PHNOM Penh’s growing population is driving demand for residential property, with approvals soaring in the first seven months of this year, according to Lao Tip Seiha, director of the construction department at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction.
A total of 227 construct-ion projects were approved in the period, worth an estimated US$85.1 million, a 28 per cent increase compared to 189 projects, worth $66.3 million year-on-year, ministry statistics show.
“We have seen increasing housing development projects blossom around Phnom Penh in recent years, a clear sign that residential demand continues to grow,” Lao Tip Seiha said.
The approval of locally funded projects, such as World City, Diamond Island and Grand Phnom Penh International City will help alleviate demand from the growing population, however, feasible accommodation options need to be offered to poorer families, he said.
“With about 10,000 new families moving to Phnom Penh every year, there needs to be more investment in affordable housing projects.”
“We strongly believe the value of construction projects will continue to increase this year and in to 2011, in response to Cambodia’s growing economy,” added Lao Tip Seiha.
An additional 120,000 houses are required in the Kingdom by 2030, according to the housing development document 2010-2030.
Some experts highlighted the diversity of projects currently being constructed in the capital.
“We have seen many developers constructing properties for business – to sell for a profit, while at the other side of the spectrum, local families are constructing their own homes,” Cambodia Properties Limited managing director Cheng Kheng said.
He added that positive growth in residential approvals was to be expected as the sector steered away from recession.
“We could see from the start of the year that the construction and real estate sector was set to improve, certainly compared to last year.”
Some 2,149 projects worth $840 million were approved in 2010, plummeting 58 per cent from the 2,230 projects valued at $1.988 billion in the previous year, according to ministry statistics.