The old saying of “buy low, sell high” couldn’t be more apt if you were looking to buy property in Pattaya at the present time. Sadly, the coronavirus or Covid-19, has hit the city hard and tourism, along with related businesses are on their knees. Many people are being forced to leave the city, closing their doors permanently while others think that they may be safer back in their home countries, with better access to medical care.
However, as always, there will be winners and losers. For many people, Covid-19 was the “final straw”. In truth, many businesses have been struggling for some time with only the strongest surviving. Those who are currently in a strong position, and there are still plenty around are able to take on businesses that are under pressure, invest and turn them around. They are likely to have something at the end of all this, which was better than when it started.
The same goes for property. Lots of expats are looking to sell up with their investments and pensions suffering; they feel that they can’t afford to stay here. The strong Thai Baht means that they are in a position to take “a hit” on the asking prices while still getting their money back. Investors have an opportunity to pick up something cheaper than they could perhaps three months ago making it an almost a win-win situation although with the odds slightly favouring the buyer – certainly in the resale market.
Of course, the situation is also a potential problem for developers who have recently launched a project or are midway through construction. While it would be foolish to think that a large percentage of their sales weren’t conducted online, the majority will still be to people that have actually seen the property. Unfortunately, for the very obvious reasons, those people haven’t been in the Pattaya to view properties which will inevitably have a detrimental impact on sales. As a result, they are now offering incentives to entice buyers back.
Investors who have money to make multiple purchases are in a strong bargaining position. Developers will be keen to sell as many units as possible and prepared to take a hit on prices to ease cash flow and to try and generate some movement in the market. Naturally, with the quality projects at least, this movement will come, but it is the investors who are benefiting now and in the short-term. Cash-rich buyers have a great opportunity to pick up a bargain without hitting the seller too hard.
What about the real estate agents? The agents who have longevity will almost certainly see this through. After all, they have seen in all before with previous crashes and have the reputation, the know-how and the finances to be able to ride it out. Once again, it may be the buyers, and indeed the sellers, who benefit with less reputable companies falling by the wayside, unable to meet clients’ demands or needs.