Experts in the real estate sector in Cambodia have noted that Asia, particularly Southeast Asia, is emerging as a favourable location for real estate investment. The sector is anticipated to show significant improvement in 2024 compared to 2023. 

Sorn Seap, president of the Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association (CVEA), highlighted the rapid growth of the real estate and construction market in the ASEAN region during the group’s annual meeting on their action plan for the next year, on December 11 in Phnom Penh. 

He emphasised the need for Cambodian real estate professionals to enhance their skills and ethical standards to attract both national and international investors. 

He also noted the government’s active role in supporting the sector’s recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact since late 2019. 

Seap underscored the important role of tourism in rejuvenating these markets.

“Asia, especially ASEAN, including Cambodia, is becoming an ideal location for real estate and construction markets. This presents a valuable opportunity for all licensed and professional companies and agencies,” he said. 

Seap also referenced the 2023 PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards in the Thai capital Bangkok, where numerous real estate investors shared their views on the promising trends in Asian real estate.

“At the [awards], owners of companies who are investing in thousands of real estate and construction projects in China, Malaysia and Taiwan mentioned that Asia, particularly ASEAN, stands out as a prime location for real estate and construction investment,” he said.

Va Vireak, a CVEA board member, noted the influence of global-regional economic growth and the government’s interventions on the revival of the country’s real estate sector. 

He said that 2023 has been a challenging year for the market and predicted a more favourable situation in 2024, based on economic growth forecasts from major international financial institutions like the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

“Now is an opportune moment for those wishing to purchase real estate or invest in the sector, provided they have the necessary funds. However, investment through high-interest loans is not advisable,” he said.

Cheng Kheng, CEO of CPL Real Estate, acknowledged the downturn in the country’s real estate sector from early 2020 to early 2023, attributed to the Covid-19 crisis and geopolitical conflicts. Despite these challenges, he observed early signs of recovery in the sector.

“By the end of 2023, real estate and construction activities have gradually resumed. This is a positive indication for the sector’s performance in 2024,” he said.

Prime Minister Hun Manet announced last month that his administration has implemented measures from the sixth-mandate government to further support the sector. 

These include delaying package tax payments, extending remittance periods, postponing capital gains tax execution, waiving stamp duty for house transfers valued at or below $70,000, urging financial institutions to voluntarily restructure loans for land and housing purchases and delaying financial statement submission requirements.