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Chinese investors to provide property boost in 2019

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Phnom Penh’s central market sits in the landscape of residential and commercial buildings in the capital. Hong Menea

Chinese investors to provide property boost in 2019

While investment capital in Cambodia’s construction sector showed a nearly 20 per cent decline last year compared to 2017, a group of industry insiders are optimistic that the sector will recover this year, boosted by an inflow of Chinese tourists and investors.

Chailin Sear Realty Co Ltd CEO Chailin Sear said the sector is now reaching a new chapter with the influx of Chinese people, which is providing impetus to Cambodia’s real estate sector to grow virtually nationwide.

Preah Sihanouk province is currently experiencing high growth and this is expected to impact other coastal provinces, especially Kampot.

“The increase in Chinese will make Cambodia’s real estate prices more robust,” he said, adding that despite Cambodia’s real estate sector currently lagging behind neighbouring countries, it will see strong growth for the next four to five years.

Last year, the Kingdom approved a total of 2,867 projects valued at more than $5.22 billion, down 18.66 per cent from $6.42 billion in 2017, according to the 2018 Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction annual report.

Khmer Foundation Appraisals president and CEO Noun Rithy said economic and tourism growth, particularly Chinese tourists and investors, will “make the real estate market more positive” in the Kingdom this year.

Demand and property prices will continue to increase, especially in coastal areas and border areas, he added, saying the sector may see a 15 to 20 per cent increase in the capital and coastal provinces.

However, Key Real Estate Co Ltd director Sorn Seap believed the sector was more likely to see an increase of just five to 10 per cent this year, both in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap province.

“For coastal provinces, land prices already reached their peak last year, so we cannot predict if it will grow to the same extent,” he said.

With the real estate and construction sector boom, the central government collected nearly $100 million in revenue last year. While the ministry’s report showed that it also collected more than $97.6 million in revenue from the sector last year, an increase from $93 million in 2017.

Ann Sothida, director of CBRE Cambodia – which provides rental services, office building management and commercial centres – also expressed optimism for the market.

“The increase in new companies and the slight increase in office and commercial space supply will make prices rise slightly. Overall, the market will remain healthy,” she said.

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