The rise of borey developments in Phnom Penh is being met with a relatively healthy demand response, but the market dynamics are proving more mixed for borey projects in Siem Reap.
As the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh is inhabited by more than 1.5 million people who live and work in the city. With a rising middle class, boreys, in addition to condominiums, are emerging as a popular choice of residences for those wishing to call Phnom Penh home for the long-term.
While the demand response to boreys in Phnom Penh over recent years has been increasing, there are mixed signals from customers in Siem Reap for this type of dwelling.
Khek Linith, owner of hotel and borey development firm Khek Leang Co., Ltd, began development of borey project Somadevi Angkor on two hectares of land in Siem Reap in 2016, with plans to build 100 individual homes.
Despite only selling 30 percent of homes in the complex to local investors to date, Linith said construction was progressing.
“Our capital to build is limited, but we are continuing to construct the boreys which cost from $95,000 to $130,000,” she added.
Linith put the subdued sales of the borey down to Cambodia’s recent election, believing that people did not like to spend money on real estate in the lead up to, and during an election.
“Also, the people of Siem Reap are not as quick to invest because the borey market is still quite new here while there are also almost no condo buildings either,” she added.
According to Linith, many of the current borey buyers in Siem Reap come from outside of Siem Reap province, such as from Battambang and Kampong Cham.
Sorn Seap, the CEO of Key Real Estate, told Post Property that investors and developers should do market research before developing a project to understand the extent, or lack of, demand.
“At the moment, demand is less than supply in the market, which makes it good for the customer,” he said.
Contrary to Linith’s experience, Seap said that some boreys in Siem Reap had been very successful, with some projects selling out.
“I think the borey is aesthetically better than a house and there is the added benefit of security so it is a good option to live in a borey for those who can afford it,” he said.
Seap believes a possible reason for the recent lacklustre buyer response to boreys in Siem Reap could be due to the increase of borey developments in the province, thus supply was simply trumping demand. He noted that about five to 10 years ago, in the outskirts of Siem Reap city, there was only one borey project named Siang Nam, but this number has now expanded to at least six.
While Seap admitted that boreys in Siem Reap were not yet a trend like they currently are in Phnom Penh, he believes there is strong potential for the borey market in Siem Reap to grow in coming years.
Sok Ly, a Siem Reap resident, expressed an interest in living in a borey but said that the price was not affordable.
“I want to live in a borey, but I do not have the capacity to purchase a house in a borey complex,” he said. According to Ly, many people in Siem Reap are accustomed to living in a smaller family house with relatives as this is the traditional way to live.