Real estate firm Ocean Property plans to develop a new luxury high-rise condo project worth 3-4 billion baht on Na Jomtien Beach after the last large units sold out during the lockdown.
Managing director Napong Paripontpochanapisuti said demand for second or vacation homes in resort destinations within a few hours drive from Bangkok rose during the local outbreak.
"Pattaya and Hua Hin are key targets for high-end Thai buyers," he said. "A large unit or a condo with three bedrooms, priced above 10 million baht is the favoured type."
While the outbreak has stopped people from travelling aboard, many decided buying an expensive condo is an easier vacation option, he said.
Mr. Napong said the company sold and transferred seven units worth a combined 120 million baht at Ocean Portofino Jomtien during the last week of May to mid-June. All were in cash.
"For pre-virus sales, we sold only one unit per month," said Mr Napong, a third generation member of the Ocean Group, which operates life insurance firm Ocean Life Insurance, SET-listed Ocean Glass and international schools.
"The virus accelerated decision-making. Some bought a unit while staying at friends' units when five-star hotels were temporarily closed. It was all about emotion."
Launched in 2006 and completed in 2008, Ocean Portofino Jomtien is the company's second condo project on Na Jomtien Beach, a total of 120 rai occupied by a marina, a yacht club and the first condo project.
"Yachting has become popular among wealthy Thais as 45-50% of yachts parking at Ocean Marina are owned by Thais, up from 30% earlier," he said. "Young Thais also love renting a yacht."
Ocean Portofino Jomtien worth 3 billion baht is situated on 2.5 rai with a 37-storey tower and a total of 268 units.
There are still 56 unsold units priced 7.5-15 million baht a unit or 100,000 baht per sq m, up from 70,000 baht 12 years ago.
Mr Napong said a newly completed section of the Motorway No.7 from Pattaya to Map Ta Phut that has been in use since May was a key driver of the sales as the new exit, Huay Yai, is opposite to the project's site.
As Magnolia Quality Development Corporation (MQDC), a property arm owned by the Chearavanont family, plans to develop a large-scaled, mixed-use project next door, Ocean Property plans to develop a third luxury condo tower with large-sized units, a key product.
MQDC's project will be located on 40 rai formerly used by Charoen Pokphand Foods, one of CP Group's businesses. The plot will comprise a shopping mall, a hotel and a luxury condo project and a theme park.
According to property consultant Colliers International Thailand, more than 84% of condo supply in Pattaya that remains unsold was sized smaller than 50 sq m with a sales rate of 66% as of the first half of 2020.
Units sized 100 sq m and above had 610 units remaining for sales, which represents 1% of the total supply.