January 2016 – Project Update

For our January issue we have been out again with our camera taking the latest pictures of developments around town.

Up on Thappraya Road near the La Baguette cafe is Treetops Pattaya a 15 storey condominium with views down to the sea.

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They expect owners to start moving in during January onwards and according to their sales staff have sold 60% of the development.

Over in the Pratamnak area One Tower Pratamnak located close to the beach on soi 4 has now built all the 20 floors and will start fitting out shortly with completion due in late 2016.

Here they have sold 60% of all the units.

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Over on Soi 6 Pratamnak there are lot of workers completing the exterior of the Winner Condominium with 107 studios, one and two bedroom apartments.

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Original due for completion in late 2014 we were unable to reach the developers regarding a completion date.

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Over on Sukhumvit Road close to the start of 2nd road Jomtien they have almost reached full height at the Green Boulevard, a Thai build and we understand that this project maybe sold out.

January 2016 – Happy New Pattaya 2016

20 years ago it was the place that people came to, but never would admit it, for fear of being badly judged. It was so small that today, you’d be hard pressed to find a local over the age of 25, that was actually born here in Pattaya.

They do exist of course and many of those ‘Pattayans’. are now very wealthy people due to the fact they bought the cheap land, which now sells for 100’s of times more than they might have paid for it. Gradually these wealthy locals began to build the city we see today and as the tourist dollars rolled in, it
made them richer and they built bigger more beautiful buildings. Even many of the foreign visitors, were so taken by this fantastic place and the opportunity it offered, that they too began building.

Now the tattoos all seem less of a concern as the bright new Pattaya has grown up and become a respectable member of Thailand’s most adored, tourist dollar earning destinations.

We love you Pattaya, Happy New Year.

December 2015 – Things are not always as they seem…Sukanya Gale A look behind The Riviera Group

If you live, or have been to Pattaya in the last five years you will surely have seen the numerous billboards around town promoting, The Palm, Riviera Wongamat or Riviera Jomtien.It is also likely that you have driven past Riveira’s sumptuous Wongamat or spectacular Jomtien showrooms.

Definitely, the Riviera Group are all about style. Whether you are looking at one of their showroom apartments or viewing one of their chic stands at their exhibitions at shows, their style is very much in evidence.

At their Wongamat showroom, they went so far as to build a special elevator to take prospective buyers up 8 floors to give them the actual view, they would get from an apartment, overlooking the spectacular Gulf of Thailand. Real showbiz!

Over 1,000 dignitaries, film stars, media and buyers turned up for the event of the year, when they opened their new showroom on Jomtien’s 2nd road.

So although The Riviera Group are a large company, at the helm are British husband and Thai wife team Winston and Sukanya Gale. Winston Gale made a name for himself in the UK successfully developing both commercial and residential real estate before arriving in Thailand, where he met and married his Thai sweetheart Sukanya.

They now have three beautiful children, so family life is their priority, with the business almost becoming their passion as well. Winston is very proud of their achievements over the past six years and has a great team around him, however he cannot give enough credit to his wife.

“If there was a smarter, more hard working woman around, I’ve not met her yet” said Winston. “She really is one of a kind”. Therefore we managed to catch up with Mrs Sukanya Gale in between juggling the family school runs and being a director for a major real estate developer.

Exactly what is your role at The Riviera Group?
Sukanya, “Well, I’m Projects Director & Assistant to the Developer, which means I virtually do a bit of everything I suppose. Since we started back in 2010 with our first project called The Palm, I became the very nerve center of it all. I had to liaisewith our Banks, City Hall, EIA, Architects and every other consultant imaginable and I can tell you there were so many.

I also built up and created all our sales and marketing teams, the construction teams and all the building suppliers too.’ If that doesn’t sound like much, Sukanya also was very hands on with design ideas as well as holding the complete three projects accounting teams together with a combined value of over 10 Billion bahts worth of real estate business.

Oh yes and don’t forget she’s still a dedicated Mum to their three adorable children. Winston added, “Such is the contribution Sukanya makes, the Riviera Group would not be where it is today without her “.‘There are so many complications and generally issues to solve on a day-today basis with three projects on the go.

Then add to this that Thai’s also have their own delicate way of sorting out problems, circumnavigating them and concluding to a satisfactory end for different parties with different agendas.

For us we were fortunate to have Sukanya there and she has really been our ‘Fix-it’ person for so many years now, dealing with some potentially tricky issues” Winston stated.

By example, it took them eight months to get the Group’s 800THBmillion loan for The Palm. But not many knew at the time that it was Sukanya who was the lead negotiator over many months, helping Winston get the deal over the line, which was a great achievent. ‘Sukanya is so flexible in the roles she plays, that maybe one day she may go out there and do her own development
without me”, joked Winston.

Sukanya works seven days a week, but told us she loves her work. They started out by taking a small old Villa on the beachfront to sell The Palm. In those days they had no systems in place, very little staff and then CBRE came on board and things started to move quickly.

‘I always loved real-estate, but when I got the opportunity to get involved at the very heart of it, from the owners view point, it gave me more and more hunger to learn the business in as much detail as possible, ‘ said Sukanya.

‘I was lucky as I had Winston as my teacherto learn from. But with things moving along at break neck speed, I had to learn on my own two feet, otherwise I could have got left behind easily. As the months went by, the project and stages just kept changing, the pace of it was incredible. I also identified that Winston really needed my assistance from the beginning, with so much that could go wrong. Naturally being Thai I could help with any language differences too, so I was just pleased I was there at the time.’

“After we spent almost three hard years preparing to get The Palm started, it was just very exciting to see it all coming together and just how quickly it started to sell.In those days we face new challenges and it was not unusual for both of us to be working at home usually well after midnight on most evenings.”

In those days it was very much ‘hands on’ for both of them, and Sukanya remembers the first Siam Paragon Luxury Exhibition the group attended in 2011 where they spent the entire night setting
up their booth.

‘In those days, it was all very new and interesting to see how these exhibitions are put together. The next day I remember trying to encourage Winston to join the other Developers on stage at
the evenings Opening Ceremony, as we were both exhausted from having no sleep for two nights. Since then of course we and our hard working team have done many more exhibitions through the night, but you always remember the first high profile one the most”, explained Sukanya.

They were one of the first developers to take over a large area on the ground floor at Central Festival Pattaya. It took them over 48 hours to set up, but the event was a huge success. Tough work though for Sukanya as she had personally only been out of hospital for just two months after giving birth to their 3rd child.

‘It’s a family business so I support Winston every way I can. That really was a big exhibition in Central and again on the night, we were both completely exhausted mentally and physically but
smiled for the cameras anyway on the opening evening hiding how we really felt.’

If you visit one of their showrooms you cannot help to notice the attention to detail, from the fabrics to the pictures on the wall and even the sweet smelling flowers on the table. ‘I enjoy it all to be honest, but when it comes to the design part, I think I enjoy that the most. We have often had certain design and landscaping ideas, which seemed too difficult to do at the time, but then when they actually come together, it is incredibly rewarding.

I still love accounting, but with design, I can get to see ideas come to life.’ Everything from showrooms to brochures, advertising to exhibition booths all promote a chic style. ‘I learned quite early on and quickly that if you want something a little special, a bit different, you won’t always get it from designers you employ. You only get it from yourself, as that’s where the deep passion to succeed comes from.

We both love design anyway, so it’s an enjoyable hobby to develop as time goes by being ready for the next design challenge that comes along.’ The Riviera Group are well known for throwing the most glamorous launches with film stars and celebrities but often Sukanya will not be seen in the fore front.

‘I’m not one for attention. I just like to build teams and get the job done supporting the team all the time. I did an interview for a Thai magazine a fewmonths ago and the whole Riviera team were really thrilled to see me in a magazine spread, which really surprised me, as I hadn’t thought about it like that.

They’re now trying to encourage me to come out more so that’s why I’m doing this now.” They are both very much behind the scenes people but as the group has grown, then as a couple they have taken the limelight a bit more, especially as The Riviera Group were sponsors of the Movers and Shakers events here in Pattaya and in Bangkok.

“Winston has long encouraged me to be less quite and more outspoken about my passion for what I do, but I’m quite happy being myself.

We are both very similar;

we like to let our actions speak louder than our words. It’s easy to say this and that; it’s a lot harder to actually do all these things,” ‘Someone said to me recently that we really did run a family business and that they could see a family spirit within what we all did. I felt proud when I heard that kind of feedback as in reality, it’s true. I think I realized then that maybe it was ok to occasionally do the odd interview as I represent the team also and they want to see this from time to time from me, added Sukanya.

It is refreshing to see firsthand how this dynamic young couple are adding their magic touch and creating homes for generations to enjoy well into the future. Mr and Mrs Gale’s legacy will life on in Pattaya for many years. We wish them continued success.

December 2015 – Ready to Move In?

We are now seeing several major developments in Pattaya at the completion stage which is great news for owners.

So you probably paid your first deposit before they started actually building your dream home, and after a couple of years wait, you now get the call or email from the developer saying your condo is now ready to hand over.

At this stage you need to know what your rights are, before signing any final documents and handing over the final installment. Some of you may be used to this sort of situation, however we asked Craig Turner from Rightmove Pattaya for his own advice on moving in to a new property.

Firstly he explained that all developers need to have a safety certificate ready before they can let owners actually move in. This certificate called 0E6 takes a few weeks to get, so it means once they have it they can start moving people in.

Before you go to view the property do ask the developers representative that they do have this certificate which will cover the whole building.

Then at this stage you need to check the condo for snags. Depending on the quality of that developers build will also depend on how long this list looks.

Snagging could cover anything from checking the light sockets, light bulbs, looking for paint splashes, chips in the kitchen cupboards, cracks in the floor, making sure the water flushes and that the showers work.

He suggest that its better if the owners do this , however they do offer this service to our own buyers, especially if they are overseas. Regarding the property market, Craig said that there has been a steady flow of buyers and even during the low season there were some serious buyers around willing to grab some excellent bargains.

There were some great discounts on offer but they tend to be sold in days. A lot of the buyers seem to be already living here. Not so many overseas buyers.

He also explained that the mindset of buyers today is they still think there is more room for discounts and will say they want to wait another 3 months for prices to drop further.

It is true that the old market values have now, but he believes prices have reach bottom limits. In fact he tries to educate the owners more than the buyers, that it is quieter, be realistic then we should be able to sell it.

It is a renters market and it seems there are more enquires than previous years. Last few weeks has seen an upsurge in people coming into their shop on 2nd road. Meanwhile owners are starting to move into large developments including Centric Sea on 2nd road in Central Pattaya and Cetus on Jomtien Beach.

Finally Craig said he knows that the Chinese are buying up blocks in the city and although they personally have not dealt with many yet, he will be looking to employ a Chinese member of staff in the future.

December 2015 – Always Growing

The Pattaya Property Guide is evolving. This is our first issue in A4 size, a new front cover and a slight change to design on the inside. The distribution is also changing with more copies going into Bangkok, aimed at Thai and foreign investors looking for seaside property.

Since we first launched just over five years ago as the Pattaya Condo Guide in a tabloid newspaper format, we have stayed with the needs of our readers and advertisers to meet the demands of an ever-changing market place. From a purely classified publication about condos, at the request of property developers, we soon began to add news and features. This lead to a change in better paper quality. We also added houses and changed our name to the Pattaya Property Guide. with a swing
from less foreigners to more Thai Buyers, We are now responding…

Get a feel for the market We are a great way to value a property. Our websites Guide to Condo Projects is the most used resource for detailed information on off-plan, in development and finished condos in Pattaya. We still provide the best single source of information on Pattaya real estate with 1,000’s of resale property listings from agents and private sellers.

Our monthly “On Site” feature in the magazine gives true and up-to date status of the main building development in the area. Our busy websites attract around a 1,000
visitors a day, and they’re not looking for Thai property, they’re looking for Pattaya.

This makes us easily the biggest online channel for Pattaya real estate and our Facebooks are connecting our advertisers to the new generation that live on their phones “If your not in the Pattaya Property Guide, Your not in Pattaya”, according to those looking from Bangkok.

November 2015 – Project update

With the start of the high season upon us many developers are ramping up their efforts with the aim of finishing in time to let the owners take possession and to collect that all important final payment

Not sure all current projects nearing completion will be able to finish on time but here are a few projects which we caught on camera recently. Centric Sea down in central Pattaya on 2nd road has owners moving in shortly.

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Further into the centre Centara Avenue is also almost ready with the large Golden Tulip project opposite well into construction stage too.

Around the corner towering above LK Metro and 2nd road Sansiri’s The Base has most of the exterior complete and are starting the fit out stage. In Pratamnak One Tower is reaching full height with great views across to Koh Larn.

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In Jomtien they have demolished their original showroom at the Grand Caribbean so they can start on the landscaping. This huge project is still at construction stage but interior work is in progress.

Also in Jomtien another large resort, Seven Seas now has some character with Domes and windows appearing and they are expecting to see owners arrive in Q1.

The Dusit Group have been busy with their Dusit Grand Park and Dusit Condo View both ahead of Schedule. With the AD Condo beside 2nd road Jomtien is starting to resemble a mini high-rise city on its own.

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With hopefully some good weather ahead, expect to see most of these projects start to gain their identities and we will soon be able to see for ourselves their brochure become alive!

November 2015 – Pattaya & Bangkok Savvy Property Consultants…

A group of investors from Bangkok with full of investment experience in pattaya have recently set up their new property consultancy and management office right in the heart of Pattaya.

Zet Estate is a property consultant and management. They’re trained and approved by The National Association of Realtors (NAR) which guarantees that we are working in a professional manner with high experience.

Jeep has been working as a professional realtor for the Bangkok agency and Developer for several years. and also invest in pattaya and Bangkok property. Jirayu invested in pattaya properties more than a value of 60 million baht in past 2 years.

Chatchawan also an investor,blogger of Properth website that contain a full of knowledge in real estate and investment. He said that we are an investor with experience of investment in Pattaya, we can evaluate price trend, worthiness , Return on investment that can guarantee you will get a highly potential property from us.

All three saw the potential here in Pattaya, so they have moved to the city and set up shop close to the Big C Extra in 333/11 Moo 9 in NongPrue.

Ham said, “We realize that the customer’s needs are top priority. If you want to buy, sell, rent or invest in a property. We offer a professional consulting service which specializes in Pattaya and Bangkok property.

Moreover they have “Zet Care One Stop Service” for set all your property needs such as maid service , Interior Design and home loan consulting. And they come up with 4B of Zet Estate. 4“B”

1.TheBest Quality
2. The Best Price
3. The Best Service and
4. The Best Choice

In past 2 year.Zet Estate has been invest more than 500 Million Baht in many developments and condos.In these and other condos they also handle the management for over 100 units. They are now promoting projects in Pattaya, Jomtien and Siracha.

‘Pattaya City is the good place for investment and a perfect place for second home. The property in Pattaya has a higher rent of more than 8% – 10% compared with Bangkok real estate which only offers between 3-5% returns.

Also many Bangkok buyers are looking for a second home by the sea too,’ said Jeep. She mentioned that there is in some areas of the capital an oversupply of units with THB200k per square metre compared with beachfront units in Pattaya going for THB100k per square metre.

Some of their customers are even buying 2-3 units, keeping one as a holiday home while renting out the other units to tourists or expats. Jeep was also very positive saying,’ Although the developers have been having to deal with the Russian investors, many Bangkok investors realise that there are great opportunities to buy now at a good price with good profits here in the future. The Chinese are also going to be a big factor as well.’

‘As an example in a prime location a small studio in Bangkok can cost approximately THB7 Million whereas the same studio in Pattaya’s beachfront can be bought for less than THB2Million.’

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They are now working with several Pattaya and Bangkok based developers such as Blue Sky Group, Global Top Group, APUS development group,The Urban property,One Group Development ,Origin Property and Serene Property & Development ,once they we find a suitable unit, they then provide the client with a detailed report covering a survey, all the information and they also calculate the rental returns and the eventual profits on that unit.

Zet Estate literally are a one stop shop as apart from sourcing good investments, they can also arrange bang loans and manage the property down to finding a suitable tenant.

We will offer you the best deals with the best location to maximize your pleasant because when you come us,you are a part of our family. Like our slogan “All your property needs we can set”

November 2015 – Pattaya based developer expands

Dusit Groups is one of the few developers who were founded back in 2005 by Pattaya born owners Borwon Wongkasan and Jarin Changlek

Many of you will be now be aware of their latest project The Dusit Grand Condo, as the first five floors of this Condominium are now clearly visible behind the Group’s HQ located on Jomtien’s 2nd Road.

Back in 2005 they were keen to create homes and neighborhood communities in the Jomtien – Pattaya area of Chonburi province.

So far the group have completed several large communities and are well known for their careful and considered attention paid to every detail.

This starts with the selection of development plot, the home design, and even hands on construction supervision with Mr. Wongkasan himself overseeing his foremen.

‘We are concept was simple as we were wanted to build a home that we ourselves would want to live in, ‘explained Wongkasan. He added, ‘Our homes are not merely products for sale, as when they have been completed we continue to manage our communities with our personal touch.’

This passion for detail has led them to grow to become one of Pattaya’s most respected and accomplished developers, with five unique neighborhoods already built including Baan Dusit Pattaya, Baan Dusit Pattaya Lake, Baan Dusit Pattaya Park, Baan Dusit Pattaya View, and their newest community called Baan Dusit Pattaya Hill.

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After encouragement from their existing customer base and demand from the local market as a whole, they have embarked on a new phase in the company’s expansion by developing two condominium projects, including the 36 story Dusit Grand Condo view luxury, and the Dusit Grand Park The Dusit Grand Park has been granted EIA approval and construction is already in progress.

This resort condominium project integrates a 6,400 square meter lagoon swimming pool on a 20,800 square meter area with full amenities.

These include a club house, Jacuzzis, water slides, underground parking, steam and sauna, coffee shops and restaurants.

All units are fully furnished and residents will enjoy life in a central location with nearby road access to the ocean and downtown Pattaya.

Designed as a vacation style resort, Dusit Grand Park is a new residential complex near Jomtien Beach with eight-six story buildings surrounding a huge multi-level lagoon pool with water attractions, sundecks, relaxation areas.

November 2015 – Times are changing in Pattaya

Goodbye foreigners hello local Thai’s

When I first came to Pattaya in 1990 there were no estate agents or brokers as we now them now, there wasn’t a local newspaper, magazine or website. The market was run by Thai’s and most properties were advertised in ‘lawyers office windows’. The first ‘foreign’ estate agent was NT Realty who opened an office on 2nd road near Royal Garden in the early 1990’s.

It was a great location for passing tourists (foot fall), they launched their website in 1998. Many of the successful foreigners who set up the agencies that followed, started their Pattaya real estate careers working for NT. Over the years we saw a huge boom in Real Estate Agents, at one point about 4 years ago there were over 700 businesses selling property one way or another.

So its a great shame to see NT realty have finally closed the doors on the office in Pattaya.

In the last year we have seen several of the biggest foreign agencies leave the market, and many of the small agents have gone too, as the foreign property market has shrunk enormously, now only a few good foreign agents remain with main street offices.

Its no coincidence that these survivors mostly have strong ‘online’ presence and the low over heads that go along with virtual businesses is a factor, as busy foot fall locations are now so expensive.

In the place of the disappearing ‘foreign agents’, we are now seeing the resurgence of ‘Thai’ agents and brokers. In this issue we welcome ZET Estate, to Pattaya, a group of smart young Thai entrepreneurs from Bangkok, that recognize the fact the Pattaya market has shifted back to the Thai local buyers and Indian, Chinese foreign investors.

This is a new era, if you’re a developer adapt, if you’re and agent, adapt, if you’re a seller, find an agent that understands the new market, if you’re a buyer you have a huge choice and should find a bargain.

By Charlie Warner

October 2015 – It’s a Renters Market Out There…

In the past when you went into an estate agent’s office and said you were interested in renting, they would hand you a list of properties while they talked to Russian buyers. The renter was very much the poor relation.

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Well not any more as with less buyers around many agents are now relying on the rental market to make ends meet. Therefore this month I went out around town to see what was available.

OK let’s not dwell on the fact that the Russians have almost left the city, as that is all too clear to see. However there are renters around who are keen to sign long-term contracts, and the agents I talked to actually said business was quite brisk.
Firstly and perhaps the biggest sector looking are the large number of resident expats.

Here according to Carol Chang from Coastal Real Estate Pattaya, they have had several enquiries from residents researching the rental market to find out what they can now get. Some are looking at downsizing but the majority are still able to maintain the same size property but at a lower rate.

Over at Alan Bolton Property Consultants their rental manager Patrick On-lam told me that he had had several enquiries from teachers needing to find rental property before the new academic year starts.

Another client was the giant Kawasaki motor company who had recently opened a large operation in Rayong, however many of their executives preferred living in and around Pattaya.

I have for the past 18 months rented a large 2 bed condo in NaJomtien beside the sea.

It’s a great place to live but with daytime meetings and social events in the evening to attend, I can clock up a large number of kilometers every month.
I therefore decided to see how hard it was to check out a few options.

Go Online And Google Pattaya Rentals
First and easily you best port of call is to go on line and Google Pattaya Rentals. Apart from checking out our own magazine’s popular website www.pattayacondoguide.com or www.pattayahouseguide.com where you will find a large number of properties for rent, it is also worth going to a few of the local agents sites.

Here you can choose the area, size and of course price range. If you limit is say THB30,000 a month I would recommend selecting up to say THB35,000 as most owners are will to offer a discount especially if you can sign a year’s contract.

I found when actually arranging a viewing with the agents that you could normally find out how long the condo had been on the market. If it had been empty over say three months then that means they have lost revenue so may prefer to take a lower offer but with the view of having a reliable long-term tenant.

I found that there was a huge difference between rather older condos furnished with the bare minimum against some of the newer units with modern furnishing.

When I am looking for a place to rent, I prefer something bright as I tend to work from home. Also I will always check the mattress and the sofa, as badly made furniture can mean any savings you made in the rent will be spent at the Chiropractor.

It’s amazing how some properties are furnished as if the owner expects you to sit in an almost empty lounge with minimal furniture. Or you have the extreme where the colours are so bright it’s like living in a go go bar.

With Indian executives, teachers, corporate clients and expats, there is a healthy turnover of property, but I cannot see it changing over the next few months even though we are getting close to the high season or should it now be called mid season this year.

According to various reports Pattaya currently has a large number of new and secondhand condos to fill and with large projects like Centric Sea, Cetus, the Palm, Naturaza and Inxx all about to be completed, the stock will grow rapidly.
Yes the clever renter who does his homework will find some great places to live out there. Happy hunting.