Earlier this year, the World Bank reiterated that Cambodia’s GDP growth will stay above 6% through 2020. All this growth means that Phnom Penh is becoming more bustling, busy and more international with each passing day. Because of this, land and property prices are also on the rise. The outer districts of the capital, particularly Russey Keo in the north, are becoming some of the most popular areas to live and start a business.
High-rise residences and mixed-use complexes seem to be the focus in central districts like Chamkarmon, Daun Penh and Prampi Makara. In Russey Keo, however, boreys and towers are being targeted. Indeed developers seem to be using the corridor along National Road 5 and along the river for some major new projects.
Russey Keo, one of Phnom Penh’s 12 district, is partitioned into six communes: Toul Sangkae, Svay Pak, Kilomaetr Lekh Prammuoy, Russey Keo, Chrang Chamreh Ti Muoy, and Chrang Chamreh Ti Pir.
According to Vtrust’s Landed Housing Market and Outlook Report 2016, Russey Keo district is home to an estimated number of 180,000 residents.
Va Virak, CEO of Century 21 Fortuna Investment, said that rising property prices in Russey Keo have been concentrated in the more central areas.
“Some sangkats [communes] of Russey Keo are priced very low,” he said, adding that there was still a lot of vacant land waiting to be developed.
Toul Sangkae commune, which is adjacent to Toul Kork district, has seen a surge of interest for condominium and apartment complexes. Additionally, borey projects along Chea Sophara road, which cuts right through Russey Keo, are hot spots. These include Borey Peng Hout, Borey Chip Mong, Borey Vimean Phnom Penh and Borey Lim Cheang Hak.
Virak noted that Russey Keo’s proximity to Toul Kork and Sen Sok districts means it’s benefiting from all the new activity there. In particular, he pointed to the new Aeon Mall Sen Sok City and Makro supermarket.
He added that infrastructure was a boon for Russey Keo with National Road 5, a widened road connecting with Boeung Kak, Chea Sophara road and a new bridge across the river to Chroy Changvar.
One interesting new project in Russey Keo is a satellite city along Angkor Boulevard which consists of high-rise houses, villas, townhouses, office and commercial space, leisure facilities, an international school and a hospital. The area was completed this year after 13 years of construction.
Only a matter of time
“Several communes in the area have been on the rise in regards to new housing developments,” he stressed.
Noting that there was plenty of untapped potential in Russey Keo, Soknim said the district was just waiting for investors to bring a large project to the area. This, in turn, would have a snowball effect and bring the area to new heights.
Pech Socheata, a sales representative of the 133-unit Borey Pancier Residence in Svay Pak commune, said that Russey Keo is already turning the heads of potential investors and it’s only a matter of time before the floodgates really open up.
“The presence of Triumph Commercial Center, a $1 billion complex which houses enterprises selling over 100,000 types of products, will impact this entire district,” Socheata said, adding that he expected a new surge of activity within the next five years.
A range of price points
According to a report in the first half of 2018 from Key Real Estate, showed that average prices in Russey Keo stood at $800 per square metre for housing plots and $1,500 per square metre for commerial land.
Toul Sangkae, on the other hand, had the highest land prices in Russey Keo. Commercial plots there were selling for an average $2,400 per square metre and residential land for around $1,400 per square metre. Sharing a border with Toul Kork means space here is in high demand.
Russey Keo commune had the second-most expensive land in the district. Commercial land went for an average of $1,800 per square metre and residential plots for $1,000 per square metre.
Vat Vin, a research associate at Vtrust Appraisal, said that he expected Russey Keo land values to rise substantially over the next three to five years. He cited the district’s growing list of features and spillover from neighbouring Toul Kork.
“Russey Keo will definitely have huge potential for more residential projects over the next five years as demand for housing rises there and the city expands as a whole.”