Over the last year, Kampot province has become an attractive destination for investment, especially in the tourism and real estate sectors, resulting in a dramatic increase in land prices.
The Post’s Hin Pisei met with Chailin Sear Realty Co Ltd CEO Chailin Sear to discuss progress in the province’s real estate sector, as well as its future investment potential.
What is changing in Kampot province today compared to a few years ago?
Compared to a few years ago, there is a significant difference both in population and economic activity, with Kampot currently attracting more and more investors to the province.
Most potential investments for the coastal province are hotels, casinos, resorts, restaurants, housing, factories, and agricultural and agro-industrial development projects. Most are currently being led by Chinese, local and Korean investors.
Why does Kampot province have potential?
Kampot sees potential from its geography – from its seaport, coastal areas, mountains, eco-tourism, favourable land conditions for cultivation, its border with Vietnam and especially its proximity to the capital, Phnom Penh. Its geographical location has given the province great potential for factory construction because it is not far from the commercial centre of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, and is near the seaport.
In the past, Kampot had no seaport for large ships to land but now larger vessels can dock, so there will be big ships coming to transfer goods. It’s about 100km to Phnom Penh to transport the goods, while the distance from Sihanoukville Autonomous Port to Phnom Penh is over 200km.
How do you see the real estate sector in Kampot province?
The real estate situation in Kampot province has seen strong fluctuation over the last year.
Nowadays, the activity of buying and selling land is booming, resulting in increased land prices. For the land in the new development areas outside Kampot town, it rose two or three-fold compared to the beginning of this year, while it increased by around 15 per cent in urban areas.
The new real estate development zones are divided into two categories – land next to coastal areas, which can cost between $60 to $200 per sqm, and areas near the foot of the mountain, which can range from $80 to $150. For land along creek areas from Kampot to Kep towns, the price can range from $150 to $250 per sqm.
Land prices along Kampot town’s main roads are between $1,500 and $2,500 per sqm, while prices along the corridor are between $300 and $500.
Are there currently large development projects underway in Kampot province?
We do not see any large-building construction right now yet, but I think that from early next year onward, Kampot province will evolve as fast as Preah Sihanouk province. I know there are foreign investors, especially a lot of Chinese investors coming to buy land in Kampot province.
The major projects that will begin next year are mostly resorts, hotels, restaurants and casinos. If we left Kampot for just six or seven months, we would definitely see a lot of changes in that time. I can say that at least in the next two years, Kampot province will develop very quickly.
Do you think real estate prices will continue to increase in the province?
Having nearly 20 years of experience in the real estate sector, I predict that real estate prices in Kampot province’s development areas will double over the next couple of years and the province will become a transport hub, a tourist destination and a land of greatly diverse agricultural farms in Cambodia.
How does the expansion of National Road 3 contribute to the real estate sector in the province?
The road is a major artery for the Cambodian economy. Owing to it being the closest route for transporting goods from Phnom Penh to the seaport, the expansion has not only made it easier to transport goods, but it has also increased the value of real estate along the route.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.