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Political woes send house sales tumbling

Political woes send house sales tumbling

House sales have plummeted by up to 60 per cent since the election on July 28, according to property firms.

Realty company Sour Soufang has seen sales decline by about 70 per cent since the first quarter, General Manager Borey Rith said. Many customers who have visited to inspect sample houses said they were waiting for the political turbulence to ease before making a purchase, she said.

“If the political situation remains like this, the Cambodian economy will weaken further,” she warned. “We are investors; we are not taking political sides. We just want the leaders to do whatever they must to stabilise the country and improve the economy.

“Political leaders do not pass away, but investors and people do. I hope the two parties will negotiate to find a solution as soon as possible.”

Sales for His Borey have declined about 60 per cent as people wait to see whether the country’s political situation improves, said Teng Rithy, general manager of Borey River Town, which runs along National Road 6 in Russey Keo district’s Chroy Changvar commune.

“I hope the Royal Government will make society stable and peaceful and then the situation will improve,” he said.

The owner of Borey Mohasethey said sales have been relatively healthy despite an initial post-election decline, and added that customers now consider properties more carefully before making a purchase.

Another bright spot was the Olympia City development in Phnom Penh. Project director Long Sopheak said that condominium sales have remained steady since the election.

Aside from the political tension, a freeze by some banks in issuing loans may also be to blame for the drop in property transactions, according to Bunna Reality Group General Manager Noun Rithy, who pointed to a possible silver lining. With most possible homebuyers biding their time, now is in fact an opportune moment to invest in real estate, Rithy said.

“The current political situation does not affect the real estate sector seriously as the policies of the new government signify stronger and deeper reform than before,” he said. “Previously, we were worried about political deadlock, but the formation of the new government is a positive sign for those who want to invest in Cambodia, even though the current political situation is not 100 per cent stable.”

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