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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Residential rents slid again in Q1, agents say

Residential rents slid again in Q1, agents say

RESIDENTIAL property rents continued a downslide in the first quarter of the year, with the number of renters falling and the number of new vacancies climbing, according to property owners and agents.

The average asking price of apartments for rent at the Cambodian Priority Property Investment Co dropped to US$1,800 a month, compared to the $2,200 tag early last year, Kong Vannsophy, the company’s general manager, said.

Average villa rents at the company fell from $5,000 a month to $3,500, including furnishings, water, electricity and security, he said.

“There are a lot of apartments for rent now, but there are no new clients coming, and many have left since the world crisis,” he said.

Residential rents began decreasing in the second half of 2008, as the economic downturn curbed skyrocketing fees in a frenetic market.

National Valuers Association (NVA) President Sung Bonna told the Post Wednesday that rents were down 10 percent to 15 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year.

“The supply of apartments for rent is going up, but the demand is going down,” he said. “There are a lot of investors, such as Korean and Chinese, returning home and [going] to other countries.”

NVA figures show monthly rents for a three-bedroom apartment in the capital averaged $2,300 in the first quarter last year, falling to $1,500 to $2,000 in the same period this year.

For the same period, two-bedroom apartment rents fell to $800 to $1,000, down from $1,000 to $1,500, and one-bedroom rents were down to $400 to $800, about $100 cheaper.

“Owners of apartments call to ask me, ‘What is going on with the apartment now?’” said Sear Chailin, director of Visal Realty, which has 50 apartments and 60 villas for rent in Phnom Penh. “The owners of apartments always ask me this.”

Clients were slashing rents, he said. “I think that apartments for rent dropped between 10 percent and 20 percent compared to the same period last year.”

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