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Building slump boon for S'ville developer

Building slump boon for S'ville developer

BS Land and Home hopes falling costs will double its profits on villa and condominium sales in coastal resort town

Photo by: HENG CHIVOAN

Lon Muniseila, marketing and sales manager at BS Land and Home, expects sales to skyrocket when confidence returns.

THE company behind a new residential development in the popular seaside resort of Sihanoukville is pushing ahead with construction,  despite a recent sales downturn,  to take advantage of falling building material costs.

Danh Sophal, project manager for the US$20 million BS Holiday Villas and Condominiums development, said construction costs had dropped 30 percent in recent months.

"We are pushing our project through, and building and selling villas and condominiums despite the global financial crisis," he said.

"Although buyers are quiet, we can double our profits if we build now because construction materials are very cheap."

He added that the developer, BS Land and Home, had no financing worries as it was using its own funds for the development. "We did not borrow from the banks or rely on overseas banks like Korean developers," he said.

The 16-hectare development is located in Village 5 in Sihanoukville's Mittepheap district, one and a half kilometres from O'cheuteal Beach and two and a half kilometres from the centre of the town.

Sales downturn no obstacle

Marketing and sales manager Lon Muniseila said sales had slowed to a trickle in recent months. But sales had been strong before the slump began to hit Cambodia in June this year.

Just 15 of 295 villas planned for the were still on the market, but 80 percent of the condominiums in two 12-storey towers planned for development on the site were still available. Marketing of the units had only just been started.

IMAGES SUPPLIED

An artist rendering of a villa in the BS Holiday Villas and Condominiums project and its positioning in Sihanoukville.

The asking price for villas is from $110,000 to $200,000, while condominiums are on the market from $170,000 to $180,000.

Construction of the twin condominium towers, which will be linked by a bridge, will begin early next year. They will include 94 condominiums, a lobby and reception area, a fitness centre, cafe, retail shops and play areas for children when finished around October 2012.

Lon Muniseila, who expects sales to skyrocket when confidence returns to the market, said the development had a number of competitive advantages.

"These include utilities, a good location, good design, good services and good prices," he said. "But our greatest strength is that we were the first developer in Sihanoukville."

The developer was targeting middle-class buyers, including businesspeople, NGO workers, young newlyweds and Khmer returnees, he said. Many were buying for speculative purposes or to earn rental incomes.

The company was planning to build more apartments, flats and villas in the coastal resort in the near future.

"We want to build more and more homes here because there are  not so many villas and condominiums in Sihanoukville," Danh Sophal said.

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