Buzz surrounding a 38-road construction project in Siem Reap province has given fresh impetus to the real estate market there, industry insiders have said.
Prime Minister Hun Sen on November 30 presided over the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction and revamping of 108.74km of roads in the northern province.
Speaking at the event, he said the endeavour will contribute to national economic development and transform the eponymous provincial capital into a modern metropolis and tourism powerhouse.
With $140 million earmarked for road development and an additional $9 million allotted for the construction of rain drainage and wastewater systems,
Hun Sen stressed that the project would be undertaken with environmental protection and improvement, people’s comfort and smart-city development in mind.
He said the roads will provide better links between downtown Siem Reap to the outskirts and to major tourist destinations, reinforce the network of national roads, reduce traffic congestion in the town and promote growth in the transport sector.
The project will place the town in a better position to attract investors, businesspeople and national and international tourists in the post-Covid-19 era, he said.
Along with Phnom Penh and the coastal city of Sihanoukville, the prime minister identified Siem Reap town as the Kingdom’s third economic pole.
According to Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol, work on the 38 roads will be completed by the end of next year.
Global Real Estate Association president Sam Soknoeun told The Post on December 2 that the project will surely expand upon the opportunities for investment that the province’s real estate sector already presents.
And nowhere will this be truer than in target areas for the tourism sector, he said.
Once the infrastructure is all set and the world successfully reins in the Covid-19 pandemic, he said real estate in Siem Reap will enjoy a significant boom.
“Where the infrastructure is laid, lively real estate hotspots will pop up, above all in Siem Reap province with its existing real estate market potential.
“Road development will not only attract tourists on holiday to the province, but it will also catch the fancy of investors to put their money there,” Soknoeun said.
He said Siem Reap province boasts the third strongest market in the Kingdom, following Phnom Penh and Preah Sihanouk province, which has Sihanoukville as its capital.
According to Soknoeun, the current land price is up to $4,000 per sqm in what he called Siem Reap town’s “best commercial area”.
Noun Rithy, the president and CEO of real estate investment agency Khmer Foundation Appraisals Co Ltd, said more roads facilitates travel and buoys demand for residential and commercial real estate development.
Coupled with the new airport and a China Town on the cards, he said the project is a harbinger of the boom to come for the town’s real estate sector.
“This bodes all the better for Siem Reap town’s real estate sector, because top-notch roads with enough water and electricity will breed a surge in real estate, though that growth will be contingent on the precise geographical location,” Rithy said.
Acknowledging its heavy dependence on tourism, he noted that real estate price trends in the province hinge on tourist inflows.
Land in the town’s busiest commercial area near Kandal market is currently valued at between $3,000-4,000 per sqm, while land in residential areas nearby cost $800-1,500, according to Rithy.
Per-sqm prices in areas along National Road 6, which cuts through the town, are from $300-1,500, he said. They are $300-500 in urban areas, $70-150 in the outskirts and $15-20 in areas along the belt road.