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Nominations For The 2023 Cambodia Real Estate Awards, Now Open
Nominations For The 2023 Cambodia Real Estate Awards, Now Open
November 28, 2022, 9:15 a.m.
Realestate.com.kh is proud to announce the fourth annual Cambodia Real Estate Awards (CREA 2023). The gala event will be held in March 2023, to recognize and celebrate outstanding results and achievements within the Cambodian Real Estate industry.CREA 2023 award categories are divided into the following disciplines in real estate:Real Estate Developer / Development AwardsReal Estate Agency AwardsReal Estate Hall Of Fame AwardsBENEFITS OF JOINING CREA 2023The Cambodia Real Estate Awards, is a prestigious event celebrating the best of the best in Cambodia's booming real estate sector. Joining the CREA 2023 allows agencies and developers to establish themselves as recognized and trustworthy members of the industry. Winners and nominees also get the following:Expose your brand & development to local & international buyers, homeowners & investorsJudged by respected leaders in the Cambodia real estate industry and the general publicEndorsed by the Ministry of Land Management & Urban Planning Endorsed by the Real Estate Regulator of CambodiaWinners receive the CREA iconic trophy & winners plaque to display in your office, showroom & at eventsWinners receive the official CREA seal to use on all marketing material for your developmentEnter the Cambodia Real Estate Awards 2023WHO CAN PARTICIPATEAll licensed firms and individuals are allowed to participate in CREA 2023, regardless of the size or wealth of their operation. With industry and government involvement from The Ministry of Land Management & Urban Planning, The Real Estate Regulator of Cambodia as well as The Cambodian Valuers & Estate Agents Association, participants can be sure that the process is objective, fair, and done with integrity from start to finish. All these steps are taken to recognize the achievements of the Cambodian real estate industry objectively, fairly, and on a wholly inclusive basis.HOW TO PARTICIPATETo participate in CREA 2023, please get in touch with our team or download the relevant submission form here.Benefits of ParticipatingFurther strengthen your position in the Cambodian real estate marketBe recognized as a leader in the Cambodian real estate industryNetwork with fellow professionals from Real EstateLearn more about new industry developmentsReceive an iconic Cambodia Real Estate Awards trophy and certificateReceive marketing assets to leverage across your businessInterested in learning more about CREA 2023? Visit our website at www.cambodiarealestateawards.comOr follow us on Facebook at ‘Cambodia Real Estate Awards’Enter the Cambodia Real Estate Awards 2023Key Contacts for Cambodia Real Estate Awards 2023Developers & Development Awards Entry ContactsEnglish & Khmer:Name: Ms. Annabelle Vong (Anna)Position: Event - Sales ManagerEmail: annabelle.vong@realestate.com.khPhone: +855 (0) 17 426 797Chinese:Name: Ms. Muyngy Taing (Muyngy)Position: CREA Developers & Development Entry Facilitator & REAKH Relationship ManagerEmail: muyngy.taing@realestate.com.khPhone: +855 (0) 10 723 379 Agency Awards Entry ContactsEnglish & Khmer:Name: Ms. Sokphea Rorm (Phea)Position: CREA Agent Entry Facilitator & REAKH Relationship ManagerEmail: sokphea.rorm@realestate.com.khPhone: +855 (0) 81 921 707 / (0) 89 428 028 Chinese:Name: Ms. Muyngy Taing (Muyngy)Position: CREA Agent Entry Facilitator & REAKH Relationship ManagerEmail: muyngy.taing@realestate.com.khPhone: +855 (0) 10 723 379 Cambodia Real Estate Awards - Sponsorship ContactName: Ms. Annabelle Vong (Anna)Position: Event - Sales ManagerEmail: annabelle.vong@realestate.com.khPhone: +855 (0) 17 426 797
Special Economic Zones in Cambodia - Spurring Development
Special Economic Zones in Cambodia - Spurring Development
November 28, 2022, 9:25 a.m.
Special Economic Zones (SEZs) were established throughout Cambodia to provide investors with a “one-stop service for imports and exports” and to facilitate trade. These hubs have also been instrumental in national economic development and are increasingly linked by key transport routes.Pre-pandemic, it was estimated that there were more than 50 SEZs in the Kingdom, collectively employing a workforce of 130,000 people in more than 450 factoriesHow are some of these key Special Economic Zones operating as the end of 2022 approaches and how do they spur national economic development? Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ)Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) Co Ltd, is the operator of the 11.13 square kilometre special economic zone on the southern Cambodian coast  - it is the largest by size and occupancy in the Kingdom.Long Dimanche, the Sihanoukville province deputy governor said in 2022 there are 170 factories from China, Europe, the United States, Southeast Asia and other regions in the SSEZ which have a total investment of more than USD $1.3 billion and create around 30,000 jobs.Devin Barta from Fine Flooring Cambodia, which makes and engineers hardwood flooring and sources materials from Cambodia and countries globally, is based in the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone and their main export destination is North America.Barta said “The SSEZ provides import and export duty relief along with many services in-house. The zone is very good at meeting our business needs and providing services. Proximity to the (Sihanoukville) port is also a significant advantage and the labour pool from the nearby communities is very reliable.”The value of imports and exports passing through the SSEZ in Cambodia topped the $2 billion mark by October 2022. This represents an increase of over 17 per cent compared with 2021. For reference, the total value of imports and exports passing through the SSEZ in 2021 was $2.2 billion.On the scale of the SEZ, Barta sees this as a benefit. “There are more services and there is a substantial market located within the SEZ. Due to the variety of businesses here, as well as those within the same industry, we are able to effectively work together and use the same suppliers.”This region of Cambodia continues to spike interest due to the Kingdom’s only deep-water port, the new Law on Investment, and infrastructure projects such as the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway which has significantly reduced the travel time between the two economic hubs.Dimanche added that the economic hub is transformative in connecting the province with the regional and global supply chains.Barta added “These upgrades will pay enormous dividends to the region. It was quickly obvious of the new highway opening that tourism to Sihanoukville increased significantly. I suspect expansions of the airport will increase international tourist traffic, while a larger port entices even more industrial development.”Regardless of the business activity type in the SSEZ, the zone improves the economic development of the country and provides essential skills and jobs.“From a business owner standpoint, being in an SEZ makes operations easier; it provides well-paying jobs to the local community which also increases their quality of life. The infrastructure needed to support the SEZ has a spillover effect in the area, improving roads and other aspects which the communities benefit from”, said Barta.Poipet O’Neang Special Economic Zone (POSEZ)In the northwest of the Kingdom, located near the Thailand border, the POSEZ has been operational since 2005 and today employs nearly 10,000 people.This SEZ covers over 260 hectares and it has access to a key border crossing with Thailand, which provides convenient and economical access to a global market via air, rail and seaports. Eric Wong is the Assistant General Manager of CCI Co. Ltd. (operator of the Poipet O’Neang Special Economic Zone). He said, “Our strategic location is attractive to prospective investors who are looking to start, relocate or expand their manufacturing businesses, warehouses or distribution centres to Cambodia. Situated right next to the future O'Neang checkpoint on the border, manufacturers can mitigate all of their business risks and shorten transportation times to the Laem Chabang Port of Thailand, as well as enjoying faster processing times for customs. We have no power shortages which means shorter lead times for the finished products.”All of the Special Economic Zones in Cambodia attract investors by providing a range of services and economic benefits. These include reliable water and power supply, duty exemptions, 0% Value-Added-Tax (VAT) on exports and transactions within the SEZ, as well as incentives. In the POSEZ, businesses are offered a 9-year tax vacation, while visas can be arranged for families of investors. They also offer a One Stop Service (OSS) “designed to facilitate application, information, company registration, evaluation, investment approval, license and permit acquisition“, said Wong.The main business targets are manufacturers of auto parts, agricultural machinery, agro-based products and biotechnology, consumer electronics, garments, industrial tools & parts etc. Wong also says that “all types of commercial businesses including financial and trading services” are welcome to operate in the commercial zone and that six enterprises from Thailand operate in Poipet SEZ.Positive Impacts of Trade Agreements for SEZ in CambodiaThe Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and new bilateral free trade agreements have generated increased exports from the POSEZ to Thailand, confirmed Wong. “I have always believed that Thailand is a “necessary channel” for Cambodia to export products to foreign markets.”For the SSEZ, there has been a relatively weaker performance of imports and exports as the year has progressed due to sluggish demand on the international markets caused by uncertainty in the financial markets, the conflict in Ukraine and the ongoing zero-COVID policy in China.However, the trade agreements, as well as increasing international interest in Cambodian-made products, means there is huge potential for the upside.“We want to encourage more investments in warehouses along the border to facilitate more varieties of exports and Cambodia needs more foreign investment for the technologies, human resources and infrastructure to develop production chains in the coming years to maximise the economic potentials and benefits from RCEP” concluded Wong.By offering attractive incentives and one-stop business services, these SEZ drive Direct Foreign Investment and are a source of skilled labour, which spurs national projects and has a positive impact on the national economy.
Forte Announces A Brand Refresh To Signal Next Stage In Company’s Evolution
Forte Announces A Brand Refresh To Signal Next Stage In Company’s Evolution
November 22, 2022, 7:27 a.m.
Phnom Penh – Cambodia’s largest general insurer and fast-growing life insurer, Forte, has unveiled a refreshed logo and tagline ‘Live with confidence’ to mark the next phase of the company’s growth.As part of its brand refresh, Forte has sharpened its vision, mission and values to emphasize its focus on providing innovative customer-focused products and services and expanding their general and life insurance offering across more markets in the region.The brand development and new tagline, ‘Live with confidence’, is a manifestation of the company’s leadership in the insurance sector to take a stand on sustainable growth and building capacity in people, whilst humanizing insurance and financial services in an empowering way.Forte took an empathetic approach and invested in research to understand people’s perceptions of what Forte does well, where opportunities existed and what people really wanted from insurance providers in order to differentiate their services in the market.Charles Cheo, Group Executive Chairman of Forte, said, “Forte has built our success upon being customer-focused, forward-thinking and innovative over the past two decades. We believe that building stronger brand equity, coupled with our strong financial outlook based on our ‘AA’ Global Credit Rating Co ranking in terms of national financial ratings, will add value for our shareholders and transform Forte into a regional player. We look forward to even more successful decades to come.”Mr Youk Chamroeunrith, Group Chief Executive Officer of Forte, said, “It’s time for us to move forward and modernize for today’s digital age. Our refreshed brand identity signifies confidence and optimism in moving forward as one Forte family with a strong purpose, aligned with our vision to protect and empower everyone in the region for a better future – one person, one business at a time.”Ms Sharliza Rahman, Chief Brand and Digital Officer of Forte, said, “We have evolved Forte’s brand and messaging to better reflect who we are today and to match our ambitions for the future. Our brand evolution has to be done sensitively while staying true to our heritage and history. Alongside some recognizable elements we have also incorporated new visual devices to give our brand a dynamic and confident new look.”She added that, “What we are doing is not simply a re-branding exercise or a marketing campaign. It signals our intent and commitment to empower people by providing them with a safety net which enables them to have the courage to achieve their aspirations.”In the coming months, Forte will be rolling out their refreshed brand identity in stages across various touchpoints, as well as a regional brand campaign in Cambodia and Laos.Since its founding in 1999, Forte has developed the largest market share in Cambodia for general insurance, expanding into life insurance in 2019. It has also achieved regional recognition as Domestic Insurer of the Year by Insurance Asia Awards for the second time and Best General Insurance Company in Cambodia by Global Banking and Finance Review for 8 years in a row.About Forte Forte is leading the growth of the insurance industry in emerging Southeast Asia with its vision to protect and empower everyone in the region for a better future – one person, one business at a time.Founded in Cambodia in 1999, Forte has remained true to its mission to provide innovative customer-focused products and services, build capacity in people, and contribute to the progress of the insurance industry in the markets they operate in. Offering both general and life insurance in Cambodia, and general insurance in Laos, Forte is the preferred partner of multinational insurers.Forte is also an employer of choice which offers a collaborative workplace that rewards achievement and provides opportunities for employees to grow through professional education and development. Inquire about Forte insurance
Home Buyers & Investors Securing Some Of The Best Deals At The Realestate.com.kh Property Showcase 2022
Home Buyers & Investors Securing Some Of The Best Deals At The Realestate.com.kh Property Showcase 2022
November 22, 2022, 10:23 a.m.
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA - Realestate.com.kh teamed up with some of the leading property developers over this past weekend for an exclusive property showcase, an invitation only event, at the Realestate.com.kh showroom in Phnom Penh. The Property Showcase continued the ongoing success of Realestate.com.kh events - with over USD $1.5 million worth of property sold across the two days, confirming a healthy demand for quality property within Cambodia. The Property Showcase will be added to the Realestate.com.kh event series heading into 2023. Steff Khiem, Marketing Manager of Realestate.com.kh, confirmed the success: "We have hit record sales in 2022 for our partner developers, putting us in a unique position to negotiate the best prices in the market. We are very thankful to our partners for going the extra mile for this event, offering never-before-seen prices for our buyers. Over a million dollars in property sales in just two days is an outstanding result." Dylan Hao, Sales & Marketing Director of Partner developer Le Condé BKK1 described the event as "something I have never seen before in Cambodia!" He continued, "We do a lot of road shows as a way to sell our project. But Realestate.com.kh has a target database which allows them to attract quality buyers to their events. We sold almost $500,000 worth of property at the showcase." Vatey Mom, General Manager of Realestate.com.kh and Fazwaz Cambodia, highlighted that "it's a great way to round out 2022, which has been a record year for us. We consult more international and local investors than anyone else in Cambodia."She added, "As the market continues to recover from the pandemic, there is some correction in segments of the real estate sector in Cambodia. It's now more important than ever to guide buyers to the right properties that will yield a return. Our team has carried out due diligence on every project. We only advise projects that we would purchase ourselves - even if that means losing a buyer."Participating developers included Le Condé BKK1, Morgan Group, Urban Living Solutions, Vue Aston and Times Square. In conjunction with The Ministry of Land Management and Urban Planning, The Real Estate Regulator and the CVEA, entries are now open for Realestate.com.kh next offline event, The Cambodia Real Estate Awards, with the Gala Dinner to be held in the first quarter of 2023.
Demand Increasing For Luxury Properties In Cambodia
Demand Increasing For Luxury Properties In Cambodia
November 21, 2022, 4:00 a.m.
There is no question that the Cambodian real estate industry has been booming over recent years, while the Kingdom's breakneck economic growth has been well documented. Even post-pandemic, the country is extremely well placed with positive GDP growth estimated by leading financial institutions for the coming years.Property developers have also been swift to try and plug the gap to meet the appetite in the housing demand, which is driven by the emerging middle class, expats and international investors. This also means HNWI (High Net Worth Individuals) locally and internationally.This latter group of investors and uber-wealthy Cambodians in particular are affluent and are seeking to constantly increase their quality of life, are in the pursuit of fine tastes and are driving demand for luxury housing in the Kingdom.Although there are aspects of the local market that are showing a slower recovery, with a short-term oversupply of mid-range properties, the luxury market in Cambodia is largely untapped and is seen as a massive opportunity by industry professionals.HNWI On The RiseAlthough it's not known exactly how many HNWI are within Cambodia, “The Wealth Report 2015” estimated that Cambodia’s pool of ultra-high net worth individuals (those with more than $30 million in total assets) had almost tripled in the space of a decade. The more recently published Capgemini report in 2021 suggested there were now over three thousand millionaires in Cambodia (an increase of over two thousand in five years!)In the Asia-Pacific region (APAC), Knight Frank wrote that based on the 2022 Wealth Report, between 2021 to 2026, APAC is forecasted to experience the most significant growth in the population of HNWIs (59.8%) and UHNWIs (32.7%). The region is also expected to be the largest regional wealth hub by 2026; with two-thirds of UHNWI wealth allocated to property. Capgemini adds that The top 5 Asia APAC countries with the most HNWI in 2022 are:Japan (3.65 million)China (1.53 million)Australia (319,000)India (308,000)South Korea (272,000) Interestingly the report added that art, classic cars, and wine ranked among the top three passions for Asia-Pacific’s wealthy population - and these are also increasingly being catered to in Cambodia.Automobile showrooms that visibly showcase some of the finest brands of sports cars such as Ferraris and Lamborghinis (as well as Maserati, Bentley, McLaren, and Aston Martin or Harley Davidson motorcycles) are no longer out of place in the capital. Rolls-Royce in Cambodia has among the most successful sales rates globally. Meanwhile many luxury brands such as Brioni, Balenciaga, Burberry, Bottega Veneta, Canali, Clarins, Christofle, Dolce&Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Frette, Hugo Boss, L'Occitane en Provence, Moncler, Poltrona Frau, Stefano Ricci, and Santoni have entered the Cambodian market and more continue to do so.Luxury Property Market in CambodiaTom O’Sullivan, CEO of DCG Cambodia (FazWaz Cambodia & Realestate.com.kh) said of the property searches on the property online platforms in 2022 - that many of the customers were high-net-worth individuals. Online search traffic on realestate.com.kh looking for landed properties that are above USD $4.5 million has increased by 50% this year. The most valuable landed residential transaction was as high as USD $7 million+, which speaks to the demand from the market.The recent Moody’s Investors Service Inc downgrade of Cambodia’s outlook referenced the property market but incorrectly categorised the mid-range properties as luxury in their report saying “a deceleration in activity in the luxury property sector poses broad risks to growth”. If anything this confirms the oversupply of mid-range properties but there is no luxury category in the market currently. So what are the luxury developments and trend changes in the Kingdom that appeal to this elite group of buyers?Borey developers have started to add multi-million dollar villas to their range of products - very few developers are purposely designing luxury property developments with some houses reaching $4.5 million or more.Odom is one example of a high-end condo development to come onto the Cambodian market, however, there is still arguably no luxury landed property development on the market today.Luxury stand-alone villas in Toul Kork are commonly priced anywhere between USD $5 - $8 million. However, these properties are rarely on the market for sale. Demand is increasing for luxury property rentals - one ultra-high-end villa was recently leased for $15,000 per month in the capital. Located by the Mekong River off National Road One in Chbar Ampov, the villa has 7 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, expansive grass yards, a swimming pool and much more. Although there is a growing demand for luxury properties in Cambodia, there is limited supply in the market. High Networth Individuals and the Ultra High Networth Individuals don’t have a lot of choices when searching for luxury homes but they increasingly have the financial resources to spend on these assets.  Developers are looking for a shift of branding to appeal to the luxury market and have identified this as a profitable and growing sector in the Cambodian real estate market, and the developers and marketers will help shape the image of this luxury housing market compared to regular housing projects.With the Cambodian government having done such an exemplary job handling the COVID-19 pandemic and with pro-foreign investment policies in place, the indication is bright for the local market and it remains incredibly well-placed in the ASEAN region.The specialised and high-end luxury developments in Cambodia are lucrative and with high potential - buyers are actively looking at the luxury property market in the Kingdom and which developments can suit their quality lifestyles and tastes for the finer things in life.
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4 Things to Know Before Buying a Condo in Cambodia
4 Things to Know Before Buying a Condo in Cambodia
November 16, 2022, 7:26 a.m.
With so many Cambodian condo buyers coming from overseas, mainly as it's the one property type they can easily and legally purchase, do foreign condo buyers understand the essential aspects when buying such a property in the Kingdom?Condo Supply & Foreign Buyers in CambodiaForeigner condo property sales accounted for 65% of all condo sales so far in 2022 according to realestate.com.kh - with one & two bedroom condos most in demand. The company’s Real Estate Survey 2022 indicated that Phnom Penh was also overwhelmingly the preferred area to buy in for Cambodian, Chinese, and Western buyers.In terms of the condo supply - this reached 28,000 units across 95 buildings in Phnom Penh and is projected to increase by over 50,000 units to reach nearly 80,000 units by 2025. CBRE Cambodia reported in “Q1 2022 Market Insights – Navigating the new norms” that 13,000 new condominiums are expected to be available in the capital of Phnom Penh in 2022 alone.The mid-tier condo developments are expected to dominate the future supply as property developers are targeting the demand of Cambodia’s emerging middle class as well as expatriates residing in the Kingdom and buying from abroad..The supply by 2025 in the capital is expected to consist of: Mid-tier condominiums (56%)High-end (22%)Core (17%)Prime (5%)Can Foreigners Own Property In Cambodia?Land and property ownership can be complex for foreign-owned businesses and foreigners in Cambodia to understand. But, yes, foreigners can buy and own property in Cambodia and legally own condos in Cambodia. Cambodian law prohibits foreigners from owning land, but they can legally own properties such as condominiums under a Strata Title, as long as the property is not located on the ground floor of a building (and at least 30% of the other properties in the building must be Cambodian owned).According to R.A. 4726, foreigners can buy and register (under their own name) a condominium unit in Cambodia - the Condominium Certificate of Title (CTC) will be registered under the foreigner's name too.What Is The Property Title When You Buy A Condo?The form of private ownership in a co-owned building is issued under a hard property title known as a Strata Title. Strata titles allow foreign nationals to fully own private units of co-owned residential or commercial (office) buildings in Cambodia, subject to certain procedures and criteria. Co-owned buildings are defined as a building in which several owners reside and could consist of private units that are exclusively held by an individual owner and other spaces that are commonly owned (amenities like lounges, pools, and gyms).Can A Foreigner Apply For A Home Loan In Cambodia?While it is challenging, it is still possible for foreigners to apply and get a home loan in Cambodia if they are in-country. However, not many Cambodian-based banks will offer home loans to non-Cambodians. If you are able to secure a home loan, a set of legal documents including collateral equivalent to the loan value, a salary confirmation letter, a valid identity card, and the information of guarantors might be required.The three main terms to consider for a mortgage in Cambodia are:The loan amountThe interest rateThe loan termsWhat Does Buying Off-plan Mean?What does "off-the-plan" buying mean in Cambodia? Well, off-the-plan property buying is when the property is purchased prior to its construction being completed and buyers can view the design and construction plans (it's also called pre-selling). The main benefit of buying off-plan is the opportunity to select condos with the best locations in the development, and there is a degree of flexibility to customise the condo (within the limits of construction design).Most Cambodian-based property developers target international buyers and investors and offer some sort of rental return scheme or Guaranteed Rental Returns (GRR).GRR is a future rental income that is guaranteed by the developer or management company to the property purchaser for a contracted period of time after the purchase agreement is signed.This reassurance mechanism targets new investors with standard net returns often advertised in condos and in new developments. The GRR ranges from 4 per cent to 9 per cent in Cambodia, normally for a duration of two to five years.Before any purchase, do your due diligence and research and even assign legal and property experts if you are unsure and are buying from overseas. With the rebound in tourism and the positive economic outlook for the Kingdom, property prices are expected to rise in the coming years - the latest Residential Property Price Index (RPPI) for Phnom Penh indicated a 15.4 per cent increase compared to the index in 2020 which is the base year.
Cambodia Property Growth Well Poised By The End Of 2022
Cambodia Property Growth Well Poised By The End Of 2022
October 31, 2022, 3:05 a.m.
Property sales and ongoing foreign direct investment (FDI) remain strong as the end of 2022 approaches in Cambodia. FDI is key, as is the ease at which investors from overseas can make calculated transactions in the Kingdom - although trends suggest the domestic property market matured during the pandemic - foreigners are still the main force of real estate investment in Cambodia.The construction sector has significantly contributed to economic development and is also a key employment driver, so as a sturdy pillar of economic growth in Cambodia, the sector’s success is pivotal.According to the Financial Stability Report 2021 of the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), FDI inflow in 2021 was valued at $3.5 billion, while the total FDI inflow between mid-1994 and end-2021 amounted to 168.8 trillion riel ($41 billion) coming from a number of nations.The NBC added that the increase in FDI to investment mainly was sourced from China, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan and Malaysia. FDI in construction rose from $260 million in 2020 to $334 million in 2021 in the Kingdom.The construction sector in Cambodia is projected to expand at an average of 6.3 per cent in 2022 and will grow 9.4 per cent between 2023 and 2026, reported Bussineswire’s Cambodia Construction Industry Report 2022.Property Sales In CambodiaMs Vatey, General Manager of DCG Cambodia (FazWaz Cambodia & Realestate.com.kh) said the property sales growth curve in the past six months of 2022 has almost shown a straight upward trajectory. She adds that the firm's sales in the past three months reached USD $5.4 million."Recently, there has been a surge in platform searches and customer inquiries. It is obvious that the market is picking up. Most of the customers come from high-net-worth individuals brought by channels and databases" said Vatey.Who Is Buying Real Estate In Cambodia Right Now?One-fifth of property buyers in Cambodia come from the United States, 10% are from Singapore, 11% are from France, 10% are from Japan, and 10% are from the United Kingdom and Italy, while 4% are from other European countries such as Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Sweden, Spain.The major investor market remains China which accounts for 15% of property buyers, despite the ongoing zero-COVID policy that has restricted travel. The remaining 20% are local Cambodian buyers.Vatey believes that the reason why foreign investors are choosing to invest and buy a property at this time is mainly due to:Continued inflation in Europe prompted more people to move and live in Asia;Housing prices in Cambodia are still affordable compared to other countries in the region;Public life in Cambodia has returned to mostly a pre-COVID normal;The unique investment opportunities in Cambodian real estate and ease of foreign ownership;More developers are offering affordable and flexible payment options for buying a home.What Types Of Properties Are Investors Buying?In terms of property sale types in Cambodia in 2022, 65% of investors purchased condominiums - this makes sense as foreign real estate buyers can legally own strata condominiums. Most buyers have been opting for spacious one and two-bedroom condo units, which is indicative of the trend of large units being most popular, especially among high-net-worth individuals who are considered the core investment group.Some buyers are even buying two adjacent apartments, and following planning permission, are merging the space into a large apartment following their desired renovations. Apart from condominiums, land-linked homes such as townhouses, shophouses, and villas are the most popular property investment type and account for 20% of sales (these include off-plan and resale properties.)Ten per cent of all buyers have indicated they are optimistic about the investment prospects of office buildings, especially projects that provide guaranteed rental returns (GRR) and guaranteed buybacks (GBB), which are safer investments, especially for those based overseas.Vatey believes that the current market can still be classified as a "buyer's market" and that the current market is still "small" - developers need to provide more attractive conditions to grab a larger slice of the market share. An increasing number of developers have focussed on the improvement of their projects in terms of design, greenspace, convenience, amenities etc and hope to offer a unique property in the market. By diversifying Cambodia's real estate products - it will make the country more attractive and solidify the Kingdom as an emerging economic hub in Southeast Asia.Edward Lee, CEO of Prince Real Estate (Cambodia) Group Co., Ltd. commented “As post-pandemic lifestyles are shifting to a new dynamic, demands have changed, and developers need to build products that uplift the community through value creation from the consumers’ perspectives.”New Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement It was also announced this month that the Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement (CATA) between the ASEAN and European Union (EU) is expected to boost travel between the two regions.The CATA allows airlines to operate as many flights as possible between the regions and in effect replaces the 140 different bilateral air transport pacts signed in the past by the countries in the two regions with a single set of rules.Since Q1 2022 more multinationals have moved into the local market (post-COVID) and this moves further adds to the attractiveness of the Kingdom to investment as the year draws to a close.
What Are the Benefits of a Phnom Penh with a Modern Rail Transit System?
What Are the Benefits of a Phnom Penh with a Modern Rail Transit System?
October 26, 2022, 10:16 a.m.
There have been countless proposed railway modernisation projects proposed as well as feasibility studies carried out in the Kingdom, in particular in Phnom Penh. A glance over the geographic shoulder to other Southeast Asian cities and it's clear the capital is far behind the modern transit infrastructures that Bangkok, Singapore, or Kuala Lumpur offers its inhabitants and visitors.Despite the massive costs required for such an undertaking, urban transit systems play a significant role in the social and economic development of large urban areas, and can also be attributed to significantly improving the quality of life in such areas as well as raising the value of properties.What would a Phnom Penh urban rail transportation system look like and what are the obstacles to overcome to make it a reality?What Options Are There For A Phnom Penh Rail Transit Network?In 2019, a Chinese-funded feasibility study for a monorail project in Phnom Penh was completed, while a Japanese feasibility study investigated implementing an automated gateway transit (AGT) system with an electric-powered mass transit system - but these were derailed due to the high costs involved.In 2021, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport also asked the Asian Development Bank to help devise strategies for monorail and metro projects for Phnom Penh.But this past September, the Cambodian government announced it was prioritising a subway train system in Phnom Penh as part of its mega transportation plans. Reference was made to the Japanese (JICA) study from 2019 which estimated costs of USD $1.8 billion (albeit from 2019). As far as we know, this study did not specifically mention an underground system but officials feel that Phnom Penh's best solution would be a subway system and not monorails, a sky train, or an overland system.On the positive side, a reliable and functioning urban rail transport infrastructure has the ability to improve the local employment rate, spur the development of the transport industry, and increase the value of the real estate and land when situated close to these urban transport hubs.Whether it's underground, on monorails or something else that embraces future tech, Phnom Penh will eventually need a comprehensive strategy that will help reduce increased traffic in a city that is expanding & outgrowing its current borders. It's a real growing pain - bridges and flyovers, and even utilising water transport services alone will only help alleviate the issues in the short term.It's also unlikely any project will be affordable unless it is a partnership between the government and a private entity or entities (such as so many of the current infrastructure projects eg: Phnom Penh- Sihanoukville expressway).Environmental ImpactsThe Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC) reported that there are more than 2,500 high-rise buildings in the capital alone and this number is not slowing down anytime soon - the additional urban sprawl also adds strain to the ability of the city to handle the high rainfall during the wet season and greenspace is already scarce in the capital.Cambodia is located within a regional zone that a number of reports have suggested is at high risk from climate change, greenwashing aside, the scalability of Phnom Penh’s infrastructure needs to take the environment into consideration.2022 has been a particularly wet rainy season in Cambodia (and the region). By mid-October, the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) confirmed Cambodia’s 25 provinces 23 have been affected by floods and 110,000 families were left stranded.At the recent Infrastructure Asia 2022 forum, the need to scale up sustainable infrastructure was a focal point and the keynote address mentioned  “While every nation in Southeast Asia will have its own unique hurdles in the development of sustainable infrastructure, they also share many similar challenges and, as a consequence, can apply other nations’ best practices and solutions.”This year has already witnessed subways badly flooded due to extreme weather in very developed and first-world cities such as in Tokyo & New York City.Costs of Developing a Modern Rail NetworkWe can glance at the costs of recent current rail network developments in the region to understand what is at stake. In Bangkok, the urban rail transit system has been undergoing its biggest expansion since the BTS opened in 1999 - with a number of lines being added this year and in 2023. BTS Group Holdings had to raise USD $2.1 billion through an IPO (the largest in Thailand's history) to secure funds for the expansion of BTS and MRT lines in the future. A 30-year plan is split into phases to continue to develop Bangkok’s sky train system, however, the upgrades are plagued by financial woes and rising debts. The country’s national rail network is also expanding and a 2028 target date has been set to finish a High-Speed Rail Link with China (at the cost of $12 billion).Although not exclusively an urban rail hub, the China-Laos Railway completed at the end of 2021 carried a price tag of US$6 billion. There are plans between 2024-2026 to connect Vientiane with BangkokBe Modern But Realistic - Avoid GadgetbahnsA very tongue-in-cheek video recently mocked mass transit plans of the future that are announced by “visionaries” such as Elon Musk, these are termed gadgetbahns.These are public transportation schemes based on modern technology which seem to be unfeasible or unnecessary. In Musk's case, his Hyperloop project which has not really progressed and by all accounts seems some decades away from being a scientific reality (never mind the exorbitant costs) means the project and its solutions don't appear to be fit for purpose in the near future.Whatever is decided, a major urban rail hub in the capital is a positive for the city and its long-term future.
Realestate.com.kh launches Exclusive Property Showcase. Two days only.
Realestate.com.kh launches Exclusive Property Showcase. Two days only.
November 10, 2022, 8:26 a.m.
On November 18-19, Cambodia’s leading real estate company, Realestate.com.kh, will hold an exclusive property showcase at their showroom, located on the 1st floor of their office in BKK1.  The event is set to feature a limited number of the best developments in the market, with a limited number of units at exclusive discounted prices for this event only. Tom O’Sullivan, CEO, says: “We attract more clients than any other platform in Cambodia, and generate hundreds of buyers each year. This puts us in a unique position in the market; we have huge negotiating power with developers”.Adding to this, Sothavatey (Vatey) Mom further highlights: “We have overachieved the sales targets for our partner projects in 2022, so they were more than happy to provide us with units for this event at prices never seen before in the market”.Earlier this year, the Realestate.com.kh expo generated over 30 Million dollars worth of property in sales. This event is set to be a scaled-down version of the expo, inviting select developers and limited to just 100 attendees. Projects participating in the event will be announced next Tuesday, the 25th of October. Who should attend Anyone interested in buying property, including Cambodian nationals and expats. If you are currently in the market or someone that is always looking for a great deal, do not miss this opportunity!Event key details: Limited to the first 100 registrations Realestate.com.kh Showroom; Level 1, corner street 302 & street 63, BKK1, Phnom Penh Lucky door & buyer prizes Friday the 18th of November. 10:00AM - 7:00PM Saturday the 19th of November. 10:00AM - 5:00PM  REGISTER HERE
Kingdom Ticking The Right Boxes To Attract Post-COVID Investment
Kingdom Ticking The Right Boxes To Attract Post-COVID Investment
October 17, 2022, 3:20 a.m.
As we move well into Q4 2022, everyone is hoping the COVID period is in our rearview mirror, and the Kingdom of Cambodia has done an excellent job overall of ensuring its citizens, visitors, and investors are healthy - and the right steps have been taken to ensure a path for a healthy economic state of recovery.Make It Easy And they Will Come (and Spend)With the Southeast Asian nations all competing for a slice of the regional investment pie, many nations have introduced new visa schemes such as the ten-year Golden Visa in Thailand, the Investment Visa in Singapore, or the Special Investor Resident Visa (SIRV) in the Philippines which aim to spur not only investors but to attract top global talent, particularly in sectors such as technology-heavy industries.In the Kingdom, the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) of Cambodia announced a special tourism policy “aimed at attracting long-stay tourists, high-spenders, repeat tourists and potential tourists who can be investors in the country.”The Ministry’s permanent secretary of state Tith Chantha added that the policy is important to attract high-income international tourists to visit and stay in Cambodia for a long time and to create more investment in Cambodia.”The MoT plans to offer an Angkor Lifetime Pass to help attract foreigners to Siem Reap. The pass includes the choice of the Angkor Pass Package or the Privileged Pass Package, offering visitors priority rights to use tourism services and visit the Angkor Archeological Park for the rest of their lives. Long-term expats have also been rewarded with the government acknowledging the long-term residents who call Cambodia home (anyone living in the country for two years or more) by introducing a free Angkor Special Pass under a new government scheme for long-term foreign residents in Cambodia.Since Q3 2022, domestic tourism was also set to benefit from another “Travel Pass” - offering discounts for national and international tourists - with Kunthea Phirum, head of the Office of Domestic Tourism Promotion at the ministry saying the pass will be a  mechanism to organise affordable tour packages and help the tourism industry recover in 2022 and 2023.*This is open to diplomats, investors, international organisations, foreigners working in companies and private enterprises of all kinds, experts working in ministries, public and private institutions, as well as families.There is even a pass being considered for Thai tourists who reside in any of the seven provinces that border Cambodia - this will allow them to travel overland to Siem Reap province with only this border pass and not requiring a passport. The ministries are looking to boost investment and tourism by making it easier to visit the country and with the added possibility of offering something similar for Vietnam or Laos.The Cambodia My 2nd Home (CM2H) Program which was unveiled earlier in the year also targets foreigners looking to invest in Cambodia who can be eligible for a new 10-year visa.Finally, following the announcement in early October 2022 that all visitors by land, sea or air will no longer need to produce health certificates or show proof of full vaccination upon arrival removed the final obstacle (or excuse) anyone could use for not visiting or investing in the Kingdom.ASEAN and Cambodia Remain Attractive to InvestorsThe country and the region remain highly attractive to investors. Sun Chanthol, Senior Minister, Minister of Public Works and Transport confirmed that ASEAN had received the highest-ever FDI inflows of $182 billion in 2019 – making ASEAN the largest recipient of FDI in the developing world. Although the numbers dipped during the height of the pandemic, key areas remain ripe for investment and the steps the country has taken to improve and enhance trade, ongoing plans to enhance the ASEAN transport connectivity, and make investment more transparent and easier in Cambodia all are bullish optimistic signals.In the first eight months of 2022, Cambodia received just under a million international arrivals and with the most recent Nikkei Covid-19 Recovery Index indicating Cambodia is in the top percentile (ranking in the top 10 for four consecutive months) - we all need to do our part in flying the national and symbolic economic flags for the Kingdom.In construction specifically, the Q3 2022 CBRE Market Insights report indicates that there are more than 400+ construction projects in Cambodia with 167 under development - this is a 20% year-on-year increase.For Cambodia to see continued growth in the real estate market there are some key drivers that are important. The World Bank confirmed that Cambodia has “one of the fastest increases in financial inclusion rates” among developing economies in East Asia and the Pacific, and has maintained its positive outlook for the nation’s 2022 GDP.With increasingly transparent payment systems and armed with new Investment and Trust Laws as well as a sleuth of investor and tourist-friendly initiatives - the country is well-positioned to attract investment from domestic and foreign investors.
PropTech in Cambodia
PropTech in Cambodia
October 12, 2022, 1:32 a.m.
Proptech is an increasingly popular buzzword and encompasses disruptive and innovative technology in the property sector - we look at some of the trends in proptech being utilised in the Kingdom of Cambodia and how its technology has the potential to change the real estate industry.What is proptech?Proptech (property technology) are the tech tools the real estate professionals and property development industry can use to radically change the way and optimise buying/selling, research, and marketing among others. Proptech is the alignment between real estate and technology.There are countless proptech companies but very few are truly disruptive and bring added value to the industry. According to one report, over the past decade - more than 9000 proptech companies were formed globally! The Asian Proptech real estate industry only accounts for 3.5% of the global number and is dominated by Chinese firms.Examples of proptech could be a digital platform that utilises tech to promote properties, examples of smart real estate {Internet of Things, Virtual Reality (VR) & Augmented Reality (AR)}, fintech solutions, tech infrastructure such as data centres, or even leading edge tech such as the metaverse.Ascendix predicts that some of the proptech trends in the near future include:Proptech Big Data & digitalisation of property data assetsAI and Machine LearningVirtual Reality for better online search & buying experiencesChatbots for better customer experienceProptech in Cambodia - VR and Web Functionality Residential and commercial property tech facilitates the way people buy and rent properties while Commercial Real Estate (CRE Proptech) makes the use of innovative tools to efficiently run, search, rent, and the property assets.Realestate.com.kh offers an innovative web (and app) platform which has more than 30,000 live property listings (commercial and residential) and 200,000 visitors monthly. The company saw increased online traffic from international buyers in 2022 while the impact of the pandemic was still being felt. “Our online traffic really spiked during the pandemic as many investors were not able to fly to Cambodia,” said Tom O’Sullivan, CEO of Realestate.com.kh.Property search platforms (which feature user-friendly listing and marketplaces, agent tools, etc.) are a great example of proptech. The Cambodian property market is changing (as well as property buyers in the Kingdom). “As the market returns to normality we have seen another spike in traffic both locally and internationally…we have witnessed a huge shift from desktop to mobile over the last few years”, added O’Sullivan.The company also created unique user experiences for western, Khmer and Chinese property seekers with the web and app platforms hard coded in all languages as opposed to using Google Translate.Realestate.com.kh also entered into a strategic partnership with property technology company, KE Holdings Inc. (Beike) to use RealSee VR technology in Q1 2022. O’Sullivan said of the partnership, “We have actually been using 360 VR tours for over 3 years. But since the exclusive partnership with Realsee we have been able to scale this. It was almost perfect timing during COVID to focus on VR''. The company has educated the market with the tech and changed buyer behaviour and the CEO said it remains very popular as the country moves out of COVID.Data Centres and the Push for Digitisation/Big DataBig Data is another tech buzzword and is crucial in the ongoing move towards digitalisation and analytics. Big Data is also being used in making informed data-driven strategic and development decisions in the property sector.The Asian Development Bank (ADB) reported digital technology and big data are key to fast-tracking post-COVID-19 economic recovery in Southeast Asia (SEA).and recommends policy reforms to help capture the benefits of big data, including improving technical infrastructure, and ramping up training to create a skilled workforce to lead the digital transformation.Dan Fagg, Sygna Commercial Director APAC, says there is globally increased demand for data centres due to increased digitisation and Cambodia could benefit.“From a development point of view, we have seen no let-up in the volume of new projects around the APAC region, and there only seems to be more to come for the near future. As more developed markets get saturated (in terms of land space and competition), we are expecting more growth in new/emerging markets, especially in SEA. This has been aided by the development in (data) infrastructure over the last few years by both foreign and local enterprises, but it places the region in a good position for development for the years to come – however, high energy prices and availability of power in these areas could stump the potential growth.” The data centre services market was valued at $48.9 billion in 2020 and is speculated this will increase to $105.6 billion by 2026.Dan added he thinks there is a demand and opportunities for more local development, and suggests “being first to market in a lot of these instances is key. That said, the investment amount is significant compared to other developments (such as commercial, residential, hospitality).”He concludes “Data centres are the future for the foreseeable future, but I am sure as technology advances the market will have to move with it, and it's unknown how that might impact existing investments/facilities.”Blockchain Opportunities in CambodiaBlockchain provides a secure, decentralised way to record and transfer ownership of assets.Veasna Meas, Chief Executive Officer at Naki Group Co Ltd says utilising blockchain is beneficial in Cambodian property development. “I believe utilising blockchain in Cambodian property development will help to provide access to a larger pool of investors. Some of the benefits of tokenisation include accessibility, diversification, transparency, and liquidity. What that means is those who desire to participate in real estate investment in Cambodia, previously had concerns about the process, or simply just do not know how to enter the market, can now do so with ease.”    His company is behind local developments such as Silvertown and it is a real-world example of using the technology. “The benefits of tokenising Silvertown specifically are 1) It’s a real-world asset and 2) It has been operating since 2014.”He adds, “The fact that it has been operating for several years means we have historical performance data. With that, buyers of the Silvertown token can analyse past and estimated future performance to determine their returns. By having all the information for the project on the blockchain, it can help developers gain more liquidity by having access to more investors while investors have access to verified information.”Naki Group has announced the upcoming launch of the first tokenised real estate investment offering in Cambodia. The Silvertown Token (STM) is being offered to investors starting Q4 2022.
Time Square 306 Breaks Ground amid a huge volume of pre-sales of the last few weeks
Time Square 306 Breaks Ground amid a huge volume of pre-sales of the last few weeks
October 7, 2022, 4:53 a.m.
One of the most successful developers in Cambodia, Megakim World Corp broke ground this morning (6th October 2022) of its most recent project Time Square 306, having just launched sales only a matter of weeks ago. Time Square 306 is the 4th project that the developer has launched in the Cambodian market. With all but one of its projects already completed and handed over to buyers. A very smart design allows for 350 units in total, spanning across 45 floors with a maximum of 10 units per floor.At this morning’s ground breaking event, Ms. Vatey Mom, GM of DCG Cambodia (FazWaz Cambodia & Realestate.com.kh), highlighted the success of the project: “The units are extremely competitively priced for the location — combined with the quality of the project, the background of the developer, and clever payment options, it's no surprise that the sales rates are already high in this project.”Further attesting to that, Sophie Khim, a project sales agent at Fazwaz Cambodia, added: “A lot of my international customers have already purchased at Time Square 306; I think the fact that they have already handed over so many projects gave my buyers confidence that Megakim World Corp is a trusted developer in the market.”If you would like to know more about Time Square 306, check out more details here on realestate.com.kh, even step inside the show unit by taking a free 360 tour of the units.Looking for property in Phnom Penh? Let us help!
How Can Siem Reap Expand Into the Future?
How Can Siem Reap Expand Into the Future?
September 29, 2022, 2:08 a.m.
Guest Contributor: Aronsakda Ses - Junior Research Fellow -  Future ForumThis week we hear the first of a two-part series from Aronsakda Ses (Junior Research Fellow from Future Forum) who provides commentary on Siem Reap's urban development, exploring urban development strategies that can help ‘temple town’ grow without jeopardising the region's cultural, historical landmarks and ecology. Siem Reap Can Neither Grow Tall Nor Wide, How Will It Grow? Siem Reap holds a special place in all Cambodian’s hearts. Therefore, it isn’t surprising to hear varying and conflicting opinions about the future development of the area that is sacred to so many in the Kingdom and beyond its borders.In February 2022 at a real estate workshop, a prominent real estate tycoon was critical of the strict building regulations imposed to protect the landscape surrounding Angkor Archeological Park, preventing the construction of highrise buildings which drew criticism and caused him to issue a public apology.A different perspective and observation of this episode reveal the apparent desire among Cambodians to retain the unique characteristics of the city and the surrounding province due to the heightened cultural and symbolic significance of the temples in the Angkor Archaeological Park. But this desire does keep Siem Reap’s residents in a conundrum - where all development must walk a very tricky tightrope between progress and respect for the past.Given the government’s redoubled efforts to attract more and more tourists and the needs of the city’s own inhabitants, it seems inevitable that Siem Reap will grow, one way or another. It is imperative that we figure out how the city can grow without damaging its cultural sites and fragile ecological balance.Siem Reap - Neither Tall nor WideDeveloping Siem Reap into a city replete with tall buildings - as lamented by so many - would possibly destroy the cosy and tranquil natural setting that the town is known for. But a Siem Reap which endlessly sprawls into the countryside is no better. Yet, this is the trajectory the city is currently on. Automobile dependency is a major factor behind Siem Reap’s urban sprawl. Many projects are located in Siem Reap's outskirts and along its Ring Road, placing them farther and farther away from existing amenities and services. This is compounded by the project's singular land-use focus, for example only including housing rather than mixed-use developments. This means that local neighbourhoods lack basic amenities and services, forcing residents to make many long trips by car or motorcycle.This demand for travel manifests in larger and larger roads, like Road 60 leading to the new airport which is under construction, as well as parking lots to cater to vehicle usage. Roads with high traffic speeds and volumes create an unsafe environment for every other road user. This results in pushing more people to drive and makes them less likely to take advantage of other commuting options (although increased public transport options are also needed). Hence, the superfluous vehicle-centric infrastructure leads to congestion; necessitating even more vehicle infrastructure - a self-perpetuating cycle.Siem Reap has undergone a major transformation of 38 major inner-city roads during the pandemic - also included was the installation of 200 security cameras, 20 traffic lights, 5000 street lights, 3000+ trees, as well as adding dedicated bicycle paths. In addition, a large roundabout at Svay Thom market and a new traffic bypass are also planned to reduce traffic congestion - however, these only really benefit the centre of the city.Siem Reap’s outer districts still face sprawling development, traffic gridlock, and poor walkability as a result private vehicles become the de-facto mode of travel, which degrades the physical quality and livability of its inhabitants. The Case for CompactnessAn alternative future for Siem Reap, in which the city aims for compactness rather than sprawl, results in urbanism that is radically different from the current car-centric model. A comparative case study between the city of Atlanta in the United States and Spain’s Barcelona aptly illustrates the differences between a city that sprawls and a city that focuses on efficient development.Atlanta is a typical US car-dependent city covering 7,692 square kilometres with 5.3 million inhabitants. While Barcelona, with a similar population, covers an area only one-twelfth that size.Where Atlanta has oversized roadways, parking lots and strip malls, Barcelona has pedestrian streets, plazas, corner stores and residences - all within the same city block. Atlanta experiences gridlock traffic, poor urban mobility and excessive carbon emission, while Barcelona zips its citizens around on an efficient transit system augmented by walkable and bikeable neighbourhoods. Where Atlanta copes with an insufferable urban heat island due to an ocean of concrete and asphalt surfaces, Barcelona chills inhabitants with trees, parks and waterfronts.The contrast could not be more apparent, especially in cities with similar populations. Furthermore, Barcelona is not a concrete jungle of endless skyscrapers. Most of its buildings are only 5-6 floors high, yet it manages to pack more housing, shops, services, and activities in each square kilometre. No doubt these characteristics help propel the city to sit high in most global liveability indexes.The example set by Barcelona proves that compact development does not have to be claustrophobic and vertigo-inducing to be successful. In fact, optimal density and compactness are an advantage, because it brings homes, jobs, education, services, etc. closer together, it makes public transit and active commuting more viable, and the smaller urban footprint of the city helps preserve surrounding ecosystems.The lessons from Barcelona and other compact but vibrant cities can serve to inspire Siem Reap's development path.For Siem Reap - Compactness is the WayYou may be wondering: would prioritising compactness lead to the construction of taller buildings in Siem Reap? The answer is no in my opinion. Efforts to limit sprawl, paradoxically, do not always directly lead to skyscrapers - as evident in Barcelona.Compactness means intensifying the usage of space in an urban area. Buildings should be mixed-use and multi-purpose, containing housing, restaurants, grocery stores, etc. Following a compact model would mean that developers avoid creating spaces which only have limited usage like garages and golf courses. Instead, public spaces, plazas, and parks that serve all manners of social, cultural, leisure and economic functions should be prioritised. Encouragingly, several developers already embrace the value of compact and mixed-use development. There are excellent examples that demonstrate the convenience and attractiveness achieved by designing residences in human-scaled, walkable, and mixed-use developments,  are:Bakong VillageRose Apple SquareAngkor GraceLikewise, transportation must also be condensed. The construction of endless highways, swathes of parking lots and countless garages should be avoided. Instead, space for commuting should be condensed into more efficient modes like bus transitways, cycling lanes, and pedestrian corridors which carry more traffic, are cheaper to operate and more sustainable to maintain.Compactness simply calls for the intensification of usage of space we already occupy, which in turn decreases demand to build tall or build sprawl to begin with.Achieving compactness in Siem Reap calls for carefully designed neighbourhoods which are mixed-use, walkable, contain a myriad of people-centred spaces and are integrated with an efficient transportation system. One critical policy tool to ensure Siem Reap develops in such a manner is a mobility-based land-use master plan.Correct Land-use Planning is Key A planning policy where land use is based on mobility profiles means that a building’s placement would take into account how users commute to and from it, and the intensity of traffic generated by users of that space. The advantage of a mobility profile allows planners to distinguish between buildings which generate different amounts and different types of traffic.Small shops, food and beverage establishments, and retail stores where users can arrive by foot would fall into a “light” traffic zone, characterised by prioritizing public transit and active commuting. Siem Reap’s centre with its many small streets like Pub Street and Sok San Road is home to many such establishments and therefore should be categorised accordingly.Furthermore, areas along the Siem Reap River stretching from Wat Damnak to Wat Preah Enkosey should impose a "restricted" traffic zone where no vehicular traffic is allowed; except for emergency and public services vehicles. This is especially relevant in fostering social, cultural, and economic activity in the heart of the city, as well as enlarging the public space inhabitants and tourists can enjoy.For buildings which require frequent vehicle access, Siem Reap planners can designate zones of “heavy” traffic located along major roadways. Such “heavy” traffic zones should be located away from the city centre and be limited to a few areas to avoid conflict with other zones. This planning tool also helps streamline traffic by restricting sites that generate heavy vehicle traffic from being located near intersections where they would dramatically impact traffic flow.Making land-use decisions based on impacts on urban mobility is preferred compared to the current land-use masterplan for the city, which strictly adheres to traditional zoning practices of categorising zones by their expected function, i.e residential, commercial, industrial, etc.In essence, a mobility profile allows planners to tailor Siem Reap’s buildings to work with the local street network and its transportation plans. For Siem Reap to ThriveDespite sounding contradictory, it is possible for Siem Reap to grow and prosper while also preserving its unique blend of characteristics. A mobility-based land-use policy would allow planners to better adapt growth around the unique needs of Siem Reap, maximising livability, and negating negative impacts on the traditional feel of the city. This compact form of urbanism, coupled with public transit and active commuting can minimise the need for the current levels of expansion which threaten Siem Reap’s small-town atmosphere, its priceless cultural sites, as well as the fragile ecology of the province as a whole.
How will the SEA Games 2023 Positively Impact Cambodian Property and Investment?
How will the SEA Games 2023 Positively Impact Cambodian Property and Investment?
September 20, 2022, 8:57 a.m.
With less than nine months until the country hosts the 32nd SEA Games 2023 - which is tied into a number of key transport and infrastructure projects - there should be a massive impact on tourism and investment with media attention shifting to the country over the coming year.Cambodia is hosting the SEA Games for the first time in its history from May 5-17 2023, and a variety of sporting events will take place in a number of cities. Together with the 12th ASEAN Para Games, which are scheduled for June 2023, the organising committee has confirmed that Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Kep, and Kampot province will be used.At the most recent SEA Games held in Vietnam, nearly 5,500 athletes from 11 countries were involved across 526 events in 40 sports. Cambodia has suggested hosting even more activities with 40+ sports and potentially a record number of events - 632!Cambodia will also host the 2029 Asian Youth Games, so what impact can we expect the Games to have on the residential and commercial areas being utilised for the events, especially in the capital of Phnom Penh?Phnom Penh will be the SEA Games HubThe capital will be the centre of attention for the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games, especially the new Morodok Techo National Stadium which is located in Chroy Changvar. It will be used for the opening and closing ceremonies, but a number of sports venues and facilities will be utilised.The National Olympic Stadium and the OCIC Chroy Changvar Exhibition Hall are also expected to be used and the total government budget is around USD $30 million for the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games.Vath Chamroeun and CAMSOC have said the Sports Athletes Village at the stadium will house between 5,000 - 7,000 people, while the main stadium will host a variety of sports such as football and athletics and has a capacity of 60,000, while there is also a 3,000-capacity aquatic centre, and a 5,500-capacity multi-sports gymnasium and a training hall.Athletes' villages developed for the previous Olympic Games in Beijing, Athens, and London all became residential communities following their respective Games.This focal point will be key for attracting investment opportunities and potentially international and regional buyers in the property market. Showcasing the latest and upcoming developments via online portals such as realestate.com.kh will ensure overseas and domestic buyers have access to the best-consolidated selection of properties in the country. Thomas O’Sullivan, chief executive of realestate.com.kh has said previously that the Southeast Asian Games will put Cambodia firmly on the map. “We know that when someone travels to a foreign country, they may consider buying property there. We believe now is a really good time to get into the market.” Over recent years, buyers and investors have come from China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, the United States, Europe and Australia.Which Developments Will Benefit from SEA Games 2023Some of the developments in Phnom Penh set to benefit from the SEA Games are:Morgan EnMasonThe Peninsula Private Residences World Bridge Sports VillageThe latter is located within the boundaries of the Morodok Techo National Stadium over eight hectares of land and is only situated a 15-20 minute drive away from the capital’s CBD. There are already four bridges that can be accessed to reach the development and the stadium. WorldBridge Sports Village incorporates shopping areas, entertainment & leisure areas, sports areas, and residential areas.The area is also home to Safari World, Water Park, the 18-hole Garden City Golf Club course (27 additional holes are under development), with many more amenities that have sprung up in the area in recent years in anticipation of the Games.Other Cambodian Cities Expected to host SEA Games 2023 events:Siem Reap - Expected to host the cycling competition.Sihanoukville - Expected to host water-based events such as sailing and jet skiing.Kep - Might host the triathlon.Kampot - Anticipated to host canoe, kayak, and possibly other boating competitions.SEA Games  - Short and Long-Term BenefitsSothavatey Mom, Country Manager for FazWaz Cambodia thinks hosting the Southeast Asian Games will yield both short and long-term benefits. “In the short term some industry sectors such as hotels and accommodation, restaurants and bars will benefit immediately from the influx of visitors, media and athletes. The property market will benefit in the long-term - this will happen due to the exposure from the international media in the build-up to and during the Games and the international audience and visitors that are expected to attend in Cambodia including corporate sponsors.”Other countries that have hosted events like the Olympic Games, SEA Games, or FIFA events have yielded an uptick in international investments as global investors take notice of the host nations, and for developing nations like Cambodia that are put in the spotlight, it's a great opportunity.Mom believes Phnom Penh is set to be the main beneficiary and she identifies the areas around the Royal Palace, riverside, and similar commercial areas to benefit from property sales, as well as the vicinity around the Stadium which will have the highest foot traffic.“Chroy Changvar should continue its growth momentum with low rise developments for the next decade and along National Road N6. I think most purchases will be condos and office investments in the short term but in the long term, as the demand for people to live in the area beyond the stadium grows, there will be more diverse developments.”CAMSOC secretary-general Vath Chamroeun seems to agree on the importance of the exposure, “We want all countries to notice our sporting potential. When they arrive, they will see the extent of our infrastructure and note the changing face of Phnom Penh. Our development has progressed smoothly under the shadow of peace, bringing economic stability and good security. Those who see it will describe the true Cambodia to the world.”As someone who loves sports, but also wants the Kingdom to continue its upward journey, I can't wait to see how the next year unfolds - and we all should hope that Cambodia and its people are excellent hosts.
Why Green Spaces in Cambodian Cities Matter
Why Green Spaces in Cambodian Cities Matter
September 12, 2022, 9:40 a.m.
With sustainable developments in the spotlight in the fast-growing urban areas of Cambodia, many local and international residents have commented on the perceived lack of greenspace in cities like Phnom Penh. New builds are trying to address this and incorporate much-needed green areas and community spaces.Some reports suggest that as little as 1% of the capital is allotted to urban parks, and most residents of the city can name the few natural greenspaces on their fingers. A UNDP study of Phnom Penh indicated that the public space ratio in Phnom Penh has dropped from 1.1 square meters per person in 2014, to only 0.67 square meters per person in 2020. For comparison, at 7 SQM per capita, neighbouring Bangkok is considered to have a “low” rate regionally. Studies also indicate that access to greenery in urban areas is vital for mental and healthy well-being and even though the WHO recommends universal access to green space, even most European cities fail to meet this.Green space can be associated with many health and social benefits, including longer life expectancy, reduced mental health issues, and even better cognitive functioning in children and the elderly. They also reduce air pollution, heat and noise levels, and provide us the chance to better enjoy physical exercise and social interaction, thus becoming a key element through which social capital is enhanced and strong communities are built.Some new developments in Phnom Penh are addressing this, such as Chankiri​​ Palm Creek, North Park, and Odom.Why Sustainability Matters in Cambodia’s New DevelopmentsUrban Living Solutions (ULS) is a well-known developer in the Kingdom and behind such developments as Factory Phnom Penh, Urban Village (Phase 1). Their newest announced development, Odom, will see a currently used community green space (Odom Garden) be enhanced and developed.ULS is a Cambodian-owned real estate and lifestyle development firm which aims to build livable urban spaces that connect and nurture communities. The company has supported other initiatives that enhance communities including the 2019 Housing Phnom Penh Architectural Workshop that ULS developed for Cambodian students on affordable housing.ULS representative and Head of Sales Mr. Ty Chea told realestate.com.kh that “people, communities, are at the very core of ULS and all its projects’ values. We aim to offer a type of development that meets the needs of present generations with those of the future ones in mind.”He adds that all ULS’ projects are designed to support the view that Cambodian cities can do better socially, environmentally and economically. “We try to offer homes and spaces for the Cambodian middle-class, inspired by traditional local architecture (from the Angkorian temples and village lifestyle to the shophouses), but updated to modern Cambodian needs”. He adds that they want to improve the quality of life of residents but also be conscious of the Cambodian climate and lifestyle.Odom - Phnom PenhULS believes that cities should provide green public spaces for people to connect with nature and with other citizens. They believe this is the foundation of a healthy society, and the company wants to contribute to it by sharing a rare green oasis in the city centre before anything else was built on it.Odom Garden is located on the future site of the Odom project. “We wanted to let Phnom Penhers experience the sense of community we envision for the completed project. Our goal is to create community-focused spaces, and with Odom Garden we gave free access to 4,000 SQM of green space on Norodom Boulevard”, Chea said.ULS adds that Odom “will be one of the few buildings to hold LEED-certification allowing future residents and tenants a healthier, more sustainable way of living and working”. The project will feature shared courtyards and public areas for people to meet and connect as well as walkable spaces and greenery offering a safer and healthier lifestyle.“We design our homes with bigger living rooms and balconies for families to gather and spend time together. We believe this is how you build a healthy and happy community – by giving its people the spaces to create a healthy social fabric”, they added.On the transformation of the current Odom Garden, the developer says what was once a private garden became a popular meeting place for families and a platform for small and micro-entrepreneurs with our monthly farmers' markets. They added, “We are happy to see how many connections have organically grown out of Odom Garden, and we hope those networks will continue beyond this pop-up park.”Odom will have more space to grow when the final project is completed with more than 7,000 SQM of green space (126% the area of Odom Garden), and nearly 80% will be open to the public. “We are incredibly thankful to our partners and all the regular supporters that make up the Odom Garden community.”Development will start in 2022 and the main features include Odom Square, a five-story layered park and publicly accessible retail podium connecting the offices and residences. Six Sky Villages (pockets of outdoor spaces) are integrated into Odom Tower which also features a rooftop and resident-only space.If more future developments like these incorporate greenspaces and embrace community living aspects into their designs, there is hope we can have a greener and more natural, vibrant, and livable capital to call home in the future.
4 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Security Company in Cambodia
4 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Security Company in Cambodia
September 6, 2022, 6:30 a.m.
Corporate property and home security are key considerations in Cambodia which should not be ignored and there are a variety of services on offer from a number of different organisations.Spurred by Cambodia’s ability to attract international investment and investors (2,000 construction projects with a total investment of $1.2 billion in the first half of 2022), more businesses are establishing a presence in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville in particular, while more domestic and international staffing talent at all levels relocate to the Kingdom’s cities.The growth in the urban areas and cities in particular in the Kingdom means there is an increasing number of new high-rises and condos, and increasing expendable income as the nation moves gradually towards being a high-middle-income country,By mid-2022 Cambodia's insurance market was valued at $948 million dollars in total assets and the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC) reported that there are 2,472 high-rise buildings (between five and over 40 floors).The security services available in the Kingdom are something building management and construction companies need to consider to ensure the safety of their employees, guests and assets. Here are some of the key considerations when choosing the right security firm in Cambodia.1. Check If The Security Firm Is Licensed In Cambodia - You Get What You Pay For!Not only should you check the licensing of the security company in Cambodia, if they are legitimate and professional they should also be completing employment background checks to ensure you have the most suitable security staff on-site. Security companies in Cambodia need to be registered with the department of the National Police and according to a sub-decree on private security management, non-compliant enterprises and establishment owners could be fined 10 million riel (USD $2,500), and security companies that hire guards without registering them with the Ministry of Interior will be fined 20 million riel (USD $5,000).According to the National Police, companies should complete background checks before hiring guards. You can also check if the company is regularly audited, certified and in strict compliance with Cambodian laws.Salary ranges for security staff in Cambodia are commonly $250-350 per month for well-trained staff but some firms offer less well-trained staff at $200 and less, this should be a key consideration when asking questions about the firm before hiring them as your safety partner.2. Confirm What Type Of Training The Security Staff Have Had (And If It's Ongoing)The “standard” in Cambodia has for a long time been to have security personnel on site who have had a varying degree of training, age-range and price-range. It's simple to employ just about anyone in the role and there are some less professional firms that can offer security guards and services that are not professional. As the nation develops, so should the expectations from these professional security services.The premium security services in Cambodia such as Prince Security Service have adapted to the fast-changing business environment and ensure their security personnel will have regular medical tests, random drug tests, and perform standard background checks.The range of training at these firms, even for the most basic security staff, will include fire-fighting, first aid, and how to deal with emergency countermeasures.Ideally, the security firms will still utilise non-discriminatory employment practices and ensure, regardless of gender or age, that staff are physically capable of handling the role. Most security staff employed at premium security firms are likely to be in the 18-45 age range while there can be exceptions for those physically and medically fit.Personnel will also receive certifications for their completed training and premium firms will ensure international standards are met - part of their mantra is not only providing the best possible staff and solutions but also educating the public on good security habits.In terms of language barriers, security staff at the junior levels might not speak English but companies should have supervisors to overcome communication barriers, and they could speak English or Chinese in addition to being fluent in Khmer.3. Ensure The Right Security Firm Has Your Interests At HeartA great security firm should be doing more than just putting boots on the ground at your residence, construction site, or place of work. Although security personnel are a deterrent and provide a visible physical presence, does the security firm understand your needs and concerns and will they offer expertise and identify aspects within your blind spots?Ideally, the right film will be consultative and do onsite visits and inspections to tailor the best comprehensive security solution through a combination of trained security personnel as well as potential security systems and offer recommendations you may not have considered. Are there areas at night that are not well lit? Do you know your exit points and how would you react in case there is a threat?A good and professional security firm will complete a risk assessment and ensure the vigilance of your security as well as provide regular evaluations (reporting) and opportunities for providing feedback. Are the services meeting expectations, what can guards do better and add to the business and the safety environment?Part of the partnership is not just the firm providing security staff with hard skills, but identifying dangers and offering exceptional extra customer service. Does the restaurant or hotel need car security to open the guests’ doors and greet them on arrival, do they direct traffic? 4. What Technology Or Range Of Security Services Does The Company Provide?Utilising the right technology to suit your security and safety needs is important. It's great to be offered a selection of state-of-the-art security gadgets but what do you need? For corporate customers, a comprehensive security setup might include a combination of cameras, and security alarms allowing the firm to react quickly, even allowing remote lockdowns of a building and blocking or allowing access to entry points. These services are monitored 24/7 and can be supported by response teams immediately. Ideally, the security firm should also have a good relationship with the local police force to ensure there is the correct support and precautions.Electronic security systems are handy and even biometric and fingerprint readers with numerical code passwords are not uncommon at large building sites and office complexes. Motion sensors and correct lighting can all help make property less of a target to potential intruders. Personnel could even be fitted with body kits (including POV cameras).Ensuring Optimal Security And Safety In CambodiaKeep in mind that although security firms should be offering some of these ‘basics’ (training, background checks, communication skills, and certain standards), but security consultants representing the firms should be pointing out the obvious to the client based on their expertise - trust is a key element in this partnership.The security firm should be committed to growing with you and meeting your needs. As the environment, capacity, and requirements change, the firm should be able to adapt and even sometimes identify these (have new properties sprung up nearby, what are the trends in the city etc).Trust and peace of mind are critical, and knowing that the security firm is responsive and reliable is extremely important to select the right security company in Cambodia.Security personnel can be offered for a range of specific roles, including; event security, VIP protection, security escorts, lobby security services etc.According to the security management office in 2021, of the 882 enterprises, establishments, gated communities, condos and apartments across 14 districts in Phnom Penh that have hired private security guards - only 168 of them were legally registered.
Cambodia Needs More Buildings Purposely Designed for Cambodia
Cambodia Needs More Buildings Purposely Designed for Cambodia
August 30, 2022, 7:35 a.m.
Prak Norak - Junior Researcher - Future ForumPhnom Penh and other urban areas are expanding quickly, with new projects breaking ground regularly. As cities expand, there is an increased demand for resources and with some of the current unsustainable design choices made in the early stages of the building's construction, Cambodia is potentially set up for an unsustainable future.By maximising space over maximising airflow and natural light; pursuing trendy foreign designs over practical ones for Cambodia’s hot and humid climate; and generally insufficient knowledge on sustainable practices, there is a danger these will collectively negatively impact how well Cambodia can mitigate and adapt to its changing climate.The current trend places an enormous burden on our environment so it is crucial that we approach new urban developments with a more Cambodia-specific and environmentally conscious mindset.Small Design Choices Can Have Lasting ConsequencesSeemingly small choices made in the early stages of the design process can translate to less sustainable and less comfortable habitats of living. These design features have lasting consequences for the quality of life, increased energy consumption and rising costs for property owners.In many boreys across Cambodia, houses are built following the same uniform design which lack windows in key areas, necessitating the continual use of air conditioners to cool and ventilate the living space as well as additional lighting to illuminate interior spaces - even in the middle of the generally bright and sunny days we get to experience in the Kingdom. Boreys also generally consist of houses which are too closely backed up against other dwellings, allowing only minimal light to enter the properties, not to mention that privacy is also compromised by the proximity of the neighbouring properties.In the case of the Khmer shophouses, their arrangement only allows for front and rear placed windows to allow light and air to flow inside the property. This familiar layout of a traditional shophouse in Cambodia may maximise the use of space but it arguably compromises the quality of life within these popular developments. Is the benefit of the extra space worth the lack of proper ventilation and lighting?Even the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is trying to address this, through the Asia Pacific Clean Air Partnership and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, which has partnered with the Cambodian Ministry of Environment to develop the country’s first Clean Air Plan.Don't Mimic Buildings That Aren’t Built For The Cambodian ClimateLooking out across the Phnom Penh skyline, buildings wrapped in green cloth are symbolic of those currently under construction. These buildings, for the most part, are enclosed in glass, metal, and concrete.This trend of applying ill-suited architecture is an unsustainable way of designing buildings in Cambodia. This isn’t just socially unsustainable - stripping Cambodia of its design identity - but this practice threatens Cambodia’s liveability in the face of dramatic and real climate change.Buildings wrapped in glass exteriors allow for natural light and expansive views of the cityscape but this also traps heat in the building by overexposing the interior to sunlight which again necessitates the use of costly air conditioners. Not only is this an inefficient choice, it is a damaging and costly way for the building to operate and also exacerbates energy shortages and electrical blackouts.Cambodia isn’t the only country facing the issue of overusing foreign development designs. India struggles through record-breaking heat, but architects and designers there are coming to grips with the consequences of poorly adapted buildings to the local climate. Architects and environmentalists are calling for a return to “vernacular,” traditional and locally-oriented designs that are better suited to India’s scorching heat and which require less energy to keep cool in the long term.For India, this means building out of the earth, rather than building out of concrete, glass, and metals, and the buildings’ orientation is designed to minimise sun exposure and make ample use of overhanging roofs and walls to shade buildings from heat. Climate-aware designers make use of traditional features like central courtyards for ventilation.Cambodian designers and developers must aim to employ techniques best suited to our particular climate and some already are.It’s important to note that “modernisation” doesn’t mean copying others. Local designers, or those operating from overseas in Cambodia, can create a contemporary and updated version for Cambodia. These examples below are embracing sustainable and localised designs:Urban Village - focuses on community lifestyles with high-quality architectural designs inspired by Cambodian traditional life.Angkor Grace Residence & Wellness Resort - located in Siem Reap, this development is a green-centred project utilising greenspace and solid wood panels that pay homage to Cambodia’s rich architectural heritage.Bakong Village - aims to revive the sense of community while living in the ‘village’. Combined with a walkable neighbourhood, this creates a breath of fresh air from the design trend that parodies foreign architecture designs.The Coconut Park and Trillion Park on Koh Pich - offer much-needed greenspace in the bustling capital of Phnom Penh.Kambujaya properties - offer residential shophouses that break the norm and has a courtyard in the centre which is open air & allows natural light and air to enter the inner part of the property.These shifts might necessitate a return to traditional Khmer elements of design. Designers can use alternative materials for construction and revive the concept of open spaces at the ground level to promote socialising as seen in many stilted houses in rural areas in the Kingdom.For Cambodia to make significant shifts in design philosophy, perhaps it is best to start with young designers. With Cambodia’s urban population set to increase to 7.92 million by 2030, which will account for 44 per cent of the total population (up from 6.13 million in 2019), action needs to be taken.Create more educational opportunities for sustainable buildings It is paramount that Cambodian students build with the future in mind. This is why imbuing students with applicable knowledge of sustainability is important.Currently, Cambodian design schools lack dedicated and specialised sustainability classes and there are few Cambodia-specific educational resources on the subject. Without Cambodia-specific educational tools, young architects and designers struggle to learn what design techniques, building materials, and building strategies can be employed for Cambodia’s specific climate.Furthermore, transdisciplinary workshops in which people from different fields of study can trade ideas may create even more opportunities.Small steps have already been taken. The "Sustainable Building Arena'' (SBA) organised by the Build4People project team, brings together innovative people from various backgrounds to collectively and transdisciplinary develop sustainability visions and solutions for Cambodia. Participatory and collaborative workshops like the SBA can help expose students to a sustainability mindset early on.A Summary - Designing for a Sustainable FutureCurrently, only some developers are designing sustainable projects but they should be encouraged to increase their output for a sustainable future.As for students, sustainable design classes are crucial to advancing their knowledge which can be enhanced by an open-source depository of information related to sustainable practices. Transforming our buildings and our cities into more sustainable and liveable spaces won’t be easy, but any step which moves us away from climate-ignorant design toward climate awareness can (and should be made) set Cambodia up to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate.Photos by Ravi Jayaweera
Cambodia property habits
Changing Habits Offers New Opportunities in the Cambodian Property Market
August 23, 2022, 3:32 a.m.
Changes throughout the recent years and into 2022 have been positive in the long run for Cambodia’s economic growth and the property sector in particular. It's easy to gloss over the rapid number and speed of change in the Kingdom, but some retrospective and openness to the changes reveal how international and domestic investors and property buyers should be positively assessing the opportunities in the growing Cambodian market.Better Regulations & SystemsThe new e-commerce laws will make it easier for foreign companies to operate in the Kingdom in the post-pandemic era and the easing of restrictions enabling large investments via cashless and digital payment systems are positive steps. The World Bank also confirmed that Cambodia has “one of the fastest increases in financial inclusion” among developing economies in East Asia and the Pacific, adding that “Double-digit increases in account ownership were achieved in Cambodia.”NBC also has said that a Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system is being developed to help facilitate large-value transactions.More cashless payments and the e-KYC will raise awareness, and transparency, as well as promote the use of new technologies and innovations, especially in the banking and finance sectors in the Kingdom. Binance signing an MoU with the Securities and Regulator Exchange Regulator of Cambodia (SREC) means the country will receive the support and development of the legal framework for regulating and bolstering the digital asset businesses in the country which comes at a time when blockchain technology is increasingly being utilised and adopted in the region and domestically. Furthermore, the signing of an MoU between Prince Group, Cambodian Investment Management, and Realestate.com.kh to collaborate on opportunities in attracting inbound investments through Cambodia’s Trust Law is also significant in attracting investment by providing a seamless, trustworthy, and transparent experience for foreign investors. Tom O’Sullivan (CEO of realestate.com.kh) said, it “offers a legal, transparent vehicle in facilitating real estate transactions for foreign investors”.From an administrative point of view, the establishment of 25 Capital-Provincial Investment Sub-Committees (CPISC) launched in Cambodia in 2022 will help decide and fast-track private investment and resolve disputes related to investment projects to allow for decision-making power at the sub-national level. Ongoing Investment and PotentialAccording to a recently published report by the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), the real estate sector has grown by 2.5% in 2022, and in the first four months of 2022, there was an increase of 6.7% in home sales across condos and villas. The construction activity for residential villas increased by 60% while construction for apartments increased by a massive 183% in the first five months of 2022.In total, 1,679 new construction projects were approved nationwide in the first five months of 2022, and although this is down 8.2 per cent year-on-year, investments in construction are long-term commitments that require large amounts of capital.Foreign direct investment for 2022 and 2023 will recover to around 12 per cent and 11.6 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) respectively, while construction has been forecast to grow by 7.2 per cent in 2023, and real estate is expected to rise by 5.2 per cent in 2023.If these predicted datasets don't provide enough positivity, the recent EXPO 2022 attracted over 12,000 attendees and $30 million in property and real estate sales which is a reflection of the real-world positivity in the market. A large-scale event was held again for the first time in a long while and it was a great opportunity for the Cambodian market leaders to collaborate in a mind-sharing exercise that wasn't possible for two years. This allowed for better evaluation, planning and cooperation to ensure the sector and the country is putting their best foot forward in continuing to attract investment and economic growth.Why Cambodia Remains Attractive to InvestorsAs of July 2022, the Kingdom of Cambodia has waived the quarantine requirement for all non-vaccinated or non-fully vaccinated travellers visiting the country while Cambodia site near the top of the rankings in the Nikkei COVID-19 Recovery Index - despite ongoing concerns of variants of the virus which has slowed tourism growth. The tourism numbers are on an upward trend and we are still in the middle of the traditional quiet rainy season in Cambodia - but the latest estimate from the Director General of Tourism Development and International Cooperation of the Ministry of Tourism, Thong Rathasak, places a figure of 1.3 million tourists this year. Around 500,000 tourists visited in the first six months of the year.More airlines have been offering and expanding the number of flights and destinations to and from Cambodia in the first half of 2022 too which is a positive – offering travellers a variety of options and catering to various budgets. The business community continues to confirm an increase in meetings with international investors and business clients who are stepping on these shores again for the first time in two-plus years.Foreigners will also be looking to invest in Cambodia via the newly launched 10-year (so-called golden visa) which falls under the Cambodia My 2nd Home (CM2H) program. The CM2H program is open to all countries recognised by Cambodia with certain investment and financial requirements.
Cambodia Property 2022 Perspective
Cambodian Property and Investment Growth 2022 - In Perspective
August 16, 2022, 4:49 a.m.
Cambodia continues to be an ideal destination for investors, property developers, and businesses aiming to expand their activities and increase their market presence within the ASEAN region.Cambodian Economic and Property RecoveryIt's important to sometimes take stock and assess the bigger picture, and to borrow popular cryptocurrency terminology, not buy into the hype or the FUD - if you are investing in the Cambodian market or buying property in the Kingdom, patience and perspective are key.Residual COVID impacts are still being felt, while global supply chain issues, the impact of the war in Ukraine, pending global recession fears and rising interest rates, plus the WHO announcement that monkeypox in July 2022 was a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” which might scare off investors, it's actually potentially a great time to take opportunities.The nation’s economy increased by 3 per cent in 2021 despite the pandemic, and it has been forecasted to increase to between 4-6 per cent in 2022 (depending on which source you rely on). The country’s inflation rate is predicted to reach 4.7 per cent in 2022, while the forecasted inflation rate for 2023 is expected to drop to 2.2 per cent. More recently, global rating agency Standard & Poor (S&P) even forecast Cambodia’s gross domestic product to reach 6.3 per cent this year - which is higher than projections made by the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and Asian Development Bank. The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto believes that Cambodia’s economy is projected to grow by 5.3 per cent in 2022.Cambodia is already reaping benefits from the newly-established Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (“RCEP”) agreement. In the first half of this year, Cambodia’s total exports to other member countries of RCEP were worth USD $3.28 billion. Over time, more employment opportunities (due to the increased production are expected), while knowledge-sharing aspects of the RCEP among the partnership’s members will be a boon for Cambodia and greater FDI will flow into construction and property development.Investment into CambodiaIn the first six months of 2022, the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) also approved 63 private investment projects outside of the Kingdom’s special economic zones (SEZ), which is an improvement of 18 projects compared to 2021 over the same period.Keep in mind that China is still battling COVID-19 in its own way which is preventing the levels of investment and travel experienced before the pandemic. Regardless, Cambodia still attracted fixed-asset investment from China worth $1.29 billion in the first half of 2022 and China remains the top foreign investor in Cambodia, accounting for 43 per cent of the total foreign investment (worth $2.99 billion during the January-June period.)Cambodia has done well to diversify and attract FDI from other foreign nations which include Thailand, Samoa, the British Virgin Islands, South Korea, Singapore, Cayman Islands, Malaysia, Japan, and Australia. However, the important milestone to take notice of is that domestic investments have topped the investments in Cambodia this year thus far, accounting for $1.59 billion - this is a higher value than came in from Chinese investments in the first half of 2022. We have seen similar trends in the property market and the Cambodian condo market, which was historically dominated by foreign buyers, but has seen a remarkable increase in local customers amid the middle-class boom witnessed in recent times.Appetite for Property InvestmentThe 2022 Realestate.com.kh Real Estate Survey indicated there remains strong demand for housing in Cambodia from first home buyers, re-buyers, and local and international investors, with more than 90% of respondents indicated buying property is a good investment in Cambodia.The success of Cambodia's COVID-19 vaccination roll-out and the end of health restrictions do much to revitalise the economy and the property industry in 2022, with many in the sector still confident that foreign direct investment will surge over time.The most recent estimate from Aun Pornmoniroth, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Finance, indicated sector growth was 4.8 per cent in real estate in 2022, and the existing demand for housing and office properties continues to drive the sector’s potential prosperity. The National Bank of Cambodia also predicted that the real estate and property sector will see gradual growth in 2022 due to the continuation of pending construction projects, resulting in the country’s overall increased revenue and economic growth.Bussineswire’s Cambodia Construction Industry Report 2022 expects the construction industry to grow by 6.3% in 2022 and register an annual average growth of 9.4% between 2023 and 2026. This is based on the ongoing investment in the infrastructure, commercial and residential sectors and robust interest in real estate.There actually will be a number of exciting developments in Cambodia in 2022 which should further entice investment, better utilise technology, and see markets respond to changing consumer and buyers behaviours.
Ministry Approved 1,679 Projects Worth $952 Million in H1 2022
Ministry Approved 1,679 Projects Worth $952 Million in H1 2022
August 1, 2022, 7:55 a.m.
The number of 1,679 construction projects received construction permits from the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction in the first half of 2022, down 150 projects compared to the same period last year.There are about 1,679 construction projects which received a permit from the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC). According to the Ministry’s latest report, approved projects are down by 150 projects compared to the same period in 2021.The Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), through its socio-economic report, showed that the total cost of approved construction projects amounted to $952 million USD, down by almost 60% compared to the same period last year.Out of the 1,679 constructions approved, 1,524 are reportedly residential projects, or almost 91% of total approved projects so far in 2022. This is a decrease from 1,607 residential projects approved at the same time last year.For comparison, total construction approved in 2021 amounted to almost 4,000 projects with an estimated cost of over $10 billion USD; over 90% of projects in 2021 were also classified as residential projects.Despite lower figures compared to last year, there is still confidence within the Cambodian property market. During the first week of July, Cambodia’s largest real estate classifieds portal, Realestate.com.kh held the much-awaited Real Estate EXPO 2022. And with cooperation from the MEF and more than 30 brands from the Cambodian private sector, generated more than $30 million in sales over the two-day event - marking a healthy demand from the Khmer middle class and foreign investors alike.While there are several ongoing global crises crippling major economies, observers such as the WorldBank and the Asia Development Bank (ADB) are projecting a healthy pace of growth for the Kingdom. The WorldBank forecasts a 4.5% GDP growth while the ADB projects a 5.3% growth for Cambodia in 2022.Looking for property in Cambodia? Let us help!