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Battambang blossoms, but prices stay stable

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No longer so sleepy, Battambang attracts many western tourists who are especially drawn to the colonial architecture. Moeun Nhean

Battambang blossoms, but prices stay stable

While Battambang may be experiencing a rise in property development and tourism activity, real estate figures say the flurry of activity has yet to be reflected in land prices.

Battambang is home to more than 1 million people, making it the second largest Cambodian city behind Phnom Penh. Property developments are growing in number, while at the same time there appears to be a larger number of tourists flocking to the north western province.

Ear Veng Mong, CEO of Borey Rom Chek in Battambang city’s Rom Check village, has invested $30 million in his 19-hectare borey, which started construction in 2015.

Veng Mong told Post Property that the development, situated on 19 hectares, will consist of 1,500 houses. To date, 450 houses have been constructed and 300 have been sold. A house in Rom Chek Borey will cost about $37,000 for a single-storey and $57,000 for a two-storey house.

“Battambang town is rapidly developing. If the province maintains the development and sale speed I think the whole project will be completed in four years, including a mall and a movie theatre, which can fit 300 people,” he said.

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Veng Mong added that Battambang town is actively working to develop the province to attract more tourists which will ensure the city’s development potential is realised.

Battambang provincial governor Chan Sophal said recently that the Hungarian government, together with the province’s authorities and the Ministry of Tourism, have outlined plans to develop the tourism sector which involve protection of certain historical sites in Battambang. The plans are currently awaiting approval from the Cambodian government.

“Battambang receives tourists due to the ancient temples, historical and natural resorts as well as the growth of the agricultural sector as we have organised agri-tourism sites,” he said.

“Besides from tourism, our real estate market is showing remarkable growth. As of now, we have eleven borey projects. The provincial authority is also joining in a venture with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to build a small size recycling factory that can help enhance the quality of our province.”

Ho Vandy, secretary-general of the National Tourism Federation of Cambodia, said Battambang was a growing draw card for tourists.

“Battambang boasts its beauty. European and Western tourists come here for leisure and to study the culture of this province,” he said.

“Because of the hard work at the provincial level with regards to developing the province, the province has been enriched,” Vandy added.

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Meanwhile, Khmer Foundation Appraisal CEO Noun Rithy also says he has witnessed remarkable growth in Battambang recently.

“Development is moving fast, however the sale of houses isn’t picking up, same as in the capital,” he said.

“We will only see more growth in the future of this province if we have a proper master plan for tourism development adopted by the government.”

According to Rithy, the price of land in Battambang ranges from $1,500 per square metre to about $2,500 per square metre in the commercial zones and about $50-$100 per square metre for plots in suburban areas.

Oknha Phou Puy, president of the Federation of Cambodian Rice Millers Associations, who has invested in a six-story mall in Battambang, said while development is bourgeoning, prices are remaining flat.

“This year, the price isn’t increasing. Most [in the area] buy the plots to build houses, not to keep them for profitable resale,” he said.

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