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Oxley remains upbeat on real estate projects

A model of The Peak on display at an Oxley Holdings showroom earlier this year.
A model of The Peak on display at an Oxley Holdings showroom earlier this year. Hong Menea

Oxley remains upbeat on real estate projects

Just days since a Singaporean developer announced it had shelved The Bay, its $500 million mixed-use development, citing marketing conditions and an oversupply of condominium units, another Singaporean developer stood behind its large-scale property developments in Phnom Penh, claiming it was satisfied with sales and would proceed with plans to expand its portfolio.

Oxley Holdings Ltd, the Singaporean joint-venture partner behind the $500 million mixed-used development The Peak and the $300 million The Bridge, announced in its annual report yesterday that it was still seeing positive sales growth in the two projects.

“In Cambodia, Tower 1 of The Peak Residences was launched towards the end of 2015 and was 51 per cent sold,” the report said. “[Oxley] has also launched The Bridge’s retail units at the end of May 2016 and attained an impressive take up rate of up to 52 per cent.”

“Subject to approval from the relevant authorities, Oxley’s remaining two development sites in Phnom Penh are expected to be launched in due course,” it added.

Rithy Sear, chairman of WorldBridge Land – Oxley’s local joint-venture partner – said the off-plan sales figures were a sign that buyers in Cambodia and abroad see potential for mixed-use developments.

“[Buyers] are increasingly shifting toward quality condominium developments,” he said, adding that the joint venture’s next two projects could be announced as early as September.

Sear declined to give a revenue figure for sales of The Bridge and The Peak, pointing out that under Singaporean law a building only registers revenue once it is structurally complete.

He admitted, however, that there had been a noticeable decline in condominium investors in recent months, though insisted a proper marketing strategy would ensure the successful completion of Oxley-WorldBridge projects.

“The failure of The Bay was due to a bad marketing strategy and bad location,” he said. “The Chroy Changvar peninsula isn’t even ready for development and that is why nobody would buy.”

Ea Saraboth, managing director of Maxem Property, said that while The Bay’s failure did not represent overall market conditions, investment capital from China, Taiwan and South Korea had visibly dried up.

“Developers of overly ambitious projects will have to take a deep look into their plans and study the market closely,” he said. “I think there will be other projects that will announce that they are scaling back over the next six to nine months.”

Saraboth also doubted the validity of various developers’ reported sales figures, saying that the “biggest secret” in the property market was whether buyers were making full payments, or had just put down initial booking capital.

Kuy Vat, president and CEO of VTrust Group, said that increased competition would continue to wear down on the market.

“I think in this competitive environment, some projects can move forward and create a lot of opportunity while others cannot,” he said, adding that developers needed committed investors with deep pockets.

Oxley Holdings, which also has developments in London, Ireland and Malaysia, posted that the company’s net profit after tax increased by 123 per cent to $217 million last year compared to the 2014 financial year.

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