The property market in eastern provinces has slowed as demand from foreigners remains sluggish and some local buyers face rejections and stricter mortgage rules at the bank.
Samma Kitsin, director-general of the Real Estate Information Center, said the number of Russian brokerage firms in Pattaya had dropped to the dozens from more than 100 before the rouble plummeted.
“Residential supply targeting foreign buyers is poor because foreign demand has gone, particularly from Russian buyers,” he said.
To adjust to the changing environment, Pattaya-based condo developer The Riviera Group has shifted focus to Thai buyers while offering more flexible payment terms for Russian clients.
“As the rouble has weakened by 60%, some Russian customers have struggled with condo down payments,” said Ubonjitr Thamchop, the group’s marketing manager.
“To help them, we offer a grace period of up to six months, but they have to pay all of the six-month instalment money after the grace period ends.”
Meesak Chunharuckchot, chief executive of Chon Buri-based developer Life and Living Co, said bank rejection rates in the province were as high as 30%.
Meanwhile, some banks are reluctant to approve mortgages to blue-collar workers making 15,000 baht a month.
“Banks foresee a possible decrease in those workers’ future income after domestic car sales dropped sharply,” Mr Meesak said.
Clayton Wade, managing director of Chon Buri-based property brokerage firm Premier Homes Real Estate Co, said weak developers had begun to disappear while solid companies continued to expand.
“Chon Buri and Rayong’s futures are at a turning point,” he said.
“When Thailand had a coup, in some foreigners’ perspective it was bad. But I think we have a good leader. Leadership is more important than democracy.”
As of the end of last year, condo supply in the area totalled 85,938 units from 260 projects worth a combined 244 billion baht.
Of this number, 23,168 units worth 66.3 billion baht remain available for sale.
Single houses and townhouses at year-end totalled 53,319 units from 392 projects worth a combined 158 billion baht.
Of those, 21,581 units worth 62.7 billion baht remain unsold.