Revenue collection from the construction and real estate sectors in Cambodia this year fell by more than 25 per cent from last year, according to Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction data at its annual meeting on Wednesday.
However, the Minister of Land Management and an industry representative said the sector remains healthy and saw gradual growth this year.
The ministry put approximately $112.8 million into the national budget this year, a decrease of 25.4 per cent on the approximately $151.62 million collected last year, the data showed.
Of that, central administration revenue was $7.2 million, while provincial department income was $19.8 million. Revenues from stamp duty – through the General Department of Taxation – amounted to $85.8 million.
According to the data, the total worth of construction projects in the Kingdom this year was up 78.88 per cent on last year.
The ministry this year granted permission for 4,446 construction projects, worth some $9.353 billion, on a total area of 18.54 million square metres. Last year there were 2,867 construction projects on 11.42 million square metres, worth around $5.228 billion.
Chrek Soknim, the president of the Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association, said the decline in revenue from stamp duty on property transfer tax did not mean the construction sector was in decline.
“The drop in revenue could be due to the fact that the titles for some buildings have not yet been transferred, or they are still under construction,” he said.
Soknim raised the example of an unfinished building yet to be purchased. It would not yet be registered for the transfer of titles, so the state would be unable to obtain revenue from stamp duty.
“With this situation, I think the number of projects and the revenue collected by the ministry will continue to grow next year,” he said.
Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara said at the annual meeting that the ministry had achieved a lot this year, such as registrations to increase organisation in the land and real estate sectors, as well as the introduction of new laws and master plans to ensure sustainable land use.
The achievements in the sector were down to strong cooperation with all stakeholders, both national and international, he added.
“I am hopeful that the annual meeting will have brought productive discussions on the goals for the coming year to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the ministry,” Sophara said.
Soknim said that overall the Kingdom’s construction sector remained healthy.
“I’m optimistic for the construction and real estate sectors in Cambodia,” he said.