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Property Buyers & Sellers Advice

How to maintain and manage your property during COVID-19 outbreak
How to maintain and manage your property during COVID-19 outbreak
June 6, 2022, 5:06 p.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced a majority of people all over the world to stay indoors for an extended and unknown period of time - a situation that puts a special strain on the facilities of any property. So, whether you lease or own your space, have a broad portfolio, or a single asset, as a property owner, the attention you give to your assets, and its facilities, is more crucial now than ever.Equally imperative are the decisions that need to be made in the coming weeks, such as: “Who can enter or use my building and its facilities,” “How do I respond to suspected contamination?” ''How will I keep my buildings operational and protected while most of my workforce is home?” and ultimately, “What is our facility showing our community about our company and our values?”CBRE, a property consulting and management firm, oversees a number of buildings throughout Cambodia alongside millions of sqm of office space, apartments, and condominiums across China, South East Asia, Europe, and America. We have a regional hub in South East Asia where each of the heads of Property Management is in regular contact; sharing information/experiences and jointly developing plans and procedures, especially in these times. This has imparted valuable lessons behind my no-regrets, action-oriented recommendations:Manage entriesThe best way to keep your facility safe is to keep people with the virus at home. There are several ways to approach this, including temperature screening and other sophisticated equipment that could become permanent installations. There are also low-cost options, like increasing lobby signage reminding people to stay home if ill, restricting visitors, and setting up self-check temperature stations.Plan for an exposure-related shutdownIt is likely that you will experience a suspected or confirmed case in at least one of your facilities. Rather than waiting for that moment and having to scramble, prepare a written plan, and educate your site managers, staff, and providers proactively. What to do with the individual? How to isolate them? How to get them home safely? What steps to take? If you think all of this through and get it in writing beforehand (working with your legal, HR, building owner, and key stakeholders) you will mitigate risk and reduce anxiety when the event happens.Clean oftenIncreased cleaning has a direct, infection-control benefit and should be implemented as a preventative move. A full daily disinfection may not be necessary, but the virus lives on surfaces for up to 3 days; and proper, increased cleaning will help lower your exposure. Clean more often and be visible with these services, especially in common areas. As the world opens back up for business, we should expect a lot more cleaning.Energy management and  energy costsAs energy often takes up to 40% - 50% of your building running costs now is the time to be more vigilant. You don’t need sophisticated building management systems or controls but you should watch equipment carefully as you run and you run it differently. Ensure lights and AC are switched off in vacant areas, keep up the maintenance especially on your AC systems for air quality and running efficiency.Treat your suppliers wellFacilities suppliers are becoming critical to business continuity – especially cleaners. A number of our clients have instructed us to work with suppliers to be sure they retain staff and maintain capacity even while client sites are closed or in partial use. These clients understand that their supplier partners operate on thin margins and that their employees operate on even thinner margins with no safety net. We believe these clients are going to be very well served for these actions.Take advantage of the downtime to prepare for re-openingEvery facility has deferred projects and tasks that were waiting for a weekend when the building sits empty. Planned correctly, now is your chance for these projects. We are working with clients to complete delayed projects, replacements, and repairs. Put in place more energy-efficient equipment. Finish that asset condition survey. Our teams in China realized that deferred maintenance on older equipment just could not respond to more intensive HVAC demands, so we are working hard to repair, replace, and upgrade.Communication Keep up to date with all local newspapers and government departments so that you are ahead of the game and ready for any changes that may be enforced. Keep your company, all your clients, tenants and occupiers updated regularly but also limit the channels of communication and avoid participating in gossip groups as misinformation creates confusion and worry.The Future New NormalAs you plan for re-opening, your employees, customers, and suppliers are going to have new expectations for how to run, clean, and manage your facility. At the same time suppliers, landlords, and maintenance teams are going to be managing the surge of work. Consider focusing on three areas:Operations: Inspect and test key building systems to ensure the building is safe and comfortable as you come back to full occupancy.Service Planning: Allow providers of cleaning, food, concierge, HVAC, security, etc. ample lead time to ensure they can get their teams back on-site and fully operationalChange Management: Ensure the occupants are aware of what’s been done, what’s different, and what protections need to stay in place to keep everyone healthy. Set up a hotline to take their questions.Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now!*This is article is written by Dan Davies, Director of Property Management at CBRE Cambodia.*Note: CBRE Cambodia has set up an unofficial building owners /managers PP Covid-19 group. If you are interested to join please call +855 85 986 934 or email: dan.davies@cbre.com
Amenities & Fixtures: What to expect from Cambodian properties?
Amenities & Fixtures: What to expect from Cambodian properties?
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
Curious what about amenities and fixtures can you expect from Cambodian properties? Don’t worry! This guide will run you through the most common amenities and fixtures that you can expect in most Cambodian properties, whether for sale or for rent.NOTE: Common amenities/fixtures DOES NOT mean standard amenities/fixtures. These are merely based on the observation of the most commonly recurring amenities/fixtures from listings. The actual amenities and fixtures will ultimately vary from developer to developer and property to property.Common Apartment/Condominium AmenitiesModern amenities have become more commonplace in Cambodia’s apartments and condominiums. This is not, by any means, an exhaustive list of amenities, but a shortlist of what you’re more likely to see in your search. The rule “your mileage may vary” applies.Fitness Centre(Most fitness centres are located at the top floors such as this facility from The Peninsula in Phnom Penh. Realestate.com.kh)This can be called either a fitness centre or wellness centre, both are essentially gyms where you can exercise or work out. Some developments (on the higher-end, mostly) offer classes like yoga. How well-equipped a fitness centre depends entirely on how premium the development is. But most will likely have the basics of any workable gym.Swimming Pools(All high-end and some mid-tier developments have pools as part of their amenities such as this one from Garden One. Realestate.com.kh)Phnom Penh can get hot, especially around the months of March to June. Luckily, more developments are including swimming pools as part of their range of amenities. It’s hit-or-miss when it comes to mid-range developments, but high-end developments will have all the bells and whistles in a premium swimming pool.Public Wi-Fi(Most, if not all, developments have wifi included in their properties. But since these are for public use, you may want to consider getting your own. Realestate.com.kh)Residential units you buy or rent usually come with their already-provided Wi-Fi. But as with anything public, connection bandwidth will be shared. The public WiFi will certainly suit most people, but if your work is better (and more secure) through dedicated bandwidth, then we suggest getting your own.Public WiFi is mostly decent in Phnom Penh and it’s relatively inexpensive. A single person is fine using a 10 Megabit (Mb) fiber connection (yes, Phnom Penh has a commercially available fiber connection) and it’s enough to watch 1080p 60 fps YouTube videos - all for around 140 to 300 USD a year.Car Parking(Car parking is a must-have in Cambodia. Luckily, most Cambodian properties have parking available for their residents. Supplied)Parking is crucial if you have a car in Phnom Penh. The city is becoming increasingly busier every year and roadside parking is starting to become scarce and inadvisable. Fortunately, developers today incorporate parking spaces for cars and motorcycles in their projects. Even the smallest tower developments find ways to include motorcycle parking at the very least for their inhabitants. If you have personal transportation, this is a must-have in modern-day Phnom Penh.Common Residential Unit FixturesA lot of apartments and condominiums in Phnom Penh make it a point that their units make it easy for tenants to move in, especially when there’s a healthy expatriate population moving around the city every year. As a result, Cambodian residential units are quite generous with fixtures, even from the low end of the market. Here are a few of the most common fixtures included if ever you decide to move in Phnom Penh:Washing Machine(Most properties in Cambodia include washing machines such as this one from The Peninsula Phnom Penh. This is a major bonus for DIY-people out there! Realestate.com.kh)A range of apartments, from the low-end to the high-end already include washing machines in their units. If you’re the type to Do-It-Yourself, then the inclusion of washing machines is definitely something you’ll like. Most apartments and condos include places where you can air out your laundry, so you don’t have to worry too much about that part as well.Airconditioning(In a tropical country like Cambodia, and especially in the concrete jungle of Phnom Penh, air conditioning is a must. Realestate.com.kh)If you’re coming from a country with a cold ambient climate, then you’re in for a treat in Cambodia. Fortunately, all the units you could be looking at have air conditioning units. Do keep in mind, however, that electricity costs in Phnom Penh range from 0.20 to 0.25 USD per kWh - which makes electricity in Cambodia is pretty pricey relative to its neighbors.Electric Kettle(Part of the offensive charm of making it easy for you to move in is the inclusion of simple things such as an electric kettle. Supplied)This is a nice fixture some apartments include and you could even negotiate this as part of the deal whenever you move into an apartment/condo. A landlord might be more than willing to oblige if they can close a deal with this.Bidet / Bum Guns(Bidets or bum guns, as they're more known, are a staple in any property such this one from The Peninsula Phnom Penh. Realestate.com.kh)Bidets are a 21st-century invention seemingly from the heavens. This magnificent piece of modern technology is quite popular throughout the Indochina region - almost like a standard - even in public toilets. Bidets are usually affixed to most Cambodian residential units for rental/sale. A lot of western expatriates have shared their wonder of bidets, so to speak. Some even went so far as saying “Bidets have ruined toilet paper for me”.Television (with basic cable access)(Televisions are nice to have even when internet access is widely available. Most Cambodian properties still include it such as Wealth Mansion in Phnom Penh. Realestate.com.kh)Some apartment/condominium units come with a flat-screen TV. It’s nothing fancy but it’s definitely worth something. They usually include cable channels in it, so, if you’re a tourist/expatriate, you’ll have something to entertain yourself with right away. It’s part of the attractive selling points landlords build to make their properties more appealing to potential renters. Knowing what to expect from a potential purchase or rental can help you better evaluate the bang for the buck you’re gonna spend. While amenities and fixtures shouldn’t be the sole factor to make or break the buying decision, they certainly are worth considering since they affect the quality of life you’re going to have.Looking to buy/rent property in Cambodia? Let us help!Article by:
Typical payment terms for new developments in Cambodia
Typical payment terms for new developments in Cambodia
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
If you are thinking about investing in the Cambodian property market, then you may start to think about how you're going to make payment or payments for the investment, and what is typically accepted in the Cambodian market by developers.Just as important you might want to start thinking about what you are most comfortable with. Below we highlight some common practices around payments and payment terms in the Cambodian market and what you can expect.In this guide, we highlight some of the typical payment terms offered by property developers in Cambodia and home loans available for foreigners.Booking feeAs soon as you have made the decision to purchase a property, you will then have to sign a Sales & Purchase Agreement. Upon signing this agreement you will be required to pay a small booking fee usually between a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. This can also be known as a reservation fee. By this stage, you will have already chosen your "payment plan" with the developer.Down paymentAfter you have paid the booking fee (commonly within 2 weeks) you will be required to pay a down payment for the property. The most common down payment ratio is 30% of the property's total value, (e.g. $100,000 unit, downpayment of 30% = $30,000)Instalment payment planAs the name suggests, the most common way buyers pay for the balance of their investment is by (monthly) instalments. Which will be a percentage amount over a period of time. Often 3 years or in line with the completion of the development.Stage payment planThis is very similar to the Installment payment method, however, payments are made in line with construction stages until the building is completed, rather than even monthly payments. (e.g. Once the building has reached the 5th floor out of 10 you will be required to make a stage payment.)Upfront paymentIn this plan, buyers will be required to pay the full amount often within 30 days of signing the Sales and Purchase Agreement. This is the most attractive payment plan if you are looking to get the best price for your investment.Note: there is typically no interest to be paid involved with the payment plans above.Home loans for foreignersAlthough bank loans for off-plan (Condo) properties in Cambodia are increasing in popularity. Most if not all banks in Cambodia will not lend to international investors based outside of Cambodia. However, if you are an expat based in Cambodia with a track record of employment you may qualify for a home loan from a bank.If you have already enquired about a property, make sure you ask if the developer is working with any banks for possible home loans. And remember you can also inquire for a home loan via Homeloan.com.khDevelopers' loansAlthough not very common for foreigners, some developers will offer loans or financial assistance to potential buyers. If you purchase a property on this type of payment plan or via a bank loan you will be paying interest on the loan.To provide property seekers with an idea of what a bank loan may look like for a buyer in terms of monthly payments, you can find a home loan calculator within the property details page on Realestate.com.kh.Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now!Article by:
Popular investment opportunities in Cambodia for foreign buyers
Popular investment opportunities in Cambodia for foreign buyers
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Realestate News
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
Favourable foreign ownership laws, a U.S Dollar based economy, rental returns of up to 10% per year, and high yields are just a few reasons why Cambodia is a great investment destination. To help you make an informed decision for your investment in Cambodia, we highlight some of the common types of opportunities that are available in the Cambodian market.Condominiums and ApartmentsThis is the most common type of investment for foreigners in Cambodia, and in many ways, the easiest to understand. Most developers targeting international buyers will structure projects with some sort of rental return scheme or GRR, generally around 5%+ per year for up to three years. Although not all developers will offer a GRR scheme and may opt for offering buyers a small discount on the purchase price, especially if they are targeting buyers that intend to live in the property. A common question you will be asked by developers is: Are you buying for living or investment?*Guaranteed Rental Return (GRR) or Rental Return Scheme (in some counties) is the amount of money often communicated in a percent based on the purchase price of the property that the developer guarantees you as the buyer in return, over a certain period of time. If you are purchasing a property with GRR make sure it is mentioned in your sales and purchase agreement.Learn more about Guaranteed Rental Returns hereStrata titled office space and commercial unitsSimilar to the high demand for more housing in Cambodia, there are also 100's of new businesses and multinationals entering the market. In line with this, developers have identified this as an opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competitors and offer strata-titled office or commercial units for sale. Sometimes this can be integrated into a development that will also include apartments for sale, or it can also be a stand-alone office development project.Serviced Residence, Hotel and Resort-style investmentsAn increasingly common investment type or opportunity that we are seeing in Cambodia is investing in a serviced residence or hotel. This can be highly attractive to many investors that are looking for high and often guaranteed rental returns. It is also not uncommon for these types of investments to have a Guaranteed Buy Back option built into the purchase.A guaranteed buyback is a contract between the developer of a new project and anyone who buys a unit within that development stating that the developer will buy back the unit from the owner after a fixed period of time.Colonial apartmentsCambodia is littered with 100's of old French colonial buildings, and a common trend for foreigners living in Cambodia is to buy an older apartment, with the vision of renovating the property before selling it at a higher price. This is very common in many markets around the world. Whilst there are some great financial gains to be made in this type of investment, we would advise anyone living outside of Cambodia to focus on other investment opportunities in the property market, that come with a long-term lease, hard or strata title.Realestate.com.kh is home to over 30,000 (and growing!) property listings all over Cambodia. Our property advisors are on standby to help you in your real estate search!Need help finding the right property? Let us know!Article by:
How to get Cambodian citizenship by donation
How to get Cambodian citizenship by donation
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Realestate News
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
Want to live, start a business, and buy land in Cambodia?The Cambodia residency by donation laws allows you to do just that. Cambodian residency (citizenship) by donation is one of the legal pathways to achieve citizenship in the Kingdom; the others are: citizenship by naturalisation, citizenship by investment, citizenship by marriage, and citizenship by birth and descent.To become a citizen through providing a donation can take anywhere between 3-6 months and there are a number of requirements including:Applicant must be 18 years of age or olderApplicant must have a current and valid passportApplicant must have a current valid visa for entry into CambodiaApplicant must be of sound mindApplicant must be in good healthThe applicant must have a qualifying investment in Cambodia of at least 1.25 billion Riel (USD $311,000).Similar to a citizen by investment, the citizen by donation's only difference is that the applicant donates the money to the Cambodian government’s national budget, and that donation will be used for the betterment of Cambodia & its people. The non-refundable amount of 1 billion riels (about US$250,000) must be donated to be eligible.Cambodian Citizenship BenefitsAs a Cambodian citizen, you can take advantage of the local benefits that are not legally available to other foreigners.You are entitled to own land & property in your own name.You are able to live in Cambodia with no visa requirements and enter or leave the country as and when you like.You are eligible to apply for government concessions and licenses that are only available to Cambodian nationals.Travel to other ASEAN countries with ease.You can learn more about the types of land titles and property ownership in Cambodia for citizens and foreigners.Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now!Article by:
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Thinking about property in Cambodia, What’s your motivation?
Thinking about property in Cambodia, What’s your motivation?
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
What is the driving force behind your decision to invest in a market that may be completely different from your present portfolio?Cambodia is an emerging nation, known for its beaches and mountains, historical sites, you can step back in time in a local village, unchanged for decades, or enjoy bustling vibrant growing capital city.Thinking about retirementWhile Thailand has historically been a popular destination for retirees, Cambodia is rapidly gaining interest both for those retirees presently based in Thailand, or those looking for an alternative to retirement in their country of origin. In fact, InternationalLiving.com's Annual Global Retirement Index for 2019 has named Cambodia as the number 12 best place in the world to retire. Access to inexpensive quality healthcare, ease of visa processing and an ever-increasing expat community makes Cambodia an attractive retirement destination.Holiday Home & InvestmentWhile the average rental returns may not equate to those achieved in your country of origin, the lower market entrance costs, fees and services combined with the local purchasing power of your dollar, puts Cambodia on your investment portfolio. Whether you enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life or the beachside lifestyle opportunities abound for those investors wishing to combine the flexibility of having a holiday home, while receiving an income in your absence.For personal use onlyWhether you are contemplating retirement, using Cambodia as your home base or working here, purchasing a property versus renting is a common occurrence for expatriates. Finding just the right place, in the right location for the right price requires research and access to market knowledge. Click the link below for further information.Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now!Article by:
Understanding property titles in Cambodia
Understanding property titles in Cambodia
June 7, 2022, 6:29 a.m.
Property Reviews
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
(The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction / Phan Soumy)What is a property title?A title or ‘deed’ is an official document confirming who owns the property, its location, and what rights the property owner enjoys. It should be noted that a significant percentage of land in Cambodia is not registered with the National Land Office and has no official land title certificate to secure the land on behalf of the owner.During the civil war period between 1975 and 1979, all Cambodian land title records were destroyed. This made any definitive proof of property ownership impossible after the war. A land law was passed in 1992 to establish the groundwork for land ownership, but it wasn't until its 2001 revision that allowed private ownership of land in Cambodia. The 2001 Land Law allowed for the creation of a land registry system enabling the issuance of Cambodia land titles. To date, over two million Cambodian land titles have been issued to citizens.Property ownership can now be secured by one of three forms of Cambodia land title: Hard title, Soft title, and Private Ownership in Co-owned Buildings – also known as Strata Title. In addition, an LMAP title is also now available.One of the most frequently asked questions is "Can foreigners own land or landed property in Cambodia?" The quick answer is No. The Cambodian Constitution prohibits foreign nationals from owning land and landed properties in the country.There are, however, indirect mechanisms of "ownership" such as the Nominee structure and Land concessions for development. Visit our guide to Property Ownership Mechanisms for Foreigners in Cambodia for more information.Hard Title in CambodiaHard titles are the most secure proof of property ownership and are considered the best Cambodian land title.Hard titles are certification of ownership provided by the Cambodian Land Management and Planning office. Hard Titles also include detailed information recognised and certified at a national level by the Ministry of Land and the Cadastral Office. It should be noted that a transfer tax applies when hard title transactions occur.A quick summary of what is a Hard Title in Cambodia:The Hard title is the strongest form of property ownership in Cambodia.In the rare occurrence that a disputed land has both a Hard Title and a Soft Title, the owner of the Hard Title will win the dispute.A Hard title is a land ownership certificate provided by the Land Management and Planning office.Hard titles contain detailed information that has been duly recognised and certified at a national level with the Ministry of Land and the concerned cadastral office.A Transfer tax of 4% per cent will be paid based on the total property value upon the facilitation of the Hard Title transfer.The facilitation of a Hard Title transfer usually takes up to 12 weeks.Foreign nationals are constitutionally prohibited from obtaining Hard Titles. By extension, this prohibits foreign nationals from owning land and landed properties in Cambodia.Soft Title in CambodiaA Soft Title is the most commonly issued Cambodian land title. The Soft Title, however, is only recognised at the local government level. Soft titles are provided at the local Sangkat or district office and are not registered at a national level.The Sangkat (commune) or Phum (village) chief will issue a letter of possessory rights, which refers to the right of “possession” of property. A person is in “possession” of the property when she/he physically occupies the property but is not the owner of the land as recognised by the authority.Although not as secure as a Hard title, they are still considered evidence of possession. Historically, many land transactions have occurred as soft titles to avoid transfer taxes and fees. However, most new major developments are being transacted with hard titlesA quick summary of what is a Soft Title in Cambodia:A Soft Title is the most common form of ownership and the most commonly issued Cambodian land title as the transfer taxes and fees are cheaper than a Hard Title.It is estimated that 85% of Cambodian property owners only have Soft Titles to back up their property claims.It is a Cambodian land title that is recognised at the local government level (Sangkats & Khans).Soft Titles are provided by the local Sangkat or District office and are not registered at a national level - but are still considered a valid legal document of ownership. Soft Titles are relatively cheaper and quicker to acquire for Cambodians.Estimated to take anywhere between 10 to 12 working days to process.Foreign nationals are prohibited from owning a Soft Title. By extension, this prohibits foreign nationals from owning land and landed properties in CambodiaCambodian Strata TitlePrivate ownership in co-owned (strata) buildings is a recently introduced form of property title that also allows foreigners to legally own property in Cambodia.Co-owned buildings or Strata-titled buildings are defined as buildings in which several owners reside, consisting of some parts that are the exclusive ownership of each co-owner (private units), and some other parts that are common spaces for the common use of co-owners (common areas).A quick summary of what a Strata Title in Cambodia is:A Strata Title is a special title commonly used for condo unit purchases that is available to both Cambodian nationals and foreign nationals.There are other mechanisms not necessarily involving a Strata Title available for property ownership for Foreign nationals which you can see in our investment guide.Strata Titles can only be granted if the property in question satisfies these criteria: Only applicable to buildings constructed in 2010 and beyond.Foreigners can only own 70% of the total surface area of the building or property.Strata Titles cannot be issued for properties on the ground floor and/or underground.Strata Titles cannot be issued for any property within 30km of the nearest land border.Private Ownership in co-owned buildings (also known as Strata Title) is the most recent form of ownership and allows foreigners to legally own property in Cambodia.Strata Title is a less common Cambodia land title, but the numbers issued are growing fast.Most new condo development projects offer this type of title to accommodate foreign demand to own property in Cambodia.The Law on Foreign Ownership’ was promulgated on 24 May 2010. This law limits foreign ownership to co-owned buildings. Foreigners still cannot own land, as it is unconstitutional.Strata Titles are issued by the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction. This means Strata Titles are recognized on a national level.A Transfer tax of 4% percent will be paid based on the total property value upon the facilitation of the Strata Title transfer.LMAP Title in CambodiaTo improve land tenure security, a titling system called LMAP (Land Management and Administration Project) has been introduced in Cambodia.Based on official GPS coordinates, land plots are being registered throughout the country. Should an LMAP title exist for your property already, the borders have been agreed upon between neighbouring parties and are less prone to dispute.A quick summary of what is an LMAP Title in Cambodia:The LMAP Title is another property ownership title issued and recognised on a national level by the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC) - along with the relevant cadastral offices.The main difference between the LMAP Title from a Hard Title is its inclusion of the exact GPS coordinates that determine the boundaries of the property in question.LMAP Titles can only be obtained on land that has been indexed on a cadastral map. So, if a plot of land has not yet been indexed, the LMAP Title cannot be issued for that property.If the MLMUPC is presently undergoing the necessary LMAP titling process in your village or area where you live, this means you only need to follow what your local authority informs you to do once the project is completed. It is their obligation to communicate with you.It is possible to own a Hard Title without an LMAP Title due to the above-mentioned limitation.A Transfer tax of 4% per cent will be paid based on the total property value upon the facilitation of the LMAP Title transfer.Foreign nationals are not permitted to own an LMAP title. By extension, this prohibits foreign nationals from owning land and landed properties in Cambodia.How to Transfer A Property Title in CambodiaWhen you purchase property or land in Cambodia, it is critical to obtain outright ownership in order to feel secure about your new asset. To complete the process for transferring land titles of ownership, there are particular steps that need to be followed, documents that need to be obtained, as well as the necessary consultations with relevant agencies.Step 1: Verify the title certificate with the relevant Land OfficeThe buyer will first need to verify the land title certificate with the Land Office at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC), to check for any debts or other claims to the property.This process requires:The buyer must obtain the original title certificate from the seller to verify their genuine ownership.The buyer will then verify the title certificate with the Land Office at the MLMUPC.The Land Office will inform the buyer if there are any liens (debts), mortgages, or other claims registered to that property.Relevant Government Agency: Land Office at MLMUPCEstimated time to completion: This takes approximately 10 days (should occur simultaneously to steps 2 and 3)Step 2: Obtain information on the propertyThe buyer must then obtain information on the property from the relevant Commune Council Official. This involves the buyer contacting the village chief or the Commune Council Official in which the property is located to obtain information about the land/property. In addition to this, an official search of the title should take place at the Khan/District Land Office.Relevant Government Agency: Commune Council (Relevant District/Khan office in your property’s area)Estimated time to completion: This should take approximately 10 days (we advise that this be done in parallel to Steps 1 and 3)Step 3: Obtain the certificate of incorporation and official documents from the sellerIf the landowner is a legal entity, the buyer must obtain;A copy of the ID of the shareholder, or person acting on behalf of the company.A certified/notarised copy of the Certificate of Incorporation of the seller’s company as issued by the Ministry of Commerce.Any other official documents from the seller relating to the company and the transaction.All of these documents are needed to verify the accuracy and identity of the company name appearing on the title certificate. Further documents needed to verify the seller’s authorisation to transfer the property to the buyer are;A special power of attorney.A Resolution signed by the Board of Directors from that company authorising the named individual (seller) to represent the company at the Land Office (MLMUPC).A power of attorney specifically stating that the seller can bring into effect that Resolution to transfer land titles of ownership to the buyer.Relevant Government Agency: Ministry of CommerceEstimated time to completion: This process should take around 10 days (should occur simultaneously with steps 1 and 2)Step 4: Apply for registration at the District Land Office (MLMUPC)When the buyer and seller, whether they are as an individual or a company wish to complete the property transaction, they must go together to the District Land Office at the MLMUPC to arrange, prepare, and sign the relevant documents.The documentation needed for this step is:The Company’s statute.The Company’s Certificate of Incorporation (obtained in Step 3).Both of the Power of Attorney documents (obtained in Step 3).The original Title Certificate held by the seller must be presented to the District Land Office at the time of signing the deed, in order to have the name of the new owner officially inserted on the document.Relevant Government Agency: District Land Office, MLMUPC (District Land Office of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning & Construction)Estimated time to complete the step: This step takes between 20 and 30 days.Step 5: Pay transfer taxA transfer tax of approximately 4 per cent of the total value of the property is paid to the Ministry of Economy and Finance at the General Department of Taxation, in the district that the transferred property resides. A tax receipt is then issued to prove that the property transfer tax has been paid.In Phnom Penh, however, this tax is not assessed based on the true transacted value of the property; but, rather, based on a schedule of the price of property determined by the Phnom Penh Municipality. The assessed valuation by the Phnom Penh Municipality is based upon factors such as; the total number of square meters, the land’s location, use, potential use, and other variables.To put this quite simply the transfer tax is not based on the actual price of the land which is sold, which is usually the case, rather it is based on the assessed value made by the Phnom Penh Municipal office, which may be higher than the tax rates in other provinces.If the land is more than 1200 sqm, the surplus of the land will also be subject to “unused land tax.” For land less than 1200 sqm, the unused land tax is not applicable. The time for the General Department of Taxation to complete the calculation of transfer tax will depend on the location of the land and its size.Relevant Government Agency: General Department of TaxationEstimated time to complete the step: This process should take around 1 dayStep 6: Return to the cadastral office to complete the registration processAfter all relevant taxes are paid, the parties may return to the cadastral office at the District Land Office of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning & Construction (MLMUPC) and sign/thumbprint an MLMUPC form for buying/selling real property, as filled in by MLMUPC official.The signing/thumbprinting must be witnessed by a local authority such as the commune chief, who will also give their thumbprint. These procedures are based on Land Law Articles; 65, 244 and 245. Land Law Article 69 bars the transfer of property unless all necessary taxes are paid. The documentation provided should include payment receipts of the transfer tax (obtained in Step 5).Step 7: Obtain the certificate of title from the Municipal Land OfficeObtain the certificate of title from the Municipal Land Office: The Khan/District land office forwards all the “transfer documents” to the Municipal Land Office where it issues the final Certificate of Title in the new owner’s name. It is now registered.Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now!Article by:
Buying a condominium in Cambodia with leasehold
Buying a condominium in Cambodia with leasehold
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
Foreigners are 100% eligible to own a freehold condominium in Cambodia under certain conditions.The Cambodian Foreign Ownership Property Laws (legislated in 2010), allow foreigners to buy and own properties in Cambodia on the 1st floor or higher of a condominium. The property must possess a strata title and cannot exceed 70% foreign ownership.Buying a condominium in Cambodia with leaseholdThis method allows foreigners to purchase real property, either landed or strata-titled, and register the title deed in the name of a Cambodian citizen. The foreigner and the Cambodian enter into a long-term rental agreement by which the Cambodian citizen leases the property back to the foreigner for a set lease period. This lease period could extend to 99 years.Have a read of our guide on purchasing a condominium in Cambodia as a foreigner.Purchasing through a leasehold does not allow the foreign to enjoy the feeling of freehold ownership. Most foreign investors expect full ‘ownership' of their property, therefore the concept of paying a large amount upfront, effectively renting back property for decades, can be an issue for many foreigners.However, by engaging suitable trustworthy legal representation, the drafting of a watertight agreement in terms of the property and the lease arrangement can make this a reasonably secure method of owning real property in Cambodia.Under this arrangement, the foreigner may sell the property at any time and keep 100% of the revenue from the sale.Get more information on understanding property titles in Cambodia.A Cambodian citizen is not permitted to disagree with or obstruct the sale. The foreigner retains the original copy of the new title deed as a security precaution.It must be noted that the sale of the property is impossible without the original copy of the title deed.Relationships are importantAlthough the foreigner can sell the property at any time, there is a requirement for the Cambodian citizen’s signature or thumbprint identification to be included in sale documentation, therefore entering into such an agreement requires an excellent relationship and a high level of trust.Realistically, if a foreigner has the capital, the building falls under the 70% foreign ownership threshold and the apartment is not on the ground floor, there is no real reason for purchasing a condominium on a Purchase – Leasehold basis.Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now!Article by:
Do I need a bank account to buy property in Cambodia?
Do I need a bank account to buy property in Cambodia?
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Realestate News
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
You don’t need a Cambodian bank account, but here is why you should open one.If you are intending to purchase your new home/investment in Cambodia, opening an account is not a legal obligation.Many expats choose to keep their bank accounts from home open and use them as their primary source of cash. It quickly becomes evident with mounting ATM charges (up to $5 per transaction) for foreign cards in Cambodia (and the home banks often charging the same), this is not the most economically viable way to conduct daily spending.What are my options if I don’t have a local bank account and want to purchase a property?You can use a lawyer's account and/or transfer monies directly to a developer. If you choose to transfer directly to the developer please ensure you seek legal advice prior to doing so.The benefits of opening a local bank account for investment propertiesIf you plan to receive rental from your tenants locally, having a local bank account reduces your transfer fees. It's also much easier to have access to local funds and local transfers through bank apps. This will allow you to pay expenses when overseas with minimal fuss and cost.As with any foreign country, there are high-risk factors of transferring large sums of cash directly to an unknown person/persons. And while Cambodian law is becoming more sensitive to the needs of foreign investors, anyone looking to invest in the Kingdom would still do well by securing their bases and opening a bank account if possible.If you are interested in opening a bank account in Cambodia, please read our ultimate guide to banking for foreigners in Cambodia. Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now!Article by:
Buying a condominium off the plan
Buying a condominium off the plan
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
Foreigners are 100% eligible to own a freehold condominium in Cambodia under certain conditions.The Cambodian Foreign Ownership Property Laws (legislation passed in 2010), allow foreigners to buy and own properties in Cambodia on the 1st floor or higher of a condominium. The property must possess a strata title and cannot exceed 70% foreign ownership.What does "off the plan" buying mean?Off the plan purchasing is literally what it sounds like. You are purchasing the condominium (condo) prior to its construction based on its design and construction plans. You sign a contract that reflects the agreed price of the condo as per the architectural specifications, any additions or changes you require. Generally, a deposit is required, (the amount of deposit is at the developer’s discretion and can be as high as 50 percent of the purchase price, or even higher), with the payment of these funds made by installments based on construction milestones set by the developer.Investors should develop an in-depth understanding of the installment payment plan triggered by construction stage milestones. These milestones may be based on various different construction stages. Some maybe a simple percentage of completion calculation or reliant on certain physical construction stages being met, such as floor topping of your level, electrical installation, certification of plumbing, etc. Unscrupulous developers may call for payments on milestones that have not been achieved. It is important to ensure investors have independent, suitably qualified advisors to monitor this process.When the building is finished, the developer hands you the keys to your new condo! Be certain to ensure there is a warranty and defects period included in your contract, identifying what is covered under warranty and a clear defect rectification process is in place, including contact details of the party responsible for addressing defects.What’s the advantage of buying off the plan?By purchasing at the development stage, buyers have the opportunity to select condos with the best locations, or prime units, in the development. Obviously, as the development progresses the availability of these prime units decreases.Buying off the plan offers you the flexibility to customise your condo within the limits of construction design. Whether you want to change the floor plan, surface treatments, lighting etc, these changes are easily achieved and are markedly less expensive during development.Off the plan discounts.Developers have loans to service and construction costs to cover. The more pre-launch sales deposits they receive, the better. This motivates the sales team to offer discounts on the purchase price, particularly if the market slows during the construction period. Many developers now offer rental guarantees to potential investors as enticement. These guarantees are traditionally based on a percentage return on investment.Historically, there have been occasions when off the plan buyers have seen substantial capital growth in their investment compared to purchasers who invest post-construction. Investors and speculators find this compelling, however, it is wise to consider that due to oversupply or global financial issues, the opposite can occur.Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now!Article by:
The 4 big reasons to buy land property today
The 4 big reasons to buy land property today
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Comparisons
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
(The Kingdom of Cambodia’s rapid real estate development has been a boon to land-owners across the country. Photo by Ly Vanna.)One of the first things you learn in real estate is that land value continuously appreciates. In the Kingdom of Cambodia, this has become more apparent.This is especially true in the rapidly developing urban population centres (such as Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville) and major public infrastructure works (such as National Road 3, and the road projects in Kampot and Sihanoukville, or near national planned airports etc).According to CBRE’s Fearless Forecast 2020 report, land prices across Phnom Penh’s districts rose significantly. The districts of Daun Penh, Chamkarmon, and 7 Makara have seen the largest appreciation as these started the decade with prices around 2,000 USD per sqm.These same districts saw prices of ~6,000 USD per sqm in 2019; a 200% increase in value. Toul Kork, one of the most recently developed districts in Phnom Penh, has spiked in land value - from ~1,000 USD per sqm in 2010 and closed 2019 at an average price tag of around ~3,500 USD per sqm.(Phnom Penh's land prices have been on a steady increase since 2010. Source: CBRE Research 2021)Property in the countryside has risen as well due to the rehabilitation of major road networks. In the Kandal province, for example, the price per square metre of land was reported to cost $5 USD. But when road works began for the National Road 3, prices spiked to $13 USD per sqm. That may not sound like a lot compared to prices in Phnom Penh, but you have to remember that land in the countryside is purchased in hectares and not at a few hundred square metres.The uptick of land purchases and developments are showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon either. And that’s why you should consider buying landed property while they’re still affordable and profitable!Read the latest on why investing in Cambodia is a great idea.But before you buy, let’s understand the factors influencing the appreciation of land values.Why does land value appreciate?(The inherent value of land is tied with the versatility it provides when it comes to development.)Land has intrinsic valueLand has unquestionable intrinsic value since it can always be used for something that can produce valuable goods and services - something the Cambodian government, the private sector, and a few enterprising individuals in the countryside duly understand.For a better understanding of how intrinsic the value of land is, let’s take a look at cryptocurrency as a store of value. Without anyone accepting cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange, it cannot be used to produce anything else.On the other hand, even if land cannot be used as a medium of exchange, it can be used to build a house or a condominium that can be rented out. It can also be built into a mall to house shops selling a variety of products. If you don’t have any capital, you have the option of converting the land into a simple parking lot where you can charge cars for parking fees.With a few improvements here and there, a land’s inherent value further increases when there’s adequate infrastructure - which leads us to our next reason.Availability of infrastructure(Electricity in the Kingdom is of particular importance to continue its industrial growth.)Underdeveloped infrastructure isn't a problem unique to Cambodia, it still does greatly influence the development and pricing of property in the Kingdom. This holds true in major economic hubs like Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville - cities which are seeing the fastest rates of development of residential, commercial, and industrial projects which stretch the capacity of existing infrastructure to support them.For landed property developers, such as boreys, some developers have to construct their own electric/water supply infrastructure, further driving up the cost of the development.Land, by itself, is mostly useless for most modern-day purposes. This highlights the need for adequate infrastructure to support residential, commercial, and industrial endeavours. In particular, infrastructure for electricity and running water are key factors in the viability of any residential or commercial prospect.Hence, land property with access to the necessary electric and water supply makes for a valuable purchase for most developers.Location, Location, Location(Real estate is business, and business is heavily dependent on location.)As Mark Twain once said, “Buy land, they’re not making it anymore”.There is only so much land available that’s proximal to any city centre. The areas around the busiest and most populated parts of a city or a province will be most sought after due to their proximity to where people want convenient access to. As a city like Phnom Penh expands, it only follows that the accompanying land prices surrounding its busiest commercial and most popular residential areas rise as well.4 Reasons you should consider buying land property todayLand appreciates, your money does not. As Cambodia grows, so does its need for more residential, commercial, and industrial development. More projects from the government and private sector will be unveiled hence buying bare plots of land today, at incredibly low prices, can be a good means of protecting your wealth from inflation and grow it at a pace no savings account ever will.Read here if you want more advice on what you need to know BEFORE you invest in Cambodian land.Here are a the FOUR main reasons why you should consider buying land in the Kingdom:1. Boreys are becoming more popular in Cambodia(Boreys are gated communities in Cambodia offering shophouses, linked houses, and villas to the local real estate market. Phorn Seiha / Realestate.com.kh)Boreys have become increasingly popular among Cambodians as these gated communities provide a sense of community and security to their residents. Amenities such as parks, pools, and activity centres also have value-added appeal to buyers. Developers have also taken interest in the mid-range market to appeal to more Cambodians looking to buy a home.To give you a measure of how popular Boreys are, let’s crunch some numbers: According to Knight Frank’s H1 2019 report, there were a recorded 51,278 Borey houses distributed across 131 Borey developments in Cambodia. By the end of that period, there were 18 more Borey developments launched with more than 22,500 units expected to be added by 2021. Borey developers are also seeing up to 80% sales rates for their projects.In a few years’ time, more than 80,000 Borey units consisting of villas, shophouses, and linked houses will be available to local buyers. It probably goes without saying, that’s a lot of landed residential property coming into the market very soon.2. Rehabilitation of national roads(The rehabilitation of National Road 3 has caused surrounding land prices in the Kandal prices to increase. Photo by Valinda Aim from Khmer Times.)Development is stretching outward the major economic centres (Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville) every year. The Cambodian government has announced several major road rehabilitation projects stretching out of Phnom Penh, most notable of which are National Road 2, National Road 3, and National Ring Road 3.It’s also important to note that each of these major national roads is linked with other national roads leading to other parts of the country. It would be best for you to consult your local google maps to see where you can potentially buy land.3. Less management requiredMaintaining an empty plot of land doesn’t require much work or attention. As opposed to managing a business or rental property, all an empty plot of land probably needs is a fence and the ocular inspection every now and then, or maybe even a post to say that someone owns the property.Either way, maintaining a plot of land has comparatively fewer headaches than most other investments.4. Competition doesn’t existNo two pieces of land are exactly the same. At least one or more major factors (available infrastructure, access to roads, proximity to the city centre, land quality, etc.,) will always be different.Comparing that to condominium or borey property developers - who have to spend a lot on marketing their projects - you as the owner of a bare plot of land will not have to go through the same level of competition to acquire a buyer.What to do with the land you bought in Cambodia(Respondents from the Realestate.com.kh Consumer Sentiment Survey indicate they would buy real estate property as an investment over as a place of residence.)As anti-climactic as it may sound; this entirely depends on you. Many people, according to realestate.com.kh’s consumer sentiment survey, indicated that they wanted to buy land property mainly for investment purposes. In a story previously posted on realestate.com.kh, a resident of Kampong Speu along with his friends bought several plots of land around National Road 3 prior to the announcement of its rehabilitation. They expected their investment to profit in a few years but little did they expect they would more than double their earnings in just a few months once the government officially announced the rehabilitation project.If you’re not savvy when it comes to flipping land, and you don’t have a home to call your own, there’s always the option of using the land you own to finance a house.There’s also the additional option of leasing your land. This is a different process altogether but it’s essentially renting your property to an individual or entity that can make better use of it. This keeps you as the owner of the land while you’re paid fees for simply owning property.Again, this entirely depends on the land you have and what your future goals are. If you want to get started, you may check our listings page for properties you may be interested in!Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now!Article by:
Transferring funds into Cambodia
Transferring funds into Cambodia
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Realestate News
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
The procedure for bringing money into Cambodia is easy as long as you have the right documentation you can easily transfer it without any problems.Foreign exchange controlsThere are no restrictions on the remittance or repatriation of capital or profits into or out of Cambodia, so long as the transfers are conducted through registered financial institutions (Banks).Riel (KHR) is the official currency of Cambodia, however, most transactions are conducted and denominated in the US dollar. Remittances are subject to applicable withholding taxes.Restriction on the foreign exchangeThe “Law on the Foreign Exchange” of September 1997 stipulates that “there shall be no restriction on foreign exchange operations” through authorised banks (Article 5) but the authorised banks shall report to the National Bank of Cambodia the amount of each transfer equalling or exceeding 10,000 US dollars (Article 17). Residents are allowed to hold foreign currencies freely (Article 7).Article 5There shall be no restrictions on foreign exchange operations through book-entry including purchases and sales of foreign exchange on the foreign exchange market, transfers, all kinds of international settlements, and capital flows in foreign or domestic currency, between Cambodia and the rest of the world or between residents and non-residents. However, such operations shall be undertaken solely through authorized intermediaries.Only banks permanently established in the Kingdom of Cambodia shall be considered as authorised intermediaries.Authorized intermediaries shall be required, under conditions established by regulations, to provide the Central Bank on a regular basis with periodic statements, by type of transfers or settlement and of outflows and inflows of capital carried out between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the rest of the world, according to the time set by the Central Bank.Any export of cash in foreign currency by authorised intermediaries shall be subject to prior declaration to the Central Bank.The manual money changers who have fixed or moving counter may exercise their exchange transaction with the prior authorisation of the Central Bank.Article 7 Residents may hold foreign currencies freely, both in form and location of such holdings inside the country. Nevertheless, in case of a foreign exchange crisis, the Central Bank may issue regulations to be implemented for a maximum period of 3 months, suspending temporally the enforcement of this provision. In case of having to prolong the scheme, the Central Bank together with the Ministry of Economy and Finance shall submit a request to the Head of the Royal Government for approval.Article 17Transfers relating to investment or liquidation of investment shall be made through authorised intermediaries as stated in Article 5 of the present law.Subsequently, the authorised intermediaries shall report to the Central Bank the amount of each transfer equalling or exceeding one hundred thousand US dollars (USD 100,000).RememberAlways check with your bank in Cambodia prior to any transfers to ensure the correct documentation is completed and compliant with the relevant laws.Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now!Article by:
Tips to save money for your first house in Cambodia
Tips to save money for your first house in Cambodia
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
(Being in your 20s and even your 30s affords you so much time and opportunity to earn that you might not have later on in life. It’s also the best time to start saving money for your first home investment. Image Supplied)If you’re under the age of 30, working a decent job, and don’t have a home to call your own, then it’s the perfect time to save for your first house. Cambodia’s property selection, especially in Phnom Penh, are plentiful, and in a few years’ time, you’ll practically be swimming in borey/condominium choices!At the back of your head, you might be saying “But I’m young! I want to see the world and experience new things!” or “Have you seen the prices? They’re so expensive!”. While both are popular concerns, they’re also not as serious as you might initially believe.Why you should start saving for a home while in your 20sBeing in your 20s is probably one of the best times to start saving. Unfortunately, youth is often wasted on the young. Most young working adults spend their money on travelling and expensive food/services - thinking they’ve worked for this, why shouldn’t they spend it?And that’s where the problem lies. Being in your 20s affords you so much time and opportunity to earn that you will not have (to the same degree) in your 30s and 40s. Setting some money aside, especially in your early 20s, will give you a big advantage once you eventually realise the value of owning a home. As the saying goes, “The early bird gets the worm”. The money you should set aside on a regular basis doesn’t have to be big either! By cutting down on things you spend every day or every-now-and-then, you’ll eventually accrue enough savings to consider getting a downpayment.We’re not saying you should completely stop spending on the fun things in life (though if applicable, do it!), but you can definitely compromise on their frequency for the sake of your future home security.Tips to save money every day, every week, every monthLimit the international travel(Carefully selecting and limiting your international travel is a great way to save money. Photo by Economytraveller.com)You’re young and the world is your oyster. But much like the pearl in it, it can get really expensive. If you have a knack for travelling abroad multiple times a year, you might wanna cut that down to once or twice per year, at most.International ticket fares cost no less than $200 USD (return flight included). Of course, airfare tickets aren’t the only thing you’ll be spending on. Depending on how long you’re staying and what you’re gonna be doing, you could budget anywhere from $300 USD to $1,000 USD for accommodation, food, souvenirs, and activities.You’ll be saving around $500 USD per year at least simply by holding off on that trip. We know cutting down on this expense can be a pain for the travel bug in you. But these are substantial amounts you could be saving for a real estate property you can call your own!Limit the expensive restaurants(Good burgers like this can cost upwards of $10 USD per serving in Phnom Penh. Photo by Timothy O’Toole)Cambodia, especially Phnom Penh, is home to a lot of good food! The capital city hosts a multitude of cultures offering their cuisines alongside local Khmer favourites. But as the market for good food grows, so do their accompanying price tags.The best meals are often among the expensive - easily ranging from $20 USD to $100 USD per meal. If you like to spend above $10 USD or more per meal, that means you’re spending around $20-30 USD per day on food. That amounts to around $600-900 USD on food every month, which is a lot!You can scale back on expenses by opting for cheaper (and often better value) food options, or plan your grocery shopping and cook from home more often. Since Phnom Penh is filled with superb food options, good eats can cost as little as $3-5 USD per meal.Food expense breakdownCost per meal (USD)Frequency per dayTotal cost per day (USD)Total cost per month (USD)103309005315450You could save around $450 USD (or more) per month or $5,400 USD per year simply by opting to eat meals at more modest places. Let’s not forget that you can save more money if you know how to cook! And if you don’t know how to cook, it’s a damn good life skill to have, so you better learn.Learn to say “No” to expensive activities/outings(Saying “No” can be good for your wallet and your eventual downpayment for your very own home. Photo by LostPlate.com)We love our friends and family. But constantly saying “Yes” to whatever and wherever they want to do or go can hurt your savings! It’s quite difficult to put a value on activities as these vary wildly. But for the sake of discussion, let’s assume some financial implications:Let’s say you’re spending $40 USD on outings every weekend - and that’s on top of your food expenses such as drinks, movies, transportation, or whatever is trending. If you go out every weekend (4x month) that could be an additional $160 USD of monthly expenses.Activity/Outing cost per monthTotal activity cost per weekend (USD)Frequency per monthTotal cost per month (USD)40416040280Again, activity/outing costs vary wildly. But one thing is for sure: going out every weekend is a bad idea if you’re planning to save money for a future project like owning your very own home.Skip the expensive coffee(Cutting down on your daily coffee can add up to significant savings at the end of the year. Photo by Discover Cambodia)At the risk of being chased out of Phnom Penh with pitchforks and lit torches, we have to say frequent consumption of expensive coffee can be bad for your savings! Let’s crunch some numbers.Cost breakdown of buying coffee per monthCost per branded coffee (USD)Frequency per dayTotal cost per day (USD)Frequency of days buying coffeeTotal cost per month (USD)2.525301502.512.52050You could be spending up to $150 USD per month if you’re spending $2.50 USD per serving of coffee and buying twice a day. Cutting this down to effectively half (in terms of frequency) can save you an additional $100 USD per month or $1,200 USD per year!We understand that this is going to be a tall order for a country that loves its caffeine. But constantly consuming coffee - multiple times a day - can slow down the progress of your savings.If you are looking to treat yourself to one excellent coffee, try out these cafes in Phnom Penh.Track your daily/weekly/monthly expenses(Tracking your regular expenses can you better insight into your spending habits - and know where to save. Photo by Review Geek)Listing down what you spend isn’t a bad thing, it's a smart thing to do to keep you in track! It will provide you with insights into your spending habits. Here are a few questions you can answer by tracking your regular expenses:What am I spending on?How much am I spending on it?How often do I spend on it?Answering the questions above will give you a picture of your spending habits and eventually help you decide on how best to maximise your savings with these questions:How come I’m not able to save any money?Do I really need to spend on this?Can I limit how much I’m spending on this?Knowing your spending habits goes beyond being able to save money, it can actually give you a picture of what your priorities are! Hence, why big companies today are invested in acquiring the financial data of consumers. But that’s a discussion for another day.Curious about home loan options in Cambodia?.Create a separate bank account specifically for savings(Banks like ABA offer convenient ways to create a savings account. Something you’ll need for any savings goal you may have. Photo by ABA)As my mom always says, “Save first and spend what’s left”. Banks like ABA allow you to make a separate bank account easily through your mobile device. Whenever you receive your salary or have money coming your way, we suggest saving a portion first before spending any of it, not the other way around!How much you need to save is entirely up to you as you know your needs best. A piece of good advice on knowing much to set aside is to “save money until it hurts”. This means you should set aside money right away and leave enough to meet your regular necessities. For the sake of putting a figure on it, this could range anywhere from saving 25% to 30% of whatever funds come your way.And remember, do not touch your savings unless it’s absolutely necessary!Read more in our ultimate guide to banking for foreigners in Cambodia.“Save money, it will be worth it”You may have already heard this several times from your elders, and it’s a cliché, we know. But you’ll soon realise that it’s cliché because it’s true.Cutting down on daily comforts will be difficult at first, and the temptation to indulge yourself will be alluring for sure, but trust us when we say it will pay off in the end. Owning a home is the best form of security you can give yourself, and quite frankly, you owe it to yourself to secure your future.So, the next time you’re thinking of buying your 3rd coffee at 5pm in the afternoon, ask yourself, “Do I really need this?”.Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now!Article by:
Key investment locations & local terminologies you will need to know
Key investment locations & local terminologies you will need to know
June 6, 2022, 5:06 p.m.
Realestate News
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
First of all, let's understand how locations work in Cambodia. Locations are defined by three main terms. Each term has two commonly-used and widely-accepted words. Sounds confusing. Don’t sweat, we’ve got you covered. When we say locations, we mean cities, suburbs, districts, provinces, etc. Simply put, locations in Cambodia are defined by 1. City/Province, 2. Khan/District, 3. Sangkat/Commune, and even then if you were on a website like Wikipedia you will get confused as it starts talking about municipalities and so on. In this guide, we will provide you a better explanation of the terminology used for some of the most popular and high potential locations for developments in Cambodia and identify a few of the terms, locations, and references that might confuse you as a property seeker in Cambodia.City or ProvinceThere are 25 cities and provinces in Cambodia and most Cambodians as well as expats, use the term province if they refer to any location outside of Phnom Penh, which they regard as a city. Regardless they are more or less the same thing. And the top three locations for condominium investment are Phnom Penh city, Siem Reap province and Preah Sihanoukville, known locally as Kom Pong Som province.(Silk island, locally known as Koh Dach, is a 1-hour drive famous gateway island from the bustling city of Phnom Penh / Seiha Phorn) Khan or DistrictThe next level is commonly known as Khan or District. There are 12 districts within Siem Reap province, 4 in Preah Sihanoukville and 14 currently in Phnom Penh. For the purposes of better planning, in 2019 the Cambodian government created two new districts within Phnom Penh. One known as Kamboul and the other one is Boeung Keng Kang, a more important district for condominium investors to learn about. Located right in the heart of Phnom Penh, Boeung Keng Kang is locally known as BKK by Cambodians and expats. BKK is a hotspot for some of the most promising top-tier residential development projects.(BKK is one of the hotspots for new developments in Phnom Penh / Realestate.com.kh) Sangkat or CommuneThe next level is known as Sangkat or Commune and even then it goes more granular (with Khom or Village) although those are little known, even by local Cambodians. Since 2019 Boeung Keng Kang now houses Boeung Keng Kang I (BKK1), Boeung Keng Kang II (BKK2), Boeung Keng Kang III (BKK3), Olympic, Tumnop Teuk, Tuol Svay Prey I and Tuol Svay Prey II. While another popular location for condominium investment known as Tonle Bassac which is just next door to BKK1 and is located within the Chamkarmon district. If you are searching for property on realestate.com.kh, we have not made the change in our location data set as the market (property seekers, agents and developers) generally follows the old locations and classifications for now.Phnom PenhIf you are looking for property in the capital city of Phnom Penh, the hot sub-locations for these top-grade and luxury investments include: 1. Chamkarmon, as mentioned above the classification for the sub-locations by law has changed, however, the agents, developers and property seekers have not adopted this yet, so as to not confuse the users of realestate.com.kh - neither have we. Chamkarmon can sometimes be referred to as the centre of Phnom Penh, and whilst the district does demand the highest rental returns and the highest land price per square meter especially in BKK1 and Tonle Bassac the actual Central Business District (CBD) is in sangkat Wat Phnom within Daun Penh district. Another hot location for condominium investment is Koh Pich which translates to Diamond Island in khmer, is actually not a sangkat itself. Koh Pich (Diamond Island) is a part of Tonle Bassac commune.Remember, If you are searching for properties on realestate.com.kh and you are interested in properties within Koh Pich, you can simply select this location from the landmarks drop-down list within the search bar or simply select Tonle Bassac as your prefered location. 2. Central Business District, whilst it needs some time to be adopted market-wide, the CBD in Cambodia is defined by the main collection of A to B grade office towers in Phnom Penh including Vattanac Capital Tower, Canadia Tower, Exchange Square, and Raintree which are all located within sangkat Wat Phnom in Daun Penh district. In its vicinity, you will also find key government ministries as well as the leading bank and financial headquarters.3. The South of Phnom Penh or Hun Sen Boulevard is one of the fastest-growing hot spots for investment in Cambodia. Key landmarks and hubs already in operation in the area include: The Factory (an integrated entertainment, food & beverage, arts, culture, and workspace) as well as ISPP, Cambodia's leading international school. Adding to that both landed property and condominium developers have already started construction in the area and three major malls (including AEON Mall 3) will be coming in full operation within the next 5 years. All of which points to a fantastic opportunity for investors, as the area is truly moving out of being a backwater swamp to one of the most livable areas in Phnom Penh. Most developers and agents will refer to the location as "The South", "South of Phnom Penh" or "60 Meter Road" which is actually Hun Sen Boulevard. It runs through multiple sangkats including Chak Angrae Leu which is in Meanchey district.4. Riverside, is another hot spot in Phnom Penh and another area that is not commonly referred to by its actual sangkat or district name. Locally, the location simply earns its name as it sits next to Tonle Sap river and ends where it meets the Mekong river.5. Chroy Changvar is a location often compared to the South of Phnom Penh by agents, developers, buyers, renters, and investors. Not because they are necessarily close to each other, but more because they are both experiencing similar growth in terms of infrastructure development, connectivity, housing developments and more. Chroy Changvar district is commonly known market-wide as the name of the location suggests - Chroy Changvar.(Chroy Changvar is another hotspot for development. It is one of the fastest-growing districts in Phnom Penh / Sieha Phorn)6. Close to the Airport seems to be a term used in emerging market property related marketing worldwide and to add to this the Cambodian government has recently announced the location of the new “Phnom Penh International Airport”. So expect developers to be using a phrase, around both airports from now on. The current airport (the biggest and main airport in Cambodia) is located in Por Sen Chey district, while the new airport will be in Kandal province which is yet another advantage to the Southern part of Phnom Penh. However, all is not lost for those that are looking to or have invested in Por Sen Chey district as this area is very popular with Cambodians and international expats alike, and will remain a key business and logistical hub.(The current Phnom Penh International Airport is the largest airport in Cambodia) 7. Sen Sok is a location widely known by the majority of Cambodians, and less common with international investors or even expats, but if you heard the term AEON 2 or Makro Cambodia  then you're more likely to know where we’re talking about or have at least seen it mentioned by developers. This area is also becoming more and more popular with landed and condo developments.Sihanoukville, Kom Pong Som or even Preah SihanoukOn realestate.com.kh we refer to the coastal region as Sihanoukville so do most developers, agents, and property sellers, certainly, if they are targeting international buyers. Although Sihanoukville includes sub-locations, the areas are more defined by the name of its different beaches such as Sokha Beach, Independence Beach, Ochheuteal, Serendipity and Otres rather than sangkats or khans. The main landmark that is referred to by property developers is the Golden Lions Roundabout, as most people consider this as the centre of town.Off the coast of Sihanoukville, there are also multiple islands with many investment opportunities for foreigners and these locations are all prefixed with the word "Koh" at the start of it, which translates to “island” in Khmer language. So if you see the location Koh Rong for example, this means that it is an island off the coast of Sihanoukville. Ream is another location that you will start to hear more in the coming months and years. Ream is one of the seven national parks in Cambodia and it is only 20 minutes drive from Preah Sihanouk International Airport.(A beautiful beach inside Ream national park, about 50-minute drive from the city centre / Phan Soumy) (Sihanoukville International Airport, one of the three currently running airports in Cambodia / Realestate.com.kh )(A new under-construction road along the coast of Ream leading to the city centre / Phan Soumy)  (This road is part of the nearly 300 million dollars road construction project that is being implemented in Sihanoukville / Phan Soumy) (A wide-open roundabout overlooking the ocean of one of the 34 under construction roads in the coastal province of Preah Sihanouk / Phan Soumy)  Siem ReapSiem Reap is a significant province of Cambodia and home to the famous Angkor Wat temple, the world’s largest religious site. Whilst it remains a favorite place for tourists in Cambodia, it has been less favored by condominium investors. Simply, because up until recently there were not many condominium projects being built. Most of the property developments were and still are landed property or low rise hotels.Why is this? Developers are not allowed to build above the height of Angkor Wat and therefore they have favored Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. However, this has changed over the last few months. The main thing to know in relation to sub-locations in Siem Reap is to ask the developer if it is close to Pub Street, a famous area within the city centre, full of restants, bars, shops, hotels, guesthouses, and other businesses. Sub locations will be rarely used in marketing material and will simply be marketed with Siem Reap.How does realestate.com.kh tackle some of the above issues?Property seekers can simply use the powerful search bar and type in the first three letters of a city, khan or sangkat and choose from the suggested locations that will appear as the user is typing the location. However, property seekers can also choose from the list of popular locations and even popular landmarks in Cambodia once they have clicked the search bar. Once a property seeker is looking at a property that they are interested in, they can also populate the map that appears on all properties to check the proximity to certain landmarks by simply typing the name of the landmark in the search box on the property page - for example, "Phnom Penh Airport". The map also allows you to populate nearby schools, restaurants, transport and hotels to give the buyer an idea of what infrastructure and amenities are nearby.Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now on both iOS and Android.Article by:
Best serviced apartments for long-term stays in Phnom Penh
Best serviced apartments for long-term stays in Phnom Penh
June 7, 2022, 5:50 a.m.
Property Reviews
Comparisons
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
(The living room of a serviced apartment in The Elysee in Koh Pich, Phnom Penh. Realestate.com.kh)Whether you’re a tourist, expat, or even a local, serviced apartments offer plenty of conveniences not often included in other real estate properties. The “serviced” in serviced apartments particularly appeal to tourists and expats looking to have quality-of-life conveniences “built-in” with their residence.Included services in these apartments usually range from weekly cleaning services, regular laundry services, consistent supply of drinking water, and even a full concierge service similar to hotels. It’s important to remember, however, that service offerings will vary from apartment to apartment. For a more detailed discussion of what you should expect from serviced apartments as a whole, you can check out this brief guide to what makes for a well-serviced apartment in Cambodia.For this guide, we will be talking about where you can find serviced apartments (and what’s included in each one) for a long-term stay in Cambodia.Where can I find serviced apartments in Cambodia?Serviced apartments in Cambodia are largely concentrated in Phnom Penh. According to Knight Frank, an international property consultancy firm, most serviced apartments can be found in the following districts: Boeung Keng Kang (BKK) with 35%, Chamkarmon with 20%, Daun Penh with 13%, and Toul Kork with 12%.If you’re looking for commercialized districts that come complete with modern city staples like shopping malls, markets, banks/ATMs, restaurants, cafes, convenience stores, and offices, you should be considering living in these areas as they make up the city centre of Phnom Penh.What serviced apartments are good for long-term stays?We’ve come up with a few of the best-serviced apartments in Phnom Penh well suited for a range of the tourist/expat market looking to stay long-term in Cambodia. This list is by no means all serviced apartments in Phnom Penh, but a shortlist of what best represents the serviced apartment sector of Cambodia’s advancing real estate market.Silvertown Metropolitan(An aerial view of Silvertown Metropolitan, one of Phnom Penh's upscale serviced apartments. Photo courtesy of Booking.com)Starting Rent: USD $1,000 per monthOfferings: 1 bedroom to 3 bedroomsSilvertown Metropolitan is a high-end development that offers luxury condos, studios, and serviced apartments in BKK1. Expats, most especially, will appreciate the comforts immediately available. And given Silvertown Metropolitan’s proximity to the Mao Tse Tung Boulevard, anyone staying here can easily find their way to wherever they need to go in the city.Their tagline of “bringing L.A. to Phnom Penh” becomes apparent once you see their offerings and accompanying price tags. Starting at $1,000 per month, Silvertown Metropolitan is one of the more upscale and expensive serviced apartments in Phnom Penh. But does its services justify its price? If money isn’t an object and you don’t want any punches pulled in city pampering, then it certainly does. Their services include a 24-hour full concierge, housekeeping, and high-speed WiFi. Each unit comes fully furnished with a complete kitchen and dining area, laundering facilities, a refrigerator, hairdryer, robes, cable TV, towels, linen, and A/C. All rooms are outfitted with modern furnishings popular in posh West Coast apartments. Amenities such as the rooftop pool and fitness centre are also available for use.(An image of a bedroom in Silvertown Metropolitan serviced apartments. Photo courtesy of Silvertowncambodia.com)But if you’re more into what it offers beyond its premises, then it doesn’t differ too much from the other serviced apartments mentioned in this guide. Silvertown Metropolitan is in the mid-point between Preah Norodom and Preah Monivong Boulevard and sits close to Mao Tse Tung Boulevard. All these roads lead to the popular spots in BKK1, the Russian Market, and Riverside in Daun Penh.Silvertown Metropolitan represents one of the higher ends of the serviced apartment sector and with good reason: It tops the discussion when it comes to what condo has the best service and is well-managed in Phnom Penh.Silvertown Metropolitan Property ListingThe Elysee(The Elysee by Dara is inspired by the French monument, Arc de Triomphe)Starting Rent: USD $750 per monthOfferings: 1 bedroom to 4 bedroomsLocated in the French-inspired suburban area of Koh Pich, a.k.a. The Diamond Island, the Elysee is designed after the majestic Arc de Triomphe. And much like the actual monument, The Elysee’s vicinity takes after the iconic townhouses and boulevards of modern-day Paris. The Elysee is also one of the newest serviced apartments developed in Phnom Penh.The Elysee certainly tops this shortlist as its French-influenced design comes with luxury amenities and services without necessarily breaking the bank. Units can be rented out for as low as USD $450 a month which already comes fully-furnished and includes Cable TV, internet WiFi, and housekeeping included in the monthly rental - a good package we’re certain anyone definitely appreciates. Renting here gives you access to a fully-equipped fitness center and steam & sauna within the comforts of the apartment.(An image of an apartment for rent in The Elysee. Realestate.com.kh)Koh Pich island lies east of Phnom Penh’s mainland and is one of the fastest-developing areas in the city. Commercial amenities such as banks, cafes, restaurants, and offices can be found throughout The Elysee’s immediate vicinity. The Elysee sits right on Koh Pich road leading to Samdach Sothearos Boulevard where AEON Mall 1 stands. The same road is connected to Preah Norodom and Mao Tse Tung Boulevard, giving residents access to even more commercial establishments in BKK1, Chamkarmon, and Daun Penh.Koh Pich’s inspired urban design offers a new and unique experience of living in Phnom Penh, making it one of the hottest properties to watch out for - and at a good price. If you’re interested in living in Diamond Island, we highly recommend checking this propertyThe Elysee Property ListingUrban Loft(An image of Urban Loft's exterior in Sen Sok. Photo courtesy of Google Map contributors)Price Range: USD $600 per monthOfferings: 1 bedroom to 3 bedroomsUrban Loft is a serviced apartment located in Sen Sok. While this area is quite some distance from the center centre, Sen Sok itself has seen massive developments in residential and commercial real estate. We recommend this area more for expats rather than tourists as it’s still in the early-mid stages of development and doesn’t have much to offer if you’re not staying long-term.(An image of a bedroom in Urban Loft Sen Sok. Photo from Urbanloft.com)Regardless, Urban Loft offers plenty of space for quality long-term living. Its wide interior design allows for large open-plan condos that maximize light and airflow within each unit. It’s also fully furnished so moving in is easy and quick - something we know expats would definitely prefer. Urban Loft’s spacious units are complemented by an expansive pool and gym. Families living here can avail of the kindergarten and babysitting services. An array of excellent schools are not too far away as Sen Sok is where boreys (gated communities) are becoming increasingly popular among Khmer families.AEON Mall 2, the biggest mall in the city, is just a 5 to 7-minute drive away. And down the road is the popular wholesale grocery Makro. Choices are becoming increasingly abundant in Sen Sok that going into the city proper is starting to become an option rather than a necessity.Urban Loft Property ListingThe View Serviced Residences(An image of The View Serviced Residences in BKK1. Photo courtesy of Agoda.com)Starting Rent: USD $1,000 per monthOfferings: 1 bedroom to 2 bedroomsThe View Serviced Residences is one of the premier serviced apartments in BKK1. Inspired by Japanese interior design, The View’s units offer a simplistic charm many tourists and expatriates would find attractive.The View is at the crossroads of Phnom Penh’s many attractions and modern conveniences. Its location in BKK1 surrounds it with the city’s best places to eat and the newest and biggest shopping centres around in the form of Chip Mong Noro Mall and AEON 1, respectively. Its proximity to popular tourist and expat spots makes it a good choice for foreign travelers wanting to get a peek of the many offerings within the Kingdom.(The View Serviced Residences was designed by Japanese architect Kato Yoshio. Realestate.com.kh)But what’s a serviced apartment without talking about services? Starting at $1,000 per month, residents get fully-furnished rooms, twice-a-week housekeeping, fitness centre, and access to an infinity pool, jacuzzi, and steam room in the common areas. A cafe and restaurant are also serving residents inside the apartment building.Whether you’re by yourself or with your family, just visiting or staying for some time, the View’s units may be what you’re looking for considering its ambiance and location.The View Serviced Residence Property ListingTK Royal One(An image of the exterior of TK Royal One in Toul Kork. Realestate.com.kh)Starting Rent: USD $900 per monthOfferings: 1 bedroom to 3 bedroomsTK Royal One Serviced Condominiums is a mixed-use development featuring offices and serviced residences. Its location in Toul Kork, right along the Russian Federation Boulevard, has made it a landmark of sorts in the area, making it hard for passers-by to miss.The Toul Kork district has developed over the past few years as an extension of the many conveniences available in the Phnom Penh city centre. TK Royal One is one of the district’s more iconic developments as its offerings of office spaces and residential units is a sort of testament to how much Toul Kork has improved in a short amount of time. As such, TK Royal One’s location along the Russian Federation Boulevard gives residents access to a lot of markets, shopping centers, restaurants, cafes, schools, sports facilities, and other entertainment centers now established in Toul Kork.(An image of TK Royal One's spacious living rooms and balcony. Realestate.com.kh)TK Royal One’s residential units come fully furnished and designed to accommodate renters living by themselves or expat families looking to live long-term in Phnom Penh. Each unit is spacious and comes with a private balcony providing an astounding view of the city’s rising skyline. Amenities in TK Royal One include internet Wi-Fi, a fitness centre, swimming pools, a parking area, and a rooftop garden.TK Royal One Property ListingAre serviced apartments worth it?The choice entirely depends on you as you are the best judge of your personal needs and budget. Most serviced apartments in Phnom Penh are proportionally more expensive than standalone apartments without 24/7 concierge services, regular housekeeping, fitness centre, and a swimming pool. If these services are important to you, then serviced apartments could be well worth the extra hundred or so dollars a month.On the other hand, if you’re the type of person who can live without these services, you can save a few hundred dollars which you can allot more to necessities like food or other luxuries like traveling across Cambodia and its neighbouring countries. You can check out several listings of apartments for rent in Phnom Penh here.Looking for other properties? Click hereArticle by:
Buying a Retirement Property in Cambodia
Buying a Retirement Property in Cambodia
June 6, 2022, 5:06 p.m.
Realestate News
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
A beautiful Cambodian house with a western-influenced interior design. Supplied.So, you are Retired or Retiring?While Thailand has historically been a popular destination for retirees, Cambodia is rapidly gaining interest for retirees based in Thailand, or those looking for an alternative to retirement in their country of origin. In fact, InternationalLiving.com's Annual Global Retirement Index for 2019 has named Cambodia the number 12 best place in the world to retire. For more information on the requirement for retiring in Cambodia, please read our ultimate guide to retirement in Cambodia.Access to inexpensive quality healthcare, ease of visa processing, and an ever-increasing expat community makes Cambodia an attractive retirement destination. Foreigners are 100% eligible to own a freehold condominium in Cambodia under certain conditions.The Cambodian Foreign Ownership Property Laws (legislation passed in 2010), allow foreigners to buy and own properties in Cambodia on the 1st floor or higher of a condominium. The property must possess a strata title and cannot exceed 70% of foreign ownership. For more information, please read our ultimate guide on the strata title. If you don’t want to live in a condominium, there are a number of options with regard to the purchase of your retirement dream home.Option 1: Purchase a long-term rentalThere are Cambodian properties, both in the city and the countryside, that would be more than willing to rent out their properties to retired expatriates. This is arguably the simplest option for most foreign retirees - a straightforward process with little hassle.Option 2: Registering real property with a Cambodian citizenThis method requires the retiree to have a trusted Cambodian citizen to be the legal owner of their property. This is more popularly known as buying property through the Nominee Structure. This certainly has its downsides such as not having the property in the buyer's name but if the buyer has someone they can trust, this can prove to be more secure than a long-term rental.Option 3: Marriage to a Cambodian nationalForeign buyers who are married to a Cambodian national can register their property using the name of their spouse on the Title Deed.Option 4: Acquisition of honorary Cambodian citizenshipA foreigner may be granted honorary Cambodian citizenship if he or she satisfies a set criteria for citizenship along with a significant donation to the Royal Government of Cambodia for the purposes of benefiting the people of Cambodia.What Do Retirement Homes in Cambodia Look Like?This beautiful villa is located in Arey Ksat area, which is only a short trip away on a ferry from the centre of Phnom Penh city. This property is an ideal option for a perfect retirement home. Looking for a retirement home in Cambodia? Let us help!Article by:
Strata title buying guide for foreigners
Strata title buying guide for foreigners
June 6, 2022, 5:07 p.m.
Realestate News
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
A rendered image of the luxurious Agile Sky Residence in the heart of Phnom Penh.Can foreigners own land in Cambodia? The short answer is No. But the Royal Government of Cambodia has eased on this restriction by allowing foreign nationals to own property via Strata Titles.Strata title in Cambodia is a relatively new type of property ownership and the only one granted to a foreign national. This type of property title is presently restricted to condominiums, and more recently, office buildings since foreign nationals are not allowed to own landed properties in the country.The question now is, how do you, as a foreigner, get a Strata Title?DISCLAIMER: Foreign buyers, local buyers, foreign buyers with Cambodian citizenship, and companies have to satisfy slightly different requirements to purchase a Strata Title. We strongly recommend consulting a real estate agent to walk you through the specifics of your case. For this guide, we will be walking you through the general steps for an individual foreign buyer.How to obtain a Strata TitleObtaining a Strata Title starts with the owner of the property. But before heading to the sales office of a condo, we advise buyers to first check with the local cadastral office and local commune council if the developer/owner does indeed have legal ownership of the original title. In the case of property developers, this step is meant to verify their ownership of the Hard Title and its eligibility to be partitioned into Strata Titles.Upon completing the above mentioned due diligence, buyers may proceed in dealing with the company itself. While condo developers will likely have representatives to handle sales, we advise buyers to obtain a copy of their company/national ID as another layer of due diligence. This goes double for individual condo owners offering their unit(s) for resale.Once that’s clear, the buyer and the owner of the hard title (or an authorised representative) must physically be present at the same time in the cadastral office to initiate the title transfer. Foreign buyers are required to be in Cambodia for the title transfer as their thumbprint is required to be affixed in the Vente Definitive and the Application for Ownership Transfer, both being standard documents provided by the land department.It’s important to note that the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction (MLMUPC) requires fully certified documentation of the identity and marital status of the buyer to be supplied and translated into Khmer - this includes the name of the buyer as English names are not permitted on property titles.The requisite fees for title transfers are paid at the General Department of Taxation (GDT). Transfer taxes are paid after the land office reviews and certifies the submitted documents. These same documents will be submitted to the GDT who will then assess the value of the property based on a proprietary set of criteria and calculation methods. An officer from the GDT will then be responsible to perform the evaluation and may take anywhere from 1-2 weeks. After the assessment, an invoice will be issued containing the transfer tax required to be paid.NOTE: It is common practice for sellers to pay the transfer tax, but this can go either way. Be sure to clarify this part of the transfer with the owner.A receipt will be issued by the GDI as proof of payment to the party who made it. This receipt, along with the certified documents will be brought back to the Cadastral Authority at the MLMUPC. A new original title, with the name of the new owner, will be issued by the Cadastral Authority.A sample of a Strata Title issued by the MLMUPC.Other ownership methodsIf you’ve assessed that Strata Titles do not meet your needs, there are other methods such as obtaining Cambodian citizenship, or a company lease, to own landed properties in Cambodia. But those involve completely different steps which are relatively more complicated. We highly recommend seeking the assistance of a Cambodian lawyer to properly guide you through the whole process of these alternative methods.Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now!Article by:
How to start a real estate agency in Cambodia
How to start a real estate agency in Cambodia
June 7, 2022, 7:05 a.m.
Realestate News
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
A lot of foreign businesses are taking an interest in the Kingdom of Cambodia due to its attractive investment environment. As such, local entrepreneurs have thrown in their lot to set up real estate companies to meet the demands of both fellow Cambodians and foreigners. But setting up a real estate company is easier said than done.In this Realestate.com.kh guide, we will give you the guidelines for starting a real estate company with the necessary paperwork and licenses pertinent to Cambodia’s laws and regulations.DISCLAIMER: Realestate.com.kh strongly recommends consulting a lawyer for their professional guidance. This guide is only meant to give prospecting business owners an overview of starting a real estate company in the KingdomKey considerations in starting a real estate agencyInvestors looking to start a real estate agency in Cambodia will need to consider things such as company registration, tax obligations, real estate licenses, office setups, recruitment, and business plans.If you’re interested in starting a different kind of business, you can check Realestate.com.kh’s general guide to starting a business in Cambodia.For the purposes of this guide, we will specifically talk about how to start a real estate agency in Cambodia.Registration with the Ministry of CommerceBusiness registration is required at the Ministry of Commerce of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Registered businesses within the Kingdom are given a certificate of registration.The company must meet these following requirements from the Ministry of Commerce:Shall define a company name to be approved by the Ministry of CommerceShall come up with the company’s terms and conditions, documents to prove where the company is located, identity card of the company owner, certificate of bank deposit (at least $1,000), company stamp, appointment letter, and business registration application.The registration period at the Ministry of Commerce takes about two weeks and costs around $370. There are services rendered free of charge.Paying taxes at the General Department of TaxationAfter registering with the Ministry of Commerce, the applicant must submit the certificate of registration, along with other relevant documents, to the general Department of Taxation to pay their registration tax and annual patent tax for the initial registration.Patent Tax is derived from the taxpayer classification of the business owner under the Self-Assessment Regime of Taxation and is payable between January 1 to March 31 of each year. We advise consulting a lawyer on how you can properly asses your taxation regime to start a business in Cambodia.New taxpayers, whose business began within the first six months of the year will pay their annual tax in full. Those who begin their business within the last six months of the year will only have to pay half of their annual tax.Business owners who own several assets (such as warehouses, offices, etc) under one business in the same province only have to pay their patent tax within that province. Businesses who own assets across provinces will, however, have to meet their patent tax obligations in each province.Business owners are required to display the patent at their place of business. These patents take about 1 to 2 weeks to obtain and will cost 1,200,000 riels (US$290).Obtaining a license from the Ministry of Economy and FinanceThe last general step is to obtain a license from the Ministry of Economy and Finance. In order to apply for a license, the applicant must prepare the following documents:Completed application license formPhoto of the license owner and certificate of professional real estate serviceBackground of shareholder or company ownerLetter from the Ministry of Justice of CambodiaPhotocopy of a national identity card and residence bookDocuments issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Taxation, the company’s certificate of registration, and a copy of a letter of business registration and patent.Letter of business location issued by the local authority, together with photos of the business location.A 3-year business plan.Applying for a license at the Ministry of Economy and Finance takes about one month from the date of filing the sufficient paperwork without error.The required fees for a real estate agent license are as follows:Real estate agent license is 500,000 riels (US$ 120) plus an administration fee of 100,000 riels (US$ 25)Certificate of professional real estate service is 200,000 riels (US$ 50) plus an administration fee of 40,000 riels (US$ 10), totaling 840,000 riels (US$ 210).Once you have been issued a license and professional certificate from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, you can legally operate your business in Cambodia.You can register to be a member of the Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association. Currently, CVEA has over 100 member companies, working as a network to promote real estate in Cambodia.Stay up-to-date on the real estate industry in Cambodia and get real-time updates on real estate news as they happen. Download the Realestate.com.kh App now!Article by:
Independence Monument in Phnom Penh Cambodia
Living in Cambodia: Expat guide 2022
June 7, 2022, 7:01 a.m.
Home & Living
Property Buyers & Sellers Advice
Want to start living in the Kingdom of Wonder? It is one of the best places in Asia to live as an expat. Over 100,000 expats are currently residing here, and life is good! To help you, Realestate.com.kh has put together a definitive Cambodia expat guide.We’ll take you on a complete tour with this guide, include quotes from long-time expats, and even give you some Khmer language phrases to go with each section.ContentsCambodia basicsMoving to Cambodia: What to expectCost of living in CambodiaCambodian visas for expatsCambodian living conditions for expatsBest place to live in CambodiaHow many expats are there in Cambodia?Getting around CambodiaShopping for groceries in CambodiaJobs for expats in CambodiaCambodia basicsBefore you come to Cambodia, it’s good to know a little background information. We’ve got you covered. Consider the following section to be your crash course on where Cambodia is, its history, religion, government and language.Where is Cambodia?Cambodia is in Southeast Asia. On a map, it sits between Thailand and Vietnam and below Laos. Cambodia’s southern coast is off the Gulf of Thailand. Cambodia historyThe Khmer Empire of 800 to 1300 AD encompassed most of Southeast Asia. A great legacy of this era is the Angkor Wat temples in Siem Reap. This site is one of the most significant religious monuments in the world.From 1867 to 1953 Cambodia was a “protectorate” in the area known as French Indochina. This area also included most of Vietnam and Laos. Cambodia is still profoundly influenced by France’s legacy.The other most well-known period of Khmer history is the infamous Khmer Rouge era. This ultra-Maoist regime, led by Pol Pot, ruled the country from 1975 to 1979. During their brief time in power, the Khmer Rouge committed one of the worst genocides the world has ever seen. Nearly two million people were killed, or almost a quarter of the country’s population.Religion in CambodiaRoughly 97% of Cambodia’s population practices Theravada Buddhism, the official state religion. However, the influence of the country’s Hindu past can still be felt, especially at historic sites. Around 2% of the population belong to the Cham ethnic group who practice Islam. In addition to small groups of Christians in the country, there are also many ethnic-religious groups in the north.Cambodia’s governmentCambodia is, by definition, a constitutional monarchy. The King’s power is mostly symbolic. In practice, Cambodia is a parliamentary democracy. Norodom Sihamoni is the current King of Cambodia. Hun Sen, the current prime minister, has presided over the National Assembly since 1985. His Cambodia People’s Party won re-election in July of 2018 for another five-year term.What language do they speak in Cambodia?Khmer is the official language of Cambodia. It is in the same language family as Vietnamese. However, unlike its cousin, which in the recent past converted to use the Latin alphabet, Khmer still uses a unique alphabet.Basic English is widely spoken in Cambodia, and Mandarin Chinese is gaining momentum. Nonetheless, many foreigners coming to Cambodia learn at least a few simple phrases in Khmer.  Key Khmer phrases: Hello (formal) - jum riab sua Hello (informal) – suos deiCambodia- KompucheaKhmer language – paisa KhmaiYes (male speaker) - batYes (female speaker) - jaaNo – ot teiBack to top  Moving to Cambodia: What to expectNow that you know a little bit about the country, it’s time to layout your plan for moving to Cambodia. Living in a new country can be disorienting at first. Chances are, you’re moving to Cambodia from a country with a different culture. The following section is a practical guide to everything you’ll need before moving to Cambodia. What to pack for CambodiaYou might be tempted to bring a couple of huge suitcases or backpacks when you are moving to Cambodia. Sure, it’s good to be prepared. But don’t go overboard. Cambodia is a country with tons of cheap consumer goods. For example, you can buy a t-shirt here for a couple of dollars. So don’t stress too much about what to bring. If you are concerned, there are many Facebook Groups created by expats living in Cambodia, some are for specific nationalities and discuss specific items they miss from their home country or discuss what items they might bring to the Kingdom.Weather in CambodiaCambodia is hot all year. However, there is a rainy season and a dry season. December to April is considered the dry season. The worst heat comes near the end of this period, just before the rains start to cool everything off in May. September and October are the peak rainy months. The heat can be sweltering in Cambodia. In the middle of the day, it can hit 40C+ (104F). Even in the coldest months of the year, it stays around 30C! Make sure you're a lover of the heat if you’re moving to Cambodia. Here’s the current weather in Phnom Penh:The currency in CambodiaCambodia uses both the US dollar and the Cambodia Riel. The exchange rate is 4,000 Riel to 1 USD, and there are no coins. More and more places are accepting credit cards and digital payments, but cash is still the default currency in Cambodia. The situation surrounding the currency in Cambodia is a bit peculiar. People tend to use USD for larger payments. However, vendors are very particular about the condition of bills. A $100 or $50 bill with a small tear will be refused. Riel, on the other hand, is generally used for smaller amounts. They come in denominations between 100 riels and 50,000 riels.Since 2019 however, the National Bank of Cambodia has been pushing for the de-dollarisation which has been supported by businesses. NBC also launched Bakong, a central bank digital currency (CBDC) and encourage more digital payments since the global pandemic started in 2020.ATMs are ubiquitous in the city, so it’s usually not hard to get cash from your international bank account.Wall outlets in CambodiaThankfully, most buildings in Cambodia have wall sockets that accept Type A, Type C and Type G plugs. No matter whether you’re coming from the US, Europe, UK, Australia, or South America, you won’t need adapters. Even if you do, they are readily available. Anything between 220V and 240V is ok here.Can you drink Cambodian water?Tap water in Cambodia’s bigger cities should be safe to drink. However, plumbing rules are spotty, so most people drink bottled or filtered water. Municipal water is safe for washing and brushing your teeth.In rural Cambodia, most people still collect rainwater for daily use. It’s best to stick to bottled water in this case. Phone service and Wi-Fi in CambodiaCambodia has some of the best Wi-Fi coverage in Southeast Asia. In the bigger cities, every restaurant, guesthouse, and hotel will have it often for free.Mobile service is also, generally speaking, excellent. The leading providers are Cellcard, Smart, and Metfone. You can buy sim cards on every corner (you will need to present your passport), and data plans cost less than $3 a week.Key Khmer phrases: Money - louyPhone - touresapHot - kdauCold - rongeaRain - pliangPants- khaoShirt- auBack to top  Cost of living in CambodiaThe cost of living in Cambodia is quite low. However, it all depends on your lifestyle. The three main expenses while living here will probably be rent, food, and entertainment. Let’s break them down one by one:Rent costs in CambodiaRent fees can vary widely depending on where you live, what type of housing and whether or not you have roommates. You can get a place for as little as $150 per month in a shared apartment, or as much as $500 per month in a luxury building. On average, expect to pay between $300 and $500 per month for each bedroom. Our site has thousands of listings of apartments for rent in Phnom Penh from $300 to $500.You can rent authentically Cambodian digs for less than $300 per month.Western-style luxury apartments, called serviced apartments, are excellent. You can find them for $500-$2,000 per month. These usually come fully furnished and the buildings host pools, gyms and security. We’ve also got you covered here. Start browsing to find a condo for rent in Phnom Penh.You can track the price trends using our Cambodia Real Estate Trends tool.The official rate for electricity is 720 riel per kWh. However, many landlords will round this up to $0.25 for large buildings. The city's official water rate for residential spaces is between 550 and 1,270 riels per cubic metre. You should be paying between $20 to $60 per month for internet. If you pay for cleaning, you should look to spend from $30 to $100 a month, depending on the frequency.Food costs in CambodiaYou can find food for as little as $1.50 per meal. Cheap eats can be located on almost every street corner in urban centres. This dining is bare-bones, however. You’ll probably be outside on a plastic chair and with some covering. A mid-priced restaurant meal for two is approximately $15-20. There are more and more places in this range popping up in the cities and the quality of food and the range of cuisine can be excellent. Some expats in Cambodia eat out almost every meal. Others choose to buy groceries and cook at home. Food delivery apps and home grocery deliveries have also improved massively. Skip down to read more about buying groceries in Cambodia. On average most people spend between $200 and $500 on food every month.Cost of entertainment in CambodiaCambodia is still a developing country. But in the city, there are more and more modern amenities being developed. Shopping centres are some of the hottest destinations in the capital. The most prominent malls in Phnom Penh are Aeon Mall, Exchange Square, Sorya Centre Point, City Mall and Aeon Sen Sok. But there are dozens more planned in the capital alone. Most of these malls host cinemas, restaurants, arcade games, bowling and other forms of entertainment.Nightclubs and bars are also popular venues for expats to spend their time on the weekends. These tend to be in the central part of the city, near popular expat neighbourhoods. Pools are also popular places to hang out during the day. Check out our list of all Phnom Penh pools open to the public.Taking short trips around the country is a popular activity for many living in Cambodia. Since prices are lower in rural areas, you can often head away for an extended weekend for less than $200. Popular destinations include Kep, Kampot, Sihanoukville, Siem Reap and Mondulkiri.The final cost of living can be as low as $600 per month or up to $2,000 per month - it really depends on personal choice and budgets.Key Khmer phrases: Watch a movie - mul konSwimming - hael tukDance - roamDrink - pukCoffeeshop - haang cafeGo on a trip - dal leng Back to top  Cambodian visas for expatsGetting a visa in Cambodia is pretty straightforward. Most people show up and get one on arrival. But Cambodian visas for expats can cover a few different types. Read through the following section to learn about the visa that is right for you.Cambodia airportsThere are international airports in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. If you’re coming from far away, you will usually arrive by way of another regional hub like Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok or Taipei. Cambodia’s airports are quite small, but that means getting in and out is simple. That said, more and more flights are being added each year as the number of tourist arrivals increase. As far as baggage and security, Cambodia airports are generally the same as any other country. The main airports also have seen several upgrades and new airports are being developed in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Koh Kong.Crossing the border into CambodiaCambodia officially has 15 border crossings. There are eight with Vietnam, six with Thailand and one with Laos. The majority of traffic to Thailand passes through the crossing at Poipet. Most buses going between Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Cambodia cross at Bavet. Meanwhile, any passage to Laos goes through the crossing in Stung Treng.Cambodia visas for expatsCambodia usually does visas on arrival*. This means you’ll get them when you land at the airport or cross the border. All you’ll need are your passport and a passport size photograph. If you don’t have a photo, they will charge you $2 to scan the one in your passport. Most people arriving in Cambodia get either a T (tourist) visa or an E (ordinary) visa. E visa does not mean an electronic visa!There are a couple of other types of visas, such as B-type for NGO workers and K-type for foreign-born Khmer, but most people get T or E visas. These are both valid for 30 days. The T visa costs $30, and the E visa cost $35.Note: You can only extend the T visa once. You can get an additional 30 days for $45. Any travel agency can facilitate this in a few days. However, after that, you must leave the country and re-enter if you want to stay longer. E visas, on the other hand, are the better option if you plan to stay long term. You can extend E visas indefinitely. There are four types of extensions:EB for those with jobs in CambodiaEG for those looking for a jobER for those who want to retire in CambodiaES for studentsYou can get extensions that last one, three, six, or 12 months. The six and 12-month extensions are for multiple entries. Paying for one year gets you the best deal. It costs just under $300. Sounds expensive, but if you overstay your visa, you’ll have to pay $10 per day.*(Please note that since the COVID-19 pandemic, the visa situation has changed several times and it's best to visit the official Cambodian government websites' and embassy announcements for updates).Key Khmer phrases: Airplane – yun hauDay – tingaiOne – muoyTwo – bpiThree – beyFour – buonFive – bpramSix – bpram muoyTen – dop100 – muoy roi1,000 – muoy bpoanBack to top  Cambodian living conditions for expatsThere’s a reason that expats are attracted to the country: Cambodian living conditions for expats is pretty low-key. Cambodia is a developing country. Life moves at a slower pace, in general. But living conditions are still good, depending on how much you want to pay. The following section will take you through all the significant types of housing for expats in Cambodia. It will also give you instructions on how to find an agent and what to expect about Cambodian living conditions for expats.Types of expat housing in CambodiaChoosing what type of accommodation you want to live in is a big choice in Cambodia. If you’re only planning to stay for a short time, try getting a monthly rate at a guesthouse or hotel. Often, there will be a slight discount. If you’re on a budget, living in a shophouse is the way to go. These are the long, narrow buildings that often have shops and stores on the ground floor. Rent out an upper level with one or two friends, and you could pay as little as $150 per month. Dedicated apartment buildings are becoming more popular in Cambodia. Most come fully furnished and are more or less what you’d find in any other big city. They usually have one or two bedrooms and go for between $300 and $700 per month depending on the location. We have a massive list of expat rentals in Phnom Penh that you can start browsing right now.Serviced apartments are apartments decked out with luxury amenities. They have gyms, pools, and housekeeping service. They come in a range of sizes and can cost more than $1,500 per month. Most are in Phnom Penh, but you will find a few in Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.Villas are freestanding houses that can have between three and 10 bedrooms. Most span two or three floors, have a parking area, and some even have pools. People can use these as residences or businesses. Prices vary widely. But you can scope them all out now and find the perfect villa for rent in Phnom Penh.Hiring an agent, signing a lease in CambodiaIf you’re new to Cambodia, using a real estate agent is probably the best way to find your perfect property. Here most agents get paid a commission by the building owner, so there’s no extra cost to you. Just tell them what you’re looking for, and they’ll even arrange transportation to all of the viewings.If you hire an agent, they can also help negotiate the rental price. Usually, you can get them to reduce the rate a bit. After all, many apartments in the big cities sit empty.Make sure you get an English copy of the lease agreement, and you understand it before you sign. Usually, leases are for six months or a year. Deposits shouldn’t be any more than one month’s rent, electricity should be $0.25 per kWh or less, and water should be less than $0.50 per cubic metre.You can check our guide to pre-agreement considerations for renting in Cambodia for additional tips!Key Khmer phrases:House – pteaCity – tikrongProvince – khaetBathroom – bantub teukBedroom – bantub geengFloor___ - joan ti ________Door – tveaBack to top  Best place to live in CambodiaMost foreigners coming to Cambodia live in one of the three major cities; Phnom Penh, Siem Reap or Sihanoukville. There are a few smaller cities that attract both tourists and long-term visitors. Kampot, Kep, Battambang and Koh Kong are also popular.Finding the best place to live in Cambodia is all about what you want. Do you want to be near the beach? Near the amenities of the city? If you like having some luxuries, Phnom Penh is probably the best place to live in Cambodia. However, if you want nature and art, Siem Reap is probably the place for you.Are you looking to chill? If so, maybe choose Kampot or Kep. One of those towns is the best place to live in Cambodia for expats looking for a chill life with a cool sea breeze.Expat districts of Phnom PenhGenerally, expats in Cambodia live near the centre of their respective cities. In Phnom Penh, BKK1 is probably the most popular expat area, along with BKK2, BKK3, Toul Tum Poung 1 (Russian Market) and Tonle Bassac.BKK 1 and 2 are more upscale, with more amenities explicitly geared towards foreigners. Real estate for rent in BKK 1 can be a bit more expensive because of all the amenities. BKK1 is the best place to live in Cambodia if you are a Starbucks addict. If you want to learn more about the area, read our ultimate guide to BKK1. Or, watch this video that counts the top three reasons why expats love BKK1:BKK 3 and Toul Tum Poung 1 (Russian Market) both offer an attractive mix of western and local shops. Real estate for rent in Toul Tum Poung 1 tends to be more local-style. But you’ll find some great affordable places. If you love chill vibes, this is probably the best place to live in Cambodia.The Riverside area is popular with tourists and has many bars and nightclubs. It is, perhaps, less family-friendly than the other neighbourhoods, but it’s one of the best places to live in Cambodia if you love the nightlife. Our listings for real estate for rent in Daun Penh have tons of apartments right off the river. Find yours!More recently, Tuol Kork is a neighbourhood about 30 minutes out of the city centre that is increasingly attracting expats. Just like other large cities, commuting to a suburb outside the densely developed downtown area is an excellent way to find places renting for much less money. Start looking at the prices of real estate for rent in Toul Kork. Or, if you want to learn more, read the ultimate guide to Toul Kork to get more information about this marvelous area.Where to stay in Siem ReapIn Siem Reap, Wat Bo and Sala Kamreuk are two of the most popular areas for expats to live in. Here the primary industry is tourism, but many expats also come to work in the NGO sector. Do you have a heart of gold and a soft spot for ancient architecture?If yes, this is the best place to live in Cambodia for you. Find your accommodations right now at our page of real estate for rent in Siem Reap.Where to stay in SihanoukvilleDown south in Sihanoukville, many expats used to live near Victory Beach and ner Otres Beach. Over recent years, Sihanoukville has been undergoing massive changes and is now seeing brand new infrastructure, roads, refurbished sidewalks and beachside pathways as well as many new condos, hotels and grand mixed developments.  Many people opt for apartments in these new developments.Sihanoukville is the best place to live in Cambodia if you enjoy the seaside. Real estate for rent in Sihanoukville is also undergoing massive changes and prices are on the rise because of the city’s growth. You can easily find a deal on our listings page.Key Khmer phrases:To go -MovLet’s go - tosBeach - sa motCity - tikrongCommune - sangkatDistrict - khanBack to top  How many expats are there in Cambodia?It’s hard to say for sure exactly how many expats there are in Cambodia. Currently, between 150,000 and 200,000 foreigners live in Cambodia. In 2018, the government said that the total number of expats in Cambodia was 160,000, and with the introduction of the FPCS (Foreigners Present in Cambodia System) app in 2020, nearly 160,000 foreigners from 183 countries were recorded as living in Cambodia.Asian and Western expats in CambodiaExpats from Asian countries make up most of the expats in Cambodia. These include Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Malaysian, Indian, Indonesian, Korean, Japanese and Filipino.There are also plenty of Western expats in Cambodia. Most are French, British, Australian and American. However, many other European expats also live here. Retiring to CambodiaCambodia is consistently in the top 20 on InternationalLiving.com’s yearly index of best countries for retirement. Retiring in developing economies is becoming a global trend among heaps of expats.Meanwhile, the government has released plans to increase Cambodia’s attractiveness as a destination for foreign retirees. The proposed policies would give retirees the right to buy, rent or sell a property.For more info about retirement in the Kingdom, read our guide to retirement in Cambodia.Cambodia is expat-friendlyCambodia consistently ranks in the top five for most expat-friendly nations in the world. The local population is helpful and kind. Making friends is easy here. In less than a month, you'll probably be invited to a Cambodian wedding!It is easy to make friends with both locals and expats. Becoming friends with coworkers is very common. Many offices have football teams or go out drinking together. To meet other expats, you can visit one of the many expat-geared bars or join an activity group. Dodgeball, volleyball, rugby, and badminton are a few common sports that have leagues around town.Key Khmer phrases:Foreigner - bora teyExpat  - barang (literal translation means “French” but often used for all expats)“I come from…” – knyom mau bpiSports - keilaPlay - lengChinese - chenJapan - japonEnglish - angleAustralian - australiAmerican - americkBack to top  Getting around CambodiaGetting around Cambodia can be tricky for the uninitiated. Traffic is a bit disorganised, but paying for transport is generally cheap and easy to find. Most expats use tuk-tuks or autorickshaws for getting around the cities in Cambodia. Ride-hailing apps are convenient because the price is fixed, and it’s easy to map your route. On the other hand, some expats buy motorbikes or cars of their own to make getting around Cambodia more convenient. The following section will walk you through all these options for getting around.Cambodian tuk-tuks, taxis and ride-hailing appsMost foreigners will catch rides around the area in tuk-tuks, autorickshaws or taxis. Tuk-tuks are the carriages pulled by small motorbikes. They can usually fit up to four people. Don’t worry about finding them, if you’re in a busy area, they will find you! Going across a city like Phnom Penh via tuk-tuk should cost around $5 at the maximum. Shorter trips within the city will be less - for reference, trips around 2km are a little over $1 (4,400 KHR to 4,600 KHR).Ride-hailing apps are growing more popular every day for getting around Cambodia. The most significant local player is called PassApp. There’s also Grab, the Southeast Asian version of Uber. You can hail an autorickshaw for two or three people, or pay a bit more for a car. Buses and trains in CambodiaIf you’re travelling a longer distance, say from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville, there are a few options open to you. Of course, you could take an aeroplane. Flights are fairly cheap if you manage to get a promotion for domestic flights. If you want to save a few bucks, however, the bus, train or minivan might be better.There are tons of companies that run coach buses between all areas of Cambodia. Some are more comfortable than others. Giant Ibis is one of the more reputable names. The revamped train service between Phnom Penh, Kampot, and Sihanoukville costs $4 to go from the capital to Kampot or $7 to go to Sihanoukville. Buying a car or motorbike in CambodiaSome foreigners coming to Cambodia want to buy motorcycles or cars. Luckily, you don’t need a licence to drive bikes smaller than 125cc. Always wear a helmet and make sure you can handle Cambodian traffic before driving.To drive a car, you’ll need to get a special permit for Cambodia. Thankfully, there is a driver’s licence centre in Aeon 2 where you can apply for a permit. Just bring the driver’s licence for your home country, two passport photos, a visa and 30,000 riels for the fee.Key Khmer phrases: Motorbike – motoTurn right – bat sdamTurn left – bat chvengGo straight – tov trongCar – laanBus – laan krongTrain – roteh plungRoad – phlauv Back to top  Shopping for groceries in CambodiaAfter arriving, you’ll need some food. Fortunately, Cambodia has a great variety of food. As you’ll see, it’s quite cheap to eat out, so some choose to go to restaurants almost every day. Others prefer shopping for groceries in Cambodia and cooking on their own.While you’re shopping for groceries in Cambodia, you have to keep a few things in mind. Imported foods are going to be expensive. On the other hand, local produce is guaranteed to be fresh and natural as there aren’t massive factory farms like in more industrialized countries. This section will walk you through the steps to take when shopping for groceries in Cambodia. It will also tell you about restaurant etiquette, tipping, drinking culture and the types of cuisine in Cambodia.Grocery stores and markets in CambodiaIf you want to cook at home, there are plenty of places to buy food and ingredients. The cheapest option is to go to a local wet market. Markets can be tricky, but with a bit of Khmer language and some bargaining skills, you can come out on top. International-style grocery stores are growing in popularity. So are small convenience stores that sell dry goods. There’s Lucky, Thai Huot and Super Duper as well as Aeon Maxvalu Express, Circle K and Kiwi Mart (with 7-Eleven due to open in 2021). Prices are more expensive, but they also have imported goods. More international and regional brands are also entering the market.Unsurprisingly, they are more readily available in some of the same neighbourhoods where expats tend to concentrate in the cities, such as BKK 1 and 2 or the Russian Market in Phnom Penh. Do you tip in Cambodian restaurants?Eating out at restaurants is very common in the Kingdom. Nearly every cuisine and price point is covered. Usually, the waitstaff can speak some English, but when in doubt just use the menu to point.Tipping is generally not practised in Cambodia except in upscale restaurants. Even in that case, service fees will often be added. If you want to tip, leaving a few extra dollars is fine. Service can be a bit lax compared to what you’re used to in restaurants in Western countries. Don’t feel bad about waving down a waiter if you need something. That’s just the way it works.Drinking culture in CambodiaThe drinking culture is quite widespread in Cambodia. Bars serve almost everything, but beer is the most popular drink for locals. The big names are Angkor, Anchor (pronounced ann-chore), Cambodia, Ganzberg and Tiger.You can also find wine shops and craft beers which are on the rise. Many bars and restaurants will serve you cocktails and specialist bars for whiskies, cocktails and other beverages are increasing in popularity. Happy Hour often means alcoholic beverages such as cocktails can be half price, and quite often happy hours run for several hours. Cafes in CambodiaCoffee culture is a rapidly growing part of Cambodian society. The younger generation loves to drink coffee and hang out at the many cafes in the city. Read our list of the top 10 cafes in Phnom Penh to learn more.What to eat in Cambodia Cambodian food shares some similarities with cuisines from neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam. However, it has many dishes of its own. In general, every meal comes with steamed white rice or fried rice. Fresh vegetables are common ingredients, as are lemongrass, lime, black pepper and herbs.One of the most famous, or infamous, food in Cambodia is prahok, or fermented fish. Fish is one of the most common proteins in the country. It can be found grilled, boiled, fried and everything in between. Chicken, beef, pork, duck and seafood are all common as well.Noodle soup is one of the most traditional breakfasts in Cambodia. Kuy teav is comparable to Phở in Vietnam and features rice vermicelli and beef. Pork with egg and rice is another popular breakfast, think of it as a version of bacon and eggs. Rice porridge is another popular dish, but people eat it at any time of day.Num bahn chok is another signature noodle dish; this one is noodles served in curry. It can be eaten hot or cold and with your choice of meat. In general, food in Cambodia isn’t as spicy as Thai food. But chili sauce is always available for heat lovers.If you’re looking for something quick and easy, many street vendors sell nompang or sandwiches. These are nearly identical to the famous Bánh mì of Vietnam. There are also vendors who sell all manner of fried noodles, fried rice or spring rolls.If you're feeling adventurous, try pong tea kon, known elsewhere as balut, which is duck/chicken fetus. Also, give durian a try, or even fried crickets, which are a typical snack while drinking beer.Key Khmer phrases: Food – mhobChicken – sach moanPork – sach chroukBeef – sach koFish – sach treyVegetable – bun leyFruit – plech cheu“Can I pay the bill?” – Som kut luyBeer – bee yahCheers – chul muyBack to top  Jobs for expats in CambodiaFinding jobs for expats in Cambodia can seem complicated. But several key industries are keen to hire those already in the country or ready to relocate. Most expats in Phnom Penh make anywhere from $12,000 to $60,000 per year. They work at NGOs, or in hospitality, tourism, education, tech or business. Some are hired to come here. Others choose to show up and look for work. Merely showing up is not as crazy as it might sound.The two most popular Cambodian job sites are BongThom.com and HRinc. You can also look to targeted Facebook groups to find out about jobs for expats in Cambodia.Teaching jobs in CambodiaThe first thing that many foreigners think of is English teaching. Lots of schools want to hire native English speakers to teach their students. Additionally, tons of tutoring gigs are available both for the English and Chinese languages. To help in your search, look through our complete list of Phnom Penh international schools and universities. NGO Jobs in CambodiaAnother important sector for expats is the NGO arena. Many foreign-backed non-profit organisations hire for a multitude of positions. There are also tons of international companies that hire foreigners. Many specifically target English or Chinese speakers.Start your own business in CambodiaMany people come to Cambodia to start their own business. Overhead is low, and the market is growing fast. Many choose to open bars, restaurants, guesthouses or tour companies. There is also a growing market for tech companies. For more information about starting your own business, read our guide to starting a business in Cambodia. Salary in CambodiaThe next big question is about money: How much can foreigners make while working in Cambodia. The answer varies a ton. Expat salaries can range from $800 to over $4,000 per month. Keep in mind that the cost of living here is much lower than what you’re used to, and the average salary for locals is less than $300 per month.Foreigners’ salaries are taxed at 15% by the state through payroll. Most employers will use specific banks and have direct deposit set up for all workers. The big banks in Cambodia are ABA Bank, Acleda Bank, Satthapana Bank, FTB Bank, Canadia Bank, ANZ Bank and many others. Most of these banks have numerous branches and ATMs throughout big cities.You can check out guide to banking for foreigners in Cambodia for more information.National holidays in CambodiaUntil recently, Cambodia had the highest number of national holidays in the world, spanning 28 days of the year. These have been reduced to 21 starting in 2022. These are the official holidays for Cambodia in 2022:January 1 New Year’s Day (Saturday)January 7 Victory over Genocide Day (Friday)March 8 International Women’s Day (Tuesday)April 14, 15, 16 Khmer New Year (Thursday, Friday, Saturday)May 1 International Labor Day (Sunday)May 14 The Royal Birthday of His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia (Saturday)May 15 Vesak Bochea Festival (Sunday)May 19 Royal Plowing Ceremony (Thursday)June 18 Royal Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, the Queen Mother of Cambodia (Saturday)September 24 Constitution Day (Saturday)September 24, 25, 26 Pchum Ben Festival (Saturday, Sunday, Monday)October 15 Day in Honor of the Late King Norodom Sihanouk, His Majesty the King Father (Saturday)October 29 Royal Ceremony of His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni, King of the Kingdom of Cambodia (Saturday)November 7, 8, 9 Royal Water Festival (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)November 9 National Independence Day (Wednesday)Medical care in CambodiaHealthcare in Cambodia doesn’t always get the best reputation. Many suggest going to Thailand for any significant issues. There are many clinics, hospitals, and dental facilities, however, that do offer high-quality healthcare.Refer to our guide to medical facilities in Cambodia to see all the best hospitals, clinics, and dental facilities. Key Khmer phrases:Work – twerkaCompany – krom hunOrganisation – angkarHoliday – tingai somrakSalary – brak kaiBank – thnia kearHospital – monti bpetDoctor – bpetDentist – bpet tmin  Back to top Expat life in CambodiaExpat life in Cambodia might not be for everyone. If you crave a unique experience in one of the most exciting parts of the world, you'll love it here. To be sure, life as an expat in Cambodia can be full of challenges. But the people you'll meet, the sights, sounds and smells you'll experience will be something you will take with you for the rest of your life.We hope you are successful in finding your home in Cambodia. Make sure to come back here for all of your real estate needs and use this page as your guide while navigating life as an expatriate in Cambodia, the Kingdom of Wonder. Looking to buy or rent in Cambodia? Let us help!Article by: