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Brokers return to Phnom Penh property market

Brokers return to Phnom Penh property market

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The recent increase in real estate transactions has led to a resurgence in Phnom Penh’s brokerage sector, according to industry experts.

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The profession was affected, like most in the industry, after the effects of economic crisis hit Cambodia in mid-2009, according to VMC Real Estate Co Chairman Dith Channa.

“Customers and revenues declined [for brokers], but reappeared in 2011 especially for land in Phnom Penh,” he said.

While real estate, construction and architecture firms are required to register with the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, statistics relating to independent property brokers are not collated.

Some brokers, however, told the Post that while customer demand had returned to the market, it was far from  reaching pre-crisis levels.

“The sharp increase in the number of property companies and construction projects resulted in an abundance of brokers, who were able to earn a lot of money, however, by 2010 the brokerage sector was dormant,” Pen Ratana Pich, an independent broker of 14 years, said.

He added that working alongside property companies had benefited his business and allowed his firm to attract about five customers per month.

While property transactions increased in last 12 months, Hy Sith, who started his brokerage at the turn of 2012, said he had welcomed only three clients.

“It’s hard work…we are faced with difficulties because customer’s preferences now differ from what we can offer,” he said, adding that in order to be successful it is essential to form strong relationships with owners and potential purchasers.

“However, the potential to make money is there, as we receive a commission of 3 per cent of the property price on each sale,” Hy Sith said.

He added that he expects his business to grow through    2012.

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