Purchasing land in Sihanoukville: Buyer's Guide

May 15, 2017, 2:01 p.m.

Preah Sihanouk province or generally known as Sihanoukville, is located at the south-west corner of Cambodia. It is 230 km from the capital city of Phnom Penh. It covers a total of 2,536.68 square kilometers where two-third of the total area are hill and plateau.

Now, Sihanoukville has become significant part of the country’s economic growth. With the stability of its economy, it is also attracting foreign investments into the province, which is also affecting the land market. For this reason, before buying land in Sihanoukville, it’s important to understand the local market to make sure you get your investment worth.

How much is land in Sihanoukville selling for?

According to Mr. Den Sakal, CEO of Universal Real Estate in Sihanoukville, land in Sihanoukville is divided into three major areas -- agricultural land, downtown land, and coastal land.

Agricultural land refers to the area where residents are living and doing their farming. This type of land is located farther from the town and beach. The price of this type of land also remains lower compared to other two areas. Meanwhile, downtown land is crowded and is not far from the beach, and is generally good for businesses since this is where all the commercial activities happen. This allows the land price to go higher than in the agricultural area. However, buying land here is still lower than the coastal land area where the beach is the key factor for tourism, residence, hotels, restaurants, and other leisure activities.

Sakal mentioned that in terms of land price, agricultural land starts at $5 and can go up to $25 per square meter. Downtown land has an average of $400 to $700 per square meter, whereas the coastal land where there is high potential, prices range from $700 to around $1,200 per square meter.

What types of land titles are available for land in Sihanoukville?

Sakal said that there are both hard titles and soft titles being used in the entire province. But soft titles do not hold the same security that hard titles do. Some areas have been issued hard titles by the land office. But some still don’t have hard titles. However, every land that carries a soft title can be also applied to get a hard title.

Soft titles are still generally accepted without any problems. However, before buying any land asset, is better to ask for a hard title. If it does not exist, then check with other villagers in the area to make sure you are buying a secure land.

Where should you buy land in Sihanoukville?

Sakal says there are a total of 4 districts in the province. These are Sangkat 1,2,3 and 4. Sangkat 1 is far away from the other three. If you plan on investing in this sangkat, meaning that it might take longer to see the return on your investment, compared to the rest of Sangkats. The other 3 sangkats are quite  busy in terms of business, commercial activities, and tourism. It’s more convenient for both living and selling back in this area -- especially in Sangkat 4. It is the top area for tourism. It houses the Ochheuteal Beach, Otres Beach, Sokha Beach, and the upper market (Phsar Leur).

Why should you buy land in Sihanoukville?

The potential for investment in the area is huge, in terms of residential development, industry, business, and tourism. So, regardless of whether you buy properties here for living or for future resale, this area appears quite promising.

Additionally, Sihanoukville is seeing the rise of many new housing developments such as D’seaviewBlue Bay Sunshine Bay, Royal Bayview and Blue Sky Tower. Other than the residential sector, there are also many already existing developments here such as ports, the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ), the airport and tourism sites. And it is expected to welcome  even more new developments in the upcoming years.

Moreover, today accessing Sihanoukville is much more convenient with options like using the National Road No. 4 and the railway which have direct access to Phnom Penh. All these factors provide constantly good opportunities for land investment in Sihanoukville.

Can expats buy land in Sihanoukville?

According to the land law of Cambodia, foreigners are not allowed to own land and landed property in the country except through a strata title. However, strata titles for residential units are only applied for co-owned buildings and foreigners can only own units above the ground floor.

However, there are exceptions that foreigners can utilize to own land in the country such as marrying a Khmer, becoming a Khmer national, leasing long-term, using a nominee structure, forming a landholding company, or applying for a concession.

What are the legal aspects I need to know before I buy land in Sihanoukville?

No matter what methodology you use to find land Sihanoukville, just make sure you find land with no hidden conflicts, and no hidden leasing or buying. But it may be stressful to check these details if you are a newcomer to Cambodian real estate. As a recommendation, seek the assistance of local agents to help you find the perfect property. In term of the law, real estate agents are very knowledgeable about the area and can handle those things for you. Your stress will be relieved.

Looking for land for sale in Cambodia? Find it on Realestate.com.kh 

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