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A tradition before new developments are built; holy water blessed by monks is poured onto the foundation of Borey Phnom Penh Thmey before construction commences. Photo Supplied

Developers keep faith for 2017’s fate of boreys

Borey sales had been declining for the better part of 2016, and while it seems as though the black cloud will not be lifted anytime soon – with borey developers reporting stagnant sales – some developers are remaining bullish for the new year.

A majority of borey developers are not throwing caution to the wind, choosing instead to focus on their ongoing projects and resisting the temptation to start new ones. Borey Woodland, for one, remains optimistic about the upcoming prospects of 2017’s property market.

The borey’s developer, Ly Senleap, also chief executive of FURI Real Estate, recently relayed the news that Borey Woodland has successfully managed to sell half of its units despite starting construction only nearer to the end of 2016. The borey, situated along the Samdech Techo Hun Sen Boulevard, emulates the style of a villa hotel to play on the current trend of homebuyers preferring modern designs.

“Investors are worried about the election, but the political condition of Cambodia is in no danger, and there’s nothing to worry about,” he said, addressing the concern of the upcoming elections becoming a main headwind for the property market.

He added, “everything in the last elections seemed tense and worrisome, but after it was over, things picked up again.” According to Senleap, when people recover from the aftermath of the elections and get back into the thick of things by buying and selling property as per normal, opportunities can arise.

Phou Sambath, assistant chief director of Borey Phnom Penh Thmey, which has just started on a new project for 2017, said some borey projects had run into trouble due to overwhelming competition in the borey market.

For Borey Phnom Penh Thmey, however, Sambath said that its buyers remain confident in their projects, in particular the latest one which sits on a prime location adjacent to a big main road.

“As the industry flourishes, it does not mean that every single project will get to taste the flavour of success; when the market isn’t performing well, some projects will still prevail, because they know exactly what customers want.”

Hoem Seiha, director of the research department at VTrust Appraisal, said, “Last year’s housing sales were in a stagnant state due to the large number of supply, and the diminished buying activity, and the value of houses also remained still because of
the saturation of the market. However, house purchasing conditions have become more lenient.”

Nget Piseth, assistant chief director of Borey Piphup Thmey, told Post Property that 2017 is the year for its development department to conduct a few market experiments as it gears up to sell a property located on a 14-hectare land in Takhmao city, Kandal.

“The housing sales in Borey Piphup Thmey dropped about 50 percent this year, and in 2017, it looks like it will not pick up either,” he said.

As a majority of borey companies ready themselves for a tough pick-up, others reiterate that they do not have plans in the 2017 pipeline for new projects.

Touch Samnang, deputy director of Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation (OCIC) which is involved in a string of real estate projects in Phnom Penh, noted the group will not be debuting new projects this year.

He cited the reason to be the rough state of the market itself which will force the company to focus solely on finishing the construction of their ongoing projects such as Olympia City and the Chroy Changvar satellite city.

Sour Soufang, general director of Borey Rith, also informed that their borey will currently not be taking on any new projects following the plummeting of its sales revenue by 25 percent in 2016 when compared to 2015.

“Any thoughts of green-lighting any project at all will have to wait until further market observation,” Soufang said.

Giving further insight on the property market’s expected outlook, Huy Vanna, secretary of the Housing Development Association of Cambodia, speculated that only a small number of borey companies will spearhead new projects, seeing that the state of sales are in stagnation.

Nevertheless, Vanna said that despite sales not gaining momentum, the borey market will not sink any lower than the state it currently is in, according to Vanna.

However, Charles Vann, acting director of the Cambodia Constructors Association, sees an optimistic future ahead for 2017.

While he agreed that construction activity in 2016 had remained largely in a still pool – despite staggering rates of reported investments – this would not affect the market’s bigger picture, especially in the new year.

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