MANAGERS at Phnom Penh’s US$15 million Mekong Condominium hope that sales to foreigners boost occupancy when the new development is inaugurated in September, project manager Chhim Chan Virak said yesterday.
Legislation passed at the beginning of April allows foreigners to own property in Cambodian buildings above the ground floor. Developers of the 18-story, 146-unit Mekong Condominium predict that the recent changes will support the project’s bottom line.
“The new law on property ownership will boost foreign investment and real estate prices across the country,” Chhim Chan Virak said.
Located in the capital’s Russey Keo District about a kilometre from the Cambodia-Japan Friendship Bridge, units will be sold for between $800 and $1,000 per square metre, he said.
However, the firm plans to pursue rentals as a result of declining real estate prices following the recent recession.
“Until the economic situation gets better, we cannot focus only on sales, but we are also looking for rentals,” he said.
The firm plans to eventually construct a second condominium of the same size and price range along National Road 6 and the Mekong about a kilometre from the first.
Cambodia Property Limited valuation manager Seng Sopheak said that the Kingdom’s property market is improving this year compared to last, but is still below the 2007 to mid-2008 real estate boom.
“According to our research, buying and selling activities have increased step by step since the beginning of this year,” he said.
Seng Sopheak remains optimistic about the future of Cambodia’s real estate market. “Investment in Cambodia’s banking sector is growing, and they’re offering more loans to buy property. I hope things will have recovered by 2011,” he said.