Tourism and retirement are also bringing in droves of people from around the country and the world to Sihanoukville, who wish to enjoy the laidback Cambodian lifestyle near some of the Kingdom’s nicest beaches and islands, such as Koh Rong and its sister, Koh Rong Samloem.
As property prices in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap continue to push upwards, many investors are quickly being priced out of these first-tier markets. Sihanoukville in particular stands out as an exciting investment destination worth serious consideration.
"Sihanoukville is one of the most popular cities after Phnom Penh. It is a major tourist destination of both Cambodians and people from around the globe because it offers nice beaches, eco-tourism spots, islands and many other facilities; making it the perfect place for a second home, holiday house or community to settle in for the retired,” Mr. Van Chanthorn, managing director of Town City Real Estate Co.
Home to the Kingdom’s only deep-water port, Sihanoukville is the capital of the province of the same name and is home to a fast-growing population of approximately 300,000.
Many of Sihanoukville’s residents are there for the port or its associated export-focused manufacturing. The city is Cambodia’s second-largest manufacturing base after Phnom Penh, with most of its output consisting of garments and shoes. The government plans to transform this area into an entire Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
With Sihanoukville airport operating daily flights between the nation’s capital and temple tourist mecca, Siem Reap, accessibility is even easier.
Sihanoukville is composed of four sangkats, or communes, numbered one through four. Unsurprisingly, for residential and small business investment, Sangkat 4 – which has the most developed beachfront area and is presently the most popular location.
Sangkat 4 features the four-kilometre Occheuteal Beach, the western end of which is known as Serendipity Beach and is home to a seemingly endless line of restaurants and bars aimed at the wallets of beachgoers by day and pleasure seekers by night. Land prices behind Occheuteal essentially doubled last year with asking prices sitting around USD 1200 per square metre.
Nearby, Otres Beach’s comparatively pristine conditions have attracted more attention over the past few years with many developments underway. According to Bonna Realty Group, asking prices in 2015 reached around USD 600 per square metre behind the first road running parallel with Otres 1 and approximately USD 300 in the second road back from the beach front.
“According to our research in 2015, the average percentage of growth year-on-year was around 15-25 percent for land located in the city centre. But along the seaside road and main commercial road, prices rose between 40- 50 percent compared to prices 2013/14,”adds Van.
Several investment options exist within the seaside province including resorts, boreys, hotels, guesthouses, Casinos, commercial spaces inside the SEZ, apartments, restaurants, and condominiums.
“Sihanoukville offers fantastic opportunities for land to be developed into resorts, offices, guest houses, hotels or apartments,” says Van, “The region has been developed significantly and now there is a new high-end condominium project named D’Seaview on the horizon. This project will enhance the image of Sihanoukville and make it one of the most attractive areas in Cambodia for investors.”