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New property developments being built in Phnom Penh dwarf the older and traditional-styled buildings. Heng Chivoan

Khmer new year, Khmer new property

While the Kingdom sees the annual provincial voyage undertaken by thousands of Cambodians travelling back to their hometowns in the upcoming Khmer New Year, industry experts are predicting the increase of property transactions when the dust settles.

According to Dith Channa, CEO of Lucky Real Estate, the long holiday from April 13 to 15 – which grants most Cambodians a week-long leave – will have locals visiting not only their hometowns but other local tourist spots, giving rise to the chance of them checking out land and property. However, no hard decisions are made during this time, with the aim being mere reconnaissance of potential land to be bought or sold after the Khmer New Year.

“From my observation, after Khmer New Year, the property in the city is not very active, but the trade mostly happens in potential provinces,” he said. “Major potential provinces include Sihanoukville, Siem Reap, Battambang, Kampong Speu, and Kampong Cham, which have many land and property trades.”

Giving a breakdown on periods of activity, Chrek Soknim, CEO of Century 21 Mekong, noted, “Based on past experience and trends, property activities slow down from April to May, and kick back up from June to December, which is considered as the high season.”

January and February are considered lull periods, picking momentum up in March, only to slouch back down from April to May, said Soknim.

Contrary to Channa’s observation, however, Soknim opined that property transactions after the KNY occurred mostly in Phnom Penh as opposed to in provinces, although he agreed that the bigger and less sleepier provinces of Sihnaoukville and Siem Reap are normally abuzz with real estate activity during the mentioned period.

When a vast number of Cambodians leave the city to travel, said Michael S. Nhim, country head of property investment firm ECG Cambodia, they are more exposed to the various developments and land out of the Phnom Penh sphere. If their interest is piqued and the price is reasonable, that goes into their consideration of actually purchasing land.

“Not getting clear information is comparable to being a frog in a well, which, in turn, makes them decide to buy the wrong property or at an outrageous price. On the contrary, those who gather enough information will have a basic understand on how to make an informed decision,” Nhim concluded.

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