It’s Just a Matter of Time–Once Again!

The article below was written almost nine years ago when our local real estate industry was facing the same obstacles and mistakes faced today; it seems like déjà vu, but the big question now is: will we be as lucky as we were nearly a decade ago? And will we recover as quickly this time?

PATTAYA, November 2008—Real estate on the Eastern Seaboard has suffered so many setbacks over the past year or so, with one obstacle after another eradicating most of the incredible growth and momentum we experienced just a couple of years back.

As a result, the natives are getting restless as many foreigners who invested during the euphoria of the boom now feel like the market hasn’t delivered on its promises. There have been battles in the courts and threats on the streets; people are unhappy with market reversals and recent developments.

A few years ago all was good. Local real estate attracted dozens of newcomers, know-it-alls eager to share their wisdom with property investors. And share they did: local newspapers and magazines bulged

with optimistic articles and photographs of these real estate hotshots sitting behind desks, working at their computers, posing with military officers, civic leaders or Thai beauties. We all have our own way of branding. It’s part of the game!Just-a-Matter

Whatever approach a real estate company takes in projecting its image or mission, customers usually rely on the media when selecting trustworthy professionals in our industry. Unfortunately, too many of those property gurus are nothing more than con men who are now being recognized as such because financial disasters and huge losses are starting to pile up–and so far with very little recourse.

Yes, sir, your money is gone!

As I have been writing this ‘Eye on Pattaya’ column for some time now, I have managed to attract a loyal following of those who applaud my challenges to the injustices so often found in our real estate business. But then there are those who feel I am somehow personally damaging the real estate industry and should just shut up!

No matter how one might feel about my editorial approach, one thing is certain and agreed upon by most: Nobody likes the Bad Guy!

We’re not talking about ‘Real Estate Robin Hoods’ that pull off a clever land deal and fill the stomachs of the poor. No, we’re talking about people who bilk investors out of huge amounts of money and enrich their own lots. We’re talking about smooth talkers who sell the dream and don’t deliver!

These characters are starting to surface out of the post boom real estate market showing their true colors…and it’s not rosy pink.

The names of these devious players have been the topic of more and more rumors of late—from Web forums and editorials to word-of-mouth, and I am afraid it is just the beginning. As the world is embroiled in a turbulent economic climate, the Eastern Seaboard is facing difficult times ahead.

How much longer? That is, how much longer before we must face the music and accept what many foreigners here already know? Look at the facts: We have huge projects throughout the Eastern Seaboard that will not be built; we have extensive residential and commercial developments on and off the beach that will not be completed. Look at the facts. They are staring us in the face and too many have closed their eyes to the reality of it.

No, it’s not the end of the world; it’s simply the beginning of a new cycle.

We in all levels of real estate must learn from our mistakes and create ways to better protect those that support our industry with their investments.

The sooner we stop throwing away bad money into projects and developments that are not going anywhere, the sooner we can make the adjustments in our property investment strategies.

It is just a matter of time before the industry will start taking inventory on the developments that aren’t going to be completed at this time, during this cycle. How the industry addresses these setbacks will determine the level of consumer confidence we can carry into the ‘New Cycle Mindset’ of the property market consumer.

We need to free stagnating investments and release them back into the market.

We need to deal with renegade developers and failed properties now, as the manner in which these issues are handled will predict the level of confidence and financial support we deserve and get from investors and end users.

During the boom years, many investors made money in a rising market; in the New Cycle, many investors will profit as values adjust to the market.

We have a lot of new cons-truction coming on the market and a huge secondary market of existing resale properties. These are condos and houses that will be value for money for those that do their homework and sharpen their negotiating skills.

And as always…..those quality, class act condominium and housing developers with deep pockets to weather the storm always have a market and they will continue to do well even in these hard times.

Property developers and real estate brokers may have a love-hate relationship, and many of their clients may have had to fight their way through the property market conmen and pros. But in the end, the Eastern Seaboard has some fantastic condo and housing developments to choose from and a good number of qualified and experienced international property specialists ready to provide clients with highly professional property consulting services.

March 2017: Now the big question is: What level of consumer confidence are we able to carry into the next New Cycle Mindset?  And will we maintain the level of confidence and financial support the investors and end users will need to once again inject capital into the real estate market?

Recently a couple of articles have surfaced referring to the Pattaya real estate market as having ‘hit the pause button,’ or falling into ‘a lull in the market,’ and—according to a well-known Bangkok  blog—going through ‘a terrible slump’! Consequently, many are asking how long the slump will last. I say it will last about as long as it takes to sell those 10,000 new unsold condo units we started 2017 with!

Having said that, all is not lost as with the robust take-up rates and sales quota statistics we have seen in recent years, those 10,000 new units could sell quicker than you think.

Bottom-line is that we can clearly see the incredible progress that road, rail and air transportation infrastructure is making combined with some huge commercial, retail and residential developments planned and poised to be launched in the near future.

What does it all mean? The next real estate boom is just ahead.

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