Buying a Condo in Pattaya: The Ultimate Guide

Buying a Condo in Pattaya: The Ultimate Guide

Pattaya is one of the most popular cities in Thailand to own a condo as a foreigner.

Located about an hour and a half from Bangkok, and situated along the Gulf of Thailand’s eastern seaboard, Pattaya’s real estate market and economy mostly depend on tourism.

Yet besides its many foreign visitors, the city does have does have industrial plants and ports located on the stretch of highway leading to Bangkok.

It’s notable that Pattaya is located in Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) economic zone. This greatly enhances the city’s long term prospects, since a high speed rail network is now under construction across the EEC.

Once it’s complete, this high speed rail project will connect Pattaya, Bangkok, and several other manufacturing hubs in Eastern Thailand.

Buying a condo in Pattaya, while an investment linked to the city’s rather volatile tourism sector, also enjoys solid long-term prospects regarding its location.

Right now, Pattaya has little to offer economically except restaurants, bars, and hotels. Pattaya could potentially become a strategic location though.

Our guide to buying a Pattaya condo includes topics such as:

  • Cost of buying property in Pattaya, Jomtien, and elsewhere in the metro area
  • Top locations and neighborhoods in Pattaya
  • Foreign real estate ownership, fees, and taxes
  • Is investing in Pattaya even a good idea?

Foreign Property Ownership in Pattaya

Most Asian countries, including Thailand, aren’t as open to foreigners buying property as some other parts of the world.

In Pattaya, and across Thailand as a whole, there are restrictions on what kind of property foreigners can own on a freehold basis.

Foreigners are not allowed to own land or houses in Thailand. However, they can hold title to 49% of above-ground apartments for sale in any single given building.

You must also follow several very specific rules during the process of buying real estate in Pattaya. If one of the steps is done incorrectly, it can lead towards added costs and delay.

For example, the money brought into Thailand to purchase real estate must be foreign currency – not Thai baht.

So if you’re making an international wire transfer, you must transfer a currency a that isn’t Thai baht, thus allowing the currency conversion to happen at a Thai bank.

But once your money transfer is taken care of, the rest of the process is easy. Thailand’s land registration is straightforward and digitized. A minimal amount of property tax is due each year, which is easily payable through a bank app or 7-Eleven branch.


How Much Does a Pattaya Condo Cost?

For the most part, property for sale in Pattaya’s best neighborhoods are cheaper when compared to a similar home in Bangkok or Phuket.

The selling price of condos in Pattaya range from $1,500 per square meter (about 55,000 baht) for budget housing, to above $5,000 (180,000 baht) for luxury property.

On average, expect to pay about $3,000 (110,000 baht) per square meter though.

Real estate in Pattaya generally become more expensive the closer you’re buying to the beachfront, with sea view-premiums worth about 30% compared to the cost of a condo unit further inland.

Properties in Phuket, by comparison, start on the low end of US$3,000 per square meter and can cost up to US$6,000 per square meter.

If you’re looking for a low cost yet convenient beachside housing market in Thailand, then Pattaya may be worth owning a condo in.


Wongamat Beach

Because of its semi-private beaches and close proximity to the city center, condos in Wongamat are ranked among the most expensive in Pattaya.

Where Should You Buy Property in Pattaya?

There are multiple locations within Pattaya that you should consider when looking to invest in property here.

Other than the city of Pattaya itself, there are also superb locations toward the south like Jomtien Beach and even further out into Rayong.


Pattaya City

Pattaya City itself has lots of options for investing in property. Several of the main roads in the central part of Pattaya run parallel to the beach.

Condos in Pattaya for sale tend to become cheaper as you go further east, away from the beach and major arterial roads.

Beach Road in Pattaya City is, as its name suggests, the closest to the beach and hosts lots of malls, including Central Festival and international hotels, like the Hilton.

The properties directly on Beach Road with a sea view are some of the most expensive condos in Pattaya.


Wongamat Beach Real Estate

Wongamat Beach is located near the city center on Pattaya’s farthest northern beach.

Ranked among the city’s most expensive neighborhoods to live, buying an apartment in Pattaya’s Wongamat beach area costs about $5,000 per square meter on average.

It’s especially noteworthy that most condos in Wongamat are located on private or semi-private beaches.

While many other beachfront locations in Thailand are inevitably going to be shared with masses of tourists, this is one beach you’re able to call your own.

If you’re looking for a property to be your personal home in Pattaya, and want a central location combined with a high amount of privacy, then Wongamat Beach is a location you should absolutely consider buying in.


Jomtien Beach Skyline

Jomtien Beach, located about 5km south of Pattaya, enjoys beaches you can actually swim in without worrying about your health. This is a feature Pattaya City’s beaches don’t generally have.

Jomtien Beach

Jomtien Beach is located only a 15-minute drive south of Pattaya City on the opposite side of a large hill. Jomtien has become more developed through urban sprawl as Pattaya has grown.

Condos for sale in Jomtien Beach are far less expensive than properties within Pattaya City.

Combined with the neighborhood’s relative seclusion and superior beaches in Jomtien, there are certainly a few benefits to owning property further outside Pattaya itself.

The Jomtien Beach area is less polluted than the city center, yet it also has a lower degree of infrastructure and fewer housing options.

Buying a condo in Jomtien is nonetheless a solid choice if you’d like a break from busier city life, but still want close proximity to Pattaya.


Fees and Property Taxes in Pattaya

Thailand didn’t even have any annual property tax until recently. Back in 2020, a new property tax regime was implemented though

The good news? Property tax rates on a condo in Thailand are extremely low. Less than 0.01% of appraised value each year, in fact!

Maintenance fees on your condo will generally cost way more than Thai property taxes. These payments include costs for building upkeep, facility upkeep, staff, repairs, and cleaning. 

Condo management fees are cheaper in Pattaya than in most other major cities across the world.

However, depending on the building’s quality (luxury, economy, etc.), you should expect to pay management fees every year between 1,000 baht, and 3,000 baht per sqm.

A 50sqm unit on the lowest end of that scale will thus cost about 50,000 baht per year in condo maintenance fees.

There’s a 2% fee based on the property’s government-appraised value that needs to be paid upon transferring a condo in Pattaya or elsewhere in Thailand. Often, the buyer and the seller will each pay half of the fee.

Furthermore, the seller must pay a 0.5% stamp duty tax when any type of real estate in Thailand is transferred.

Is Buying a Condo in Pattaya a Good Investment?

Due to tourist appeal and affordable prices, Pattaya might be a decent place to invest in a condo. But only if you purchase in the right location.

Rental yields in Pattaya aren’t bad at between 3% and 5%. One-bedroom condos are closer to the 5% range, although they’re harder to rent out and keep occupied due to an oversupply of smaller units.

Regardless, if you’re planning to invest in real estate market in Asia, you’ll find far superior opportunities outside of Pattaya or Thailand as a whole.

Thai real estate investments aren’t the bargain they were ten or twenty years ago. Capital appreciation potential in Pattaya is minimal when compared to real estate in Asia’s faster-growing economies.

Pattaya is almost entirely dependent on the tourism sector. Even during normal economic times, it also faces stiff competition from Hua Hin, Pattaya, and other beach destinations in the Thailand.

If you want to retire, own a second home, or otherwise enjoy spending time in Pattaya, then by all means purchase a condo here.

Thai property isn’t an optimal investment if making profit is a primary motivation though.

Regardless, Pattaya can still be a great place to buy a condo if you’re living in Thailand and would like a place to call your own.


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