Resort properties in Thailand’s leisure destinations are seeing surging interest from domestic home buyers over the course of the pandemic.

According to new data released by Thai property portal FazWaz, Hua Hin has seen buying interest grow significantly in year-to-date online inquiries.

More Thais are snapping up holiday or second homes in the country’s leisure destinations like Hua Hin FazWaz co-founder and CEO Brennan Campbell said: “By tracking the data from 2Q2020 to mid-2021 on buying motivation of either a holiday home or for investment purposes, we can see a change in behaviour towards lifestyle purchases in Phuket, Koh Samui and Pattaya, with the sharpest uptick being Hua Hin.”

In Phuket, where resort grade real estate over the past decade has been highly leveraged by foreign buyers, Boon Yongsakul, chairman of Boat Pattana, said that “our Shambala luxury pool villa project in Bangtao Beach initially targeted legacy overseas buyers in the Laguna Phuket area. But by the middle of last year, we saw a strong influx of Bangkok buyers and this has continued to drive sales momentum to date”.

“One of the most notable characteristics in Thai buyers that has changed is the desire for resort living, quality of life, and outdoor areas. If you look back five years, island real estate was focused on investment-type condominiums, but today, it’s single-family homes or second residences,” he added.

Weighing in on the changing buyer profiles for Thailand’s resort property market, C9 Hotelworks managing director Bill Barnett opined: “Bangkok’s worsening pollution problems play a part in real estate purchase values. Another is the pandemic ‘Zoom-factor’ that has created what we expect to be a longer-lasting trend of working from home. Real estate developers are now facing changing consumer tastes for flex-specs and recreational areas.”

The trend for buyers seeking a lifestyle reset is clear in Hua Hin where property developer Tjeert Kwant, CEO of Banyan Residences, said there has been a significant rise in buyers looking to escape the city and enjoy a more healthy, active lifestyle. “This for us has been the key driver with families and couples looking for spacious second homes outside of Bangkok.”

Campbell noted that based on FazWaz’s data for Hua Hin, 64 per cent of transactions are now from the domestic market. He said: “The impact of the pandemic is going to have a lasting impact on what drives Thais to purchase property and there is one thing for certain, the times are changing fast, and (Thais are) moving out of the city at a pace we have not seen before.