For many years’ foreigners have been investing in Thailand’s property market, predominately by the purchasing of condominiums. Towns and cities up and down the country have seen an explosion of building developments to chase and entice foreign investors. Some investments have turned out to be very shrewd, some, quite frankly, have been a disaster due to a naive, blinkered vision of some greedy investors.
The Condominium Transformation of Thailand
Since the introduction of the 1979 Condominium Act, landscapes and skylines have been changed beyond any way that was imaginable just fifty years ago. Concrete, glass and steel are now an accepted element of Thailand’s urban vista. Along with this, communities have changed due to the influx of foreign money and residents, many towns and cities now have a truly cosmopolitan feel to them.
Many of the developments that, almost spontaneously, grew out of nowhere during the early years of the building boom, post 1979, are now viewed with dubious eyes. Their build quality and suitability for today’s market has come under great scrutiny. Many have already been razed to make way for new, modern and more innovative projects that are suitable for the demands and desires of today’s living.
Large towns and cities with high levels of foreign investment have seen living standards rise, this is largely due to the thousands of jobs being created every year in the construction industry. The influx of migratory workers servicing the construction industry, and then the subsequent new populous, gives rise to yet more jobs in the peripheral infrastructure which supports the day to day life of theses expanding communities. Business, commerce, retail and leisure industries all expand along with the population, this is all to the benefit of the indigenous people.
The variation of condominiums on the market is vast, from small self-contained units to large, expansive luxury penthouses. High and low rise, city dwellings, coastal or rural developments, the choices are endless. The range of prices is equally as broad, from the very cheap to top end units costing many millions of Baht.
Retirees make up a large number of the foreign investors and residents of Thailand’s new era of condo living. These numbers are matched by foreign owned condos that are rented out, with many rentals going to the increasing number of foreign workers in the kingdom.
Rejecting Traditional Investment Areas
Although the major towns and cities will always be popular with foreign investors, many are now casting their eyes wider and viewing other options away from the busy city conurbations. More and more retirees are looking for an existence which is more peaceful than that found in the busy cities. Many workers are discovering that, in our new digital world, they can work remotely, and so, are able to swap the city for a more relaxed and laidback environment.
So, personal desires and professional necessities have evolved, and the wiser development companies have moved with this evolution. Forward thinking companies have adopted new innovative design and building concepts which are practical and exciting and they are putting their inventive ideas into practice at new, carefully selected sites with quality of life at the forefront of their thinking.
The False Idyll of Coastal Living
General opinion would have it that coastal living is far preferable to that of the city. Investors, in ever increasing numbers, are turning to the coastal regions as they pursue their goal of property investment in Thailand. They are also turning their backs on the traditional high-rise style of condominium building which are all too familiar around the busy resort areas.
It would seem idyllic to live, and maybe work, whilst looking out over a sandy beach and out to the sea, and this option has been available to foreign investors for several decades. However, with a closer, forensic look at the areas that can accommodate this ideal, a question quickly comes to mind. Is it as perfect as it first appears?
Post 1979, popular coastal areas, along with the capital, were targeted by developers for massive investment in the construction of condominium complexes. This resulted in every open space, some of which were natural green spaces, being concreted over. High-rise menhirs rose up from the ground, forever blighting, previously picturesque, skylines.
Wedging their way in, between the characterless monoliths, was all the supporting infrastructure to support and pamper to this new vertical living population. Quality of life was certainly not the primary consideration of the developers, or indeed the local administrations. Blinkered, bottom line economics ruled supreme.
Some local administrations sat back with an air of smug confidence believing that the golden goose had laid the golden egg right in their laps. For many areas, this short-sighted policy of complacency is now coming home to roost. Many, once beautiful coastal locations, are seeing rental condominiums starved of demand, developers struggle to sell new units, and resale units go unsold, wallowing on the market for years.
Some destinations believed that prosperity laid in exploiting the most basic of human instincts. Areas have become saturated with neon led decadence. Laws and the legal process was bent, or overlooked, to accommodate and aid in the pursuit of profit. This led to an astonishing rise in crime, along with a trend of massaging figures to disguise the facts. Today there are still areas that are blighted by why what can only be described as commercial greed.
Many foreign investors bought into this naïve vision of idyllic living, or never-ending profit, or both. Now, there are literally thousands of investors that find themselves locked into a dream they believed in, a dream which has now gone sour. Perhaps the epitome of this is the city of Pattaya. It would certainly be correct to question the real quality of life that is now lived in this, once attractive, coastal location.
Today’s Realistic Coastal Living Dream
The dream of coasting living is still very real many, many investors. But it would seem that lessons have been learnt. Investors are now shunning the idea of the altitude living offered in locations such as Pattaya and its misguided portrayal of an idyllic life style. The blinkers have been removed; a wider vision is now the order of the day. Investors are now looking at a much bigger picture.
The metaphorical landscape of requirement and desire has shifted, and the map redrawn. Interest is now being shown in low-rise, quality builds at coastal locations away from the busy tourist areas, but without the far away feeling of isolation. But is simply investing in a property on the coast enough? Discerning investors still want that little bit extra, that one thing that will make their living experience extra special and unique.
What could be better than a quality-built residence looking out over the sea, a tranquil environment with all amenities at hand, and within easy reach of the local towns and nearby city. This may sound like the idyllic answer to coastal living, but the enlightened investor still desires that little bit extra. So, how about all of this and a private marina? That really would be the “Full Monty”, practicality and desirability.
Picture the Scene
Imagine waking in the morning and watching the sun rise above the sea, casting new light on a new day through the fresh enveloping sea air. The early risers going out for a day’s fishing, sailors off to challenge themselves against the wind and waves. Cyclists and trekkers setting off along designated trails throughout the door stepped, naturally forested interior.
Maybe your day will be spent relaxing in the tropical sun or working in the cool shade of bowing palms. Enjoy a walk along an un-spoilt beach and a swim in the cooling sea, luncheon on the freshest of all seafood, seared on a glowing barbeque. Take a stroll through the local villages and towns and immerse yourself in the local way of life.
Picture an evening spent looking out over a marina, watching the small boats return from a day at sea. The satisfied look of the sailor as he returns from his dual with the elements, the fisherman returning with his spoils, and tales of the gargantuan battles he fought to land his catch. The cyclists and trekkers wearily reappear, feeling enlightened and humbled by their day enveloped in the beauty of nature’s flora and fauna.
Witness this fascinating theater of human behavior whilst sipping on a chilled glass of Chablis as your mouth waters over a plate of fresh, succulent prawns. Perhaps tomorrow you will be the fisherman, the sailor or the explorer of the natural world. Or perhaps it will be another day of leisurely work, or sheer self-indulgent relaxation. The truth is that these options, as desirable as they are, are in fact becoming very real way of life, and more affordable than may be imagined. Foreign investors are already realizing this dream with a 4 million Bhat investment.
The Marina Dream Becomes Reality
Investing in marina living is about as diverse as it is possible to get, and is far removed from the traditional, exploitative areas in which foreign investors have sort their little bit of paradise. Whether it is buy-to-let, to retire or from which to work, marina living in a well selected location really is the perfect option for any foreign investor.
Recently, carefully selected areas have been designated by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MTS) for new developments, in particular along the Eastern seaboard of Thailand’s Western isthmus. The redevelopment of existing marinas and the creation of new sites is very much a part of the plan. The scheme will allow foreign investors to become part of a quality coastal living experience which utilizes the benefits of the natural marine environment.
Although the MTS are giving full backing to developers at the selected sites, they are also imposing strict boundaries on what will be permitted. Building up to the water’s hightide level will no longer be permitted. Height restrictions will, in fact already are, limiting all developments to low-rise structures.
Foreigners investing in one of the new marina developments will be immediately aware that, a never seen before, Eco-sympathetic approach has become a priority. Low carbon footprints, sustainability and environmental preservation are now, very much, the order of the day. Only respected, accredited companies which have an appropriate track record that matches the MTS’s approach, will be permitted to develop the selected sites.
These are important factors for any prospective investor. They mirror the modern thinking of preserving the planets resources and beauty, whilst also recognizing the essential needs of a growing population. The kingdom seems, at last, to be balancing these needs with its own determination in driving its desire to be a fully developed, modern country of the 21st century.
Investing in these new marinas will not only satisfy the desire for perfect living today, but due to the forethought being applied, it will be the most sustainable investment long into the future. Rental yields will be among, if not the, highest in the country, and capital growth is very likely to set new levels of attainment.
It is also worth bearing in mind that none of us are here forever, at some point in the future we will pass on from this world. Any investment made now may well still be with you at the time of your death, and thus be part of your estate. This is an area of investment that, all too often, is given scant little consideration.
Investors should give thought to the future, and be realistically aware of their own mortality. Prudent investors know that Investments are not only made with today and the immediate future in mind, but for the longer-term security of themselves and their loved ones. All investors know that a bad, or ill-advised investment can result in a future liability. No one, on their demise, wants to saddle their future benefactors with a liability which could be financially debilitating.
Hurried or short-sighted investment decisions rarely have a happy ending. Market trends, both current and future, need to be researched and studied so that sound decisions are made from all the available data. It is scrutinization through this thought process that is leading investors to the new, exciting developments in the carefully selected sites along Thailand’s coastline.
Pranburi Comes Under the Investors Microscope
With deeper investigation an investor can narrow down the most secure and profitable looking areas to sites whose designated development includes permission for the construction of marinas. Of these prime sites, on Thailand’s Eastern Isthmus, one has become of particular interest, a location a little South of Hua Hin. Small, secluded, intimate and with Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park as a backdrop lies Pranburi.
Pranburi is set to become a real gem for foreign investors. Its, all natural, charm and beauty are boundless. Here, a site was identified and authorized for sympathetic development, which has now got underway. The site is aimed at quality marina living which is open to the buy to let market and owner occupier investment.
This site has a fully integrated concept of living, all the necessary amenities of quality living are at hand, including its exclusive kids club and family zone. You can enjoy food and drink around the private marina in front of the access canal overlooking the sea. For boat owners, full docking, maintenance and fueling facilities are available on site. This marina complex also has ample secure, private parking for all residents, be they short or long term.
Nestled between a sandy fringe and a lush green, forested national park, investors within this development will be able to enjoy all that marina living and the natural interior has to offer. Spend leisurely days sea fishing, sailing and kayaking along the beautiful calm waters that lap the sandy beach bordering the private marina. Get back to nature by exploring the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park’s many designated trails. Trek or cycle to enjoy the wonders of the natural flora and fauna.
Out at sea, take a great family trip to monkey island and watch the macaque monkeys in their isolated, but natural environment. See how they have learnt to use rocks to crack open the shells of muscles and crabs which have become the mainstay of their diet. Visit nearby dolphin bay, here a pod of indo-pacific humpback dolphins resides, go dolphin spotting and try to see the six pink ones! A leisurely Saturday evening can be spent at the Pranburi Vintage Market. A stroll through the town and the walking street market is a must do.
With ingoings’ from as little as 3.9 million Bhat, this really is the most attractive of all modern marina investments. For investors taking on a buy to let property, the site guarantees an annual 6% net return on investment. Equity growth on the properties is going to be high, ensuring a stable investment in the short term and for the longer term for future generations. In later years, an investment here will not become a financial liability for those that you one day leave behind.
This development? Grand Marina Club and Residences, Pranburi. A project that has been comprehensively thought through for the investor today, and for the future generations of tomorrow. Quality of life guaranteed, returns guaranteed, and with liability at an absolute minimum, can there be a better marina investment available today? Unlikely.
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