There are several reasons why people look for properties to buy... Either they’re looking for their first personal property investment in Cambodia to live in; or adding a new asset into their investment portfolio.
Whatever the scenario, there are several factors that you would need to consider before buying an investment property in Cambodia.
One of the most important factors must be where that property is located if you want the best chance for capital appreciation and rental returns. The location is one of the most important things to discuss before you decide to purchase a property. It will dictate your lifestyle quality, your travel connections and your overall living expenses, especially in major cities like Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. Making a clear decision where is best to put your money will make your job of property hunting much easier. But investment property shopping in Cambodia can be confusing at times, especially for international investors. Since it’s a growing economy, there are plenty of properties to choose from in all parts of the country. These can range from simple flat houses in the inner city, perfect for renovation, to luxurious condominium units bought off-plan in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville.
The question remains though. Which area should you invest in? In a sit-down interview with Realestate.com.kh, the CEO of Khmer Real Estate and current President of the CVEA, Mr. Kim Heang, reveals all the hottest areas property investment in Cambodia right now. When asked about which areas are the best locations for property investment in Cambodia, he says that it really depends on “what kind of purpose” investors have, and how fast they intend to see appreciation on their investment. Based on his years of experience in the Cambodian real estate market, here are a few things that might come in handy:
If investors are interested in setting up factories, Heang says that the best property investment in Cambodia opportunities would be around Road Number 3 and Road Number 4 where port access roads are all accessible and the streets are much wider than the inner city; two points which will assist your factory logistics hugely. He also mentions that workers are much easier to recruit in these areas. So, there’s no need to worry about a shortage in manpower. If your capacity to manufacture grows, you can easily increase and expand your factory without running into any unnecessary issues in these areas.
Middle Class Families and Young Couples:
For young couples and middle class families, Heang suggests staying in the CAMKO City area and Phnom Penh Thmey is the safest bet. Around this area there are more than 20 housing projects already under way - and more starting every month. Phnom Penh Thmey is set to become the “new city” of Phnom Penh, according to Heang. These include Borey projects all including a significant supply of villas, flat houses and some condos for those who wish to start their own family within a borey project; ideal for those who want to bring their family to live in a more secure living space with a healthy community environment. Since most of these projects around CAMKO City and Phnom Penh Thmey have not yet reached completion.
Heang adds that if you already have the money available, now is the perfect time to buy - because of its lower asking price pre-completion and its future potential for appreciation. It is expected that once the developments are complete, people will flock to buy in this area and demand will rise significantly. This will lead to an increase in the salable price of all the properties. Savvy investors, therefore, should get in now while the price is low.
Commercial Space Investors:
If you’re an international investor looking to place your money in something with an upper class touch, but don’t want to spend as much as what prime and premier developers are charging, Toul Kork would be the best place to invest. Home to many expat residents, high-ranking officials and foreign business people, Toul Kork boasts of a relatively open and clean environment that still has lots of space available to build a new house or development project. This area will also see a significant rise in commercial spaces as more and more businesses set up shop here along the main artery roads.
Upper Class Luxury:
If money is not an issue, then you may want to consider a high-end property market in the most popular residential districts. Whether it’s a live-in upgrade or an investment property, these high-end properties, such as luxury condominiums, apartments and office blocks, offer an amazing lifestyle in the heart of Phnom Penh city. Properties like these can be found in the BKK1, Duan Penh and Riverside areas, considered the primary living space for international corporate workers, expats and prominent wealthy local families. Heang says that BKK is perfect for upper class living, but may cause trouble if you’re a developer planning on building a project there.
Heang confirms that there is no height restrictions in the BKK area for new property development - but still new condos, office of hotel properties must be proportionate in terms of total area coverage and height. This is to properly allocate for ample parking spaces for each unit owner. Heang also warns that the BKK area might have reached its peak in term of land prices and now may not be the best property investment in Cambodia for pure-resale. Though helpful, these tips are just general guidelines from trends, market analysis and experience for considering property investment in Cambodia. What will matter in the end is what will be most relevant for you; how long until you want to liquidate your investment; and how you’re going to use the location to your advantage according to your investment goals.
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