Housing prices in Macau had for years seen double digit annual rises prior to 2013 thanks to the rapid growth in the gambling industry in the country. However, post 2014 some properties had experienced considerable drops attributed largely to a lack of economic confidence but the country seems appears to be bouncing back in 2016 thanks mainly to the end of the casino slump in China’s gambling Mecca.
In reality it would have been hard for prices rises to continue at previous rates but that didn’t stop unwarranted negative headlines. Yes, there had been a slump in the number of visitors to the country’s casinos but this was more as a result of the slowing Chinese economy rather than any slight on Macau itself. It seems many commentators are quick to criticise and prematurely spell end of destinations as soon as their momentous growth slows. When compared to Hong Kong, where property prices have fallen by around 13% in some areas, 2016 is extremely positive.
In 12 months up until May 2016, the demand for housing in Macau had almost doubled leading to a natural boost in prices. Gamblers are now returning so prices are expected to receive another much appreciated boost. It is hardly surprising that property prices will once again be on the increase in a country that only has an area of 30 sq km. Ups and downs are always expected but thanks to the country’s close proximity to China, its historical background as well as its gaming policy, Macau is still one of the most exciting cities in the world.
Can we draw any comparisons with Macau and Thailand, Pattaya in particular? With the current laws in Thailand meaning that gambling is illegal it might on the face of it seem quite difficult. However, if you use your imagination coupled with the expectation that Thailand may relax these laws, it perhaps becomes an interesting prospect.
Pattaya is a hive of activity at present and has a well established nightlife scene. Land, although scarce, is still available in prime locations and this land would be far cheaper than anything comparable in Macau. The city is well set up for entertainment so it doesn’t seem unreasonable for it to grow in a similar manner to that already experienced by Macau. Pattaya is maybe in a similar position now to what Macau was back in 2002 when gambling became less regulated.
As we have mentioned, Macau experienced property prices growing well in excess of 10% for over a decade and similar growth could be expected in Pattaya should gambling be legalised. Pattaya has a huge advantage in that property prices are naturally lower so therefore more casino chains and hotels would be able to invest in the city. Land is limited but not to the same degree as Macau so the potential is certainly there. All of this would be fantastic news for those currently owning property in the area as they would feel the full benefit of the price rises. You would have to say that for speculators, investing in Pattaya at the present time could be a very shrewd investment.