Thailand’s golf courses are helping to chip Thai real estate out of the rough, according to property consultant Duangjai Kraus of Engel & Volkers.
Mrs Duangjai claims to be close to a deal on selling one or two 18-hole courses in Pattaya and Bangkok to a buyer with his eye on the Korean market.
‘This investor loves Thailand and wants to market to Koreans that love playing golf,’ she told the Bangkok Post.
The investor – an ex-CEO of Samsung – has picked the lively destinations of Bangkok and Pattaya as they appeal to Koreans, for whom resorts like Chiang Mai and Hua Hin are too laid back.
But golf is increasingly seen as one of the surest segments in Thai property, says Cyrille Hareux of Bangkok-based real estate agency Company Vauban.
‘A lot of buyers are, of course, drawn to properties near golf courses simply because they enjoy playing – but it can also be a smart investment. The factors for strong capital gains are being close to skytrain stations in Bangkok and to the sea or a golf course in a resort destination,’ he says.
Golf-mad Koreans are by no means alone in relishing the hectic pace and energetic nightlife of Pattaya, which sits amid over 20 golf courses.
But for the crowd that appreciates a calmer atmosphere and more traditional setting, Hua Hin remains Thailand’s golfing Mecca.
‘There are now eight golf courses and two more golf courses are being developed, which is a major attraction for many expats,’ says Peter Ton, the Dutch developer of Baan Ing Phu, a high-end project in Hua Hin next to the Black Mountain Golf Club, considered Thailand’s best championship golf course.