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Foreigners buying Phnom Penh condos

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Rose Condo a big condo near Basac River in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

The number of foreigners who bought condos in Cambodia increased by between 30 and 40 per cent in 2012 compared with 2011, a recent study showed, while 997 condo units currently belong to foreigners.

Nuon Rithy, general manager of the Bonna Realty Group, said that according to the recent study, about five districts – Toul Kork, Daun Penh, Chamkarmon, 7 Makara, and Russey Keo – had 16 condo buildings, with a total of 2,362 units.

Among those, eight condo buildings were being built, with a total of 1,264 units. Foreigners had bought 327 units in 2012, an increase of 30 to 40 per cent in 2012 compared with the same period in 2011.

A majority of the foreign condo owners are Chinese, Korean, American, Singaporean and Filipino, most of whom run businesses in Cambodia.

“The study aims to examine negative and positive points after Cambodia approved co-owner laws of private foreigners who buy housing units in Cambodia from the first floor up. The number of foreigners increased in Cambodia after the laws were approved; they are experts, investors, and contribute to develop Cambodia in the future,” said Rithy.

About 60 to 70 per cent of those condos were bought by Cambodians. They prefer to live in condos because they are safe, have a good environment, gyms and modern living services, Rithy said, adding that the study showed that some older residents’ villas are rented and they prefer living in condos instead.

The price of condos is between $600 to $1,000 per square metre in the suburbs and from $1,000 to $2,500 per square metre in the city, while the price is more expensive if the condos are higher, the study showed. The construction of some condos, such as Keo Charanai Vimean condos, Sen Sok condos and De Castle Royal, will be completed in 2013.

Dith Channa, general manager of VMC Real Estate Cambodia, said the condo market has not significantly increased recently. However, he said, “The condo sector will increase in the future because of the population in the city gradually increasing. The more high buildings and condos increase, the more living habits change and Cambodia’s reputation is more civilized, while people do not go out to the market or exercise because they live in condos.”

Keuk Narin, vice president of Asia Real Estate Cambodia, said the condo market has not climbed more than villas and apartments, observing that new condos have not yet come on to the market since the first quarter of 2012. This sector has not grown significantly because Cambodian people currently do not choose to live in condos, so the market is not good for Cambodia yet, he said.

“Cambodian and foreign buyers buy condos for their business or for renting. If they take money from banks with 10 per cent interest rate a year, they get only 4 to 5 per cent of income from renting. However, the investment in sector is not important because the market in Cambodia is good now and Japanese investors are interested in Cambodia,” said Narin.

To contact the reporter on this story: Siv Meng at meng.siv@phnompenhpost.com

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