for years if not decades to come.