Focus on Jomtien anno 2014

How is the current situation in Jomtien with respect to new developments, shopping centres and entertainment venues? Actually the situation is not so good. There is not even a single Starbucks in Jomtien. Jomtien couldn’t even support the only KFC on the beach road that closed down in 2006. There is not much going on in Jomtien.

A few years ago I predicted that Jomtien would take off as a result of the new Jomtien 2nd road. I expected that Bang Saray would experience a property boom as a result of the two planned water parks. I even expected that a lot of developments would pop up near the Phoenix Golf Club, mostly due to the planned high speed railway line.

My predictions did not come true. Jomtien 2nd road has not taken off yet, neither has any of the other areas mentioned above. Thailand seems to be in a doom and gloom period at the moment.

Let’s focus on the possible reasons why things are so quiet.

• The new visa regulations are most certainly having a negative effect both on tourist arrivals and have created a bad effect on investors’ sentiment. Let’s just say that tourists don’t feel so welcome anymore, especially those that wish to stay for more than two months at a time. Forget about doing any visa runs to the Camboian border.

• The political instability in Thailand is probably playing a role. Then again, there has been political instability in the country for the last 10 years and despite of that a lot of developments have taken place over the years.

• The crisis between Russia and Ukraine is most certainly having a negative effect on Pattaya’s property market. The Russian speaking market has been very important for Pattaya for many years.

• The Chinese and the Indians that were supposed to come in great numbers have not arrived yet.

• The USA and the EU will probably never see an economic recovery. Sadly, their time seems to have come and gone.

We can try to predict the future, however the future always arrives on its own timetable and in unexpected ways.

As such, there is nothing wrong with Jomtien, it is as good as any other location. It is very likely that Jomtien will get a large shopping center sooner or later. I believe that either CPN or The Mall Group will develop a mall in Jomtien, although the timeframe for this is uncertain. When it happens a lot of other developments will follow and change everything in no time.

The most successful residential developments in Jomtien have taken place along the beach road. Cetus is a good example of that, pre-sale started in July 2011 and 80% of the units were sold during the following 3 months. Aeras condominium is probably doing well, however I don’t have access to the latest sales numbers.

During august – september 2014 two new residential high-rises were launched along Jomtien 2nd road, adding more than 1500 units to the weak Jomtien market.

It will be interesting to see what happens during the upcoming high season, however the local Pattaya market is not transparent in nature. As a result of that we will only get the news if the results are positive.

There is a lot of tension in the air at the moment. The new launches are huge projects and it is best for Pattaya if things go smoothly and the sales numbers are good. Apart from tourism, real estate is the engine that keeps Pattaya going. Local magazines and newspapers depend heavily on income from advertisements for projects, the real estate agents need their commissions from sales. If the developers are in trouble it will affect a lot of people in town.

There is little doubt that the circumstances could be better. Some people wonder whether the timing for launching new projects is right. There is more uncertainty this year compared to the last 5 years. With that in mind, there is no shame in pulling a project from the market.

There is a risk involved in everything, however if the developers avoid building very expensive showrooms, or even better, reuse old showrooms, and if they don’t launch very expensive marketing campaigns, then they can minimize the risks. There is a good return on investment in land so that money has not been lost.

I imagine some developers are under a lot of pressure at the moment. Nobody knows the future and anything can happen.

Published 9 September 2014

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