Phnom Penh’s cosmopolitan condominium market dominated by foreigners

The unfinished Gold Tower 42 condo looms over Sihanouk boulevard
The unfinished Gold Tower 42 condo looms over Sihanouk boulevard. Heng Chivoan

Phnom Penh’s cosmopolitan condominium market dominated by foreigners

Foreigners bought 308 condominium units in 2014 at an average price of about $100,000, according to new data from the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction.

The figures show that a total of 1,949 units were sold from 2008 to 2014.

Lao Tip Seiha, director of the construction department at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, said that many foreigners were interested in buying property in Cambodia thanks to political and economic improvements luring expats to the Kingdom.

“Many factors inspired foreigners to buy property in Cambodia due to the enhancement of the construction sector, improvements in regulation, and the rise of Cambodia as a favourable place to invest,” he said.

Many big projects are popping up in the greater Phnom Penh area, from satellite cities like Camko City to luxury high-rise condos such as De Castle Royal in BKK1.

Most of the foreigners investing in Cambodian property are from Korea, China, Singapore, Japan, England, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Construction of one of Olympia City’s towers by the Olympic Stadium. Hin Pisei

Seng Sopheak, general manager of CPL Real Estate Company, said that foreigners were very active in the condo market.

“Condo developers not only target the local market, but also the international market,” he said.

“Condo developments in Cambodia are announced overseas and those projects are exhibited in other countries such as Singapore and Malaysia.”

Ea Saraboth, managing director of MAXEM Property, said that foreign purchases have been trending for the last few years thanks to a law allowing foreigners to own residential units outright from the first floor up.

Local people are not interested in condos, said Saraboth, except for those who studied or lived outside Cambodia.

Independent real estate analyst Keuk Narin said that many foreigners have been interested in buying since the law was approved.

“Foreigners can own 100 per cent of a residential unit in a multi-ownership building from the first floor up”, said Narin.

“Cambodian people are also taking part in the condo market, however, most buyers are foreigners and they play a key role in making the condo market run smoothly.”

Recently-released research from Century 21 Cambodia said the number of condo underwent an average 20 per cent yearly increase from 2008 to 2014.

Over the next four years, the number of units in Phnom Penh is expected at a 40 per cent average yearly increase, going from 3,090 units today to about 10,000 in 2018.

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