According to AREA, Thailand‘s Agency for Real Estate Affairs, real estate in Pattaya remains in good health, although construction has slowed.
Pattaya sprung up to cater for US soldiers during the Vietnam War and its beaches and bars still provide the world’s finest ‘rest and recreation’ – but generally for customers escaping office life, rather than a long-range jungle patrol.
The downside is that the robust recreational tastes of its pioneering vacationers – who first came to forget the hell of jungle warfare in 1961 – still set the town’s reputation.
In popular perception, this definitely not a family resort – although alongside its more notorious leisure opportunities, it offers more than 20 golf courses as well as family attractions like the Flight of the Gibbon and a go-karting track.
Pattaya can also offer conventional seaside attractions with a level of hospitality and service that is probably unique in the world.
For Terrence Allen Collins, who is building The Vineyard pool-villa development and has spent a decade in Thailand, the city can even go head-to-head with Phuket, generally seen as the country’s premier seaside destination.
‘Phuket is great as a holiday place but when you live there you cannot find the things that you can enjoy here – Pattaya is a tourist destination but it’s also a real city,’ he says.
In his view, expats feel the difference in the way they are served a coffee or a meal.
‘The competition between companies means that service here is exceptional and the region’s culture is also far more inclined towards hospitality than that in the south.’
Another practical benefit of the city’s entrepreneurial culture is in the quality of construction, says Collins, who has developed luxury developments on the outskirts of the city.
‘I have brought the level of design that you find in Phuket and here I can get incredible workmanship, with doors and windows made bespoke to my measurements,’ he says.
In recent years, Pattaya has also shrugged off its once down-market reputation, attracting an increasingly broad range of holidaymakers and upscale Thai trippers.
Pattaya is also set to reap the benefits of a massive infrastructure investment, which will bring the city closer to Bangkok and enhance its property values.
‘People who buy villas will be able to sell their land for the same price they paid for their house,’ he says.
Pattaya’s plus side
1. A ridiculous amount of restaurants, bars and clubs.
2. An exceptionally cheap cost of living.
3. A great beach.
4. Bangkok is only a couple of hours away.
5. An unbeatable service culture and tradition of hospitality.