Investing in condos in Phnom Penh: Tips for Investors

Feb. 16, 2017, 1 p.m.

Condominium as an investment:

In recent years, developers have shifted their development focus towards modern condominiums in order to satisfy the needs of the current and upcoming generation.  

A condominium is now a popular type of modern, and luxury living space. Condos have very special characteristics that differentiate them from other types of residential properties in Phnom Penh. It caters to the needs of the working class, offering convenience as traffic worsens. Moreover, condominiums are the perfect choice for those who want to live in proximity to the commercial hubs of the city, schools, business centres, and other amenities which offer you high standards of living.

Investing in a condominium is a big step and investors need to be certain that they are making the right investment decision, to prevent money loss, overspending, or wasting time on unnecessary problems. If you are considering investing in a condominium in Phnom Penh, you should consider several factors. Although investing in property is a vast subject area, this article aims to offer valuable information in respect to the factors that those future buyers should consider.

What are the hottest areas for condos in Phnom Penh?

When talking about potential areas for investing in condo in Phnom Penh, Khan Chamkarmon has 4 Sangkats that display high potential. These are BKK1, BKK2, BKK3 and Toul Tom Poung. There are already few condo investment opportunities in these areas such as the Imperial Crown Condominium, and the 88 Suite Condo.

Other condo projects in Khan Chamkarmon include (but not limited to) the East View, East commercial Centre,  The Penthouse Residence, The Bridge, Habitat Condo.

Does Toul Kork have any potential for condo developments? And how about other Khans in Phnom Penh?

Recently, Toul Kork became a target for residential developments as well as businesses. Although this area is not as developed as Chamkarmon yet, it is set to become a big residential area in the near future.

There are already few developments in Toul Kok which will be soon completed, such as the TK Royal One opposite to Royal University of Phnom Penh, Apennines in Boeung Kak 2, The Gateway which is so close to Parkson Mall along Russian Blvd.

What type of customers are best-suited for condo living?

Living in a condo entails a modern way of life focused on convenience, comfortability, and security. Majority of the condominiums are occupied by foreigners while Khmer nationals prefer a more traditional lifestyle and chose to live with their extended families in landed houses. However, this trend might change in the upcoming years, and Khmer nationals are predicted to switch their focus on villas and condominiums.

Which areas do expats prefer to live in?

Chamkarmon:

The four Sangkats of Chamkarmon are the most preferred areas of living for expats. As mentioned, these are the BKK1, BKK2, BKK3, and Toul Tom Pong areas. These areas are very popular because are filled with businesses and entertainments such as: pubs, coffee shops, bars, karaokes, clubs, fitness centres, restaurants, and many other service-centered businesses.

Daun Penh:

Khan Daun Penh is another popular area among expats. This areas is also offers several entertainments but also features tourist attractions such as the riverbank and the royal palace. There are a few sangkats where expats are fond of such as Sangkat Phsar Kandal 1,  Phsar Kandal 2, Phsar Chas, and Sangkat Chey Chum Nas.

Are you looking for a professional property management for your condo investment?

Property management services include operations, control, and oversight administration of residential properties. The administration takes the overall control of the property on behalf of the owner.  When considering purchasing a condo, make sure you research the property management firm taking care of development. Remember: this firm will take care of the management of all the common areas and services offered in the condominium, it is therefore crucial to the firm's capabilities and experience. Learn more about Lack of Quality Property Management may knock Investor Confidence in New Developments Market!

Are you a foreigner wanting to invest in condo? Here are your ownership rights:

Foreign nationals are unable to buy land  and landed property freehold within Cambodia, in accordance with the Land Law of 2001 and the Cambodian Constitution, unless a landholding company is set up with the majority of shares being held by a Cambodian citizen or citizens.

Nominee Structure: This structure or method is used by some foreigners to own land or landed properties in the country. It’s fast, easy, and inexpensive. Basically, real property is bought by the foreigner. The property title is then transferred into the Nominee’s name. Once titles are received, a lease and/or mortgage is registered through the Sangkat office. The security documents are also signed in Khmer and English. The foreigner then holds the property title.

Strata title: A strata title is a form of ownership certificate for units in a co-owned building. There are also a number of laws, policies, and amendments made in Cambodia to safeguard the condominium and strata titling mechanism. One of these is that foreigners cannot own a grounded unit. They also cannot own more than 70% of the units of the building.

For detailed information on Strata Titles, check out our Strata Title Guide

Tax obligation: A co-ownership title transfer costs around 4% of the value of the property which is evaluated and set by the cadastral official.

Is an off-sale condo a worthy investment?

Off-sale refers to the purchase of condo units before the completion of the construction. The off-sale unites are usually quite appealing due to their discounted prices and can offer a quick return on investments. However, developers often tend to delay their constructions and buyers are advised to consult a knowledgeable attorney and insert their own conditions in the agreement, especially in regards to the completion date and the deposit.

Why should you consider investing in Condo in Phnom Penh?

International investors are rushing in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, seeking a share of one of the region's last frontier property markets.

Price Comparison with neighbouring countries

Cambodia offers a wide range of luxury accommodation. It also offers a high standard yet affordable lifestyle, compared to the neighboring countries. In the Global Retirement Index report, Cambodia ranked 1st among 23 countries for having the lowest cost of living. Therefore, is not surprising that an ever increasing number of expats searching for a better quality of life over the past several years,is relocating to Cambodia.

According to Bonna Realty, the price for grade A condos lies between $2,300 to $5,791/sqm; Grade B+ at $1,718 to $3,725/sqm; Grade B $1,000 to $3,000/sqm; and Grade C around $789 to $1,700/sqm. In comparison, according to the CBRE Vietnam report, in Vietnam the average sales price is at $2,046/sq.

Instead in Bangkok, there are six categories of condos: the Super Luxury is above $7,058/sqm, Luxury is at $4,799 to 7,057/sqm, High End is at $3,387 to 4,798/sqm, Upper-Mid-range is at $2,541 to 3,388/sqm, Mid-range is at $1,976 to 2,540/sqm, Entry Level is Below $1,974/sqm. (CBRE Thai report).

Future Market Supply of Condominium Units in Phnom Penh:

According to CBRE Cambodia’s Marketview report Q2 2016, the addition of 22,464 units will raise the total supply to 25,250 units by the end of 2018, marking an 806% increase. Additionally, Knight Frank estimates that by 2020, 74 projects will add 24,533 units to the residential condo market, marking a sevenfold increase in total supply, with a growth of 723.5%.

An even bigger prediction is made by Century21 Cambodia, forecasting that or future by 2020 the total supply of completed condominium units will reach a rounded figure of 37,570.

These forecasts suggest that Cambodia is developing quickly and investors are showing great confidence in the market. An ever increasing number of foreigners is considering relocating to Asia. Are you one of them?

Take a look at these finished new developments at Phnom Penh now!

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