While Tboung Khmum advances towards becoming Cambodia’s first model satellite city, land prices along the outskirts of the proposed development area are skyrocketing as investors who foresee the rapid growth of the new province rush to capture roadside plots for future commercial and retail purposes.
Tboung Khmum city, the new centre of the province formed in late 2013, is the first ever Cambodian city to have zoning and infrastructural plans firmly in place before any official groundbreaking.
Sorn Seap, CEO of Key Real Estate, visited the city over the Khmer new year to inspect progress and survey land investment opportunities, and said all road construction is now underway.
To keep as close as possible to the master infrastructural plan, zoning signs are posted onsite to clearly designate commercial, industrial, residential and administrative areas.
“The combination of strict zoning, open roads, green space, and the gentle slopes of the city, will create a new urban centre that will look more like a western-style city,” Seap said.
Tboung Khmum governor, Prach Chan, said this week that current plans are to complete all basic roadwork in the precinct’s development plan before the monsoon season hits in full swing, while a water treatment system is slated for completion in 2017.
According to Chan, private companies have yet to invest in the new city.
“However, the land prices are still cheap here, and offer a good chance for investors in the near future,” he said.
Although land within the borders of the Tboung Khmum development zone is not yet up for sale, land along the border of the site on the eastern side of National Road 73 remain a hot ticket for local investors.
Investors from the provincial capital of Suong – currently the largest city of Tboung Khmum province – and other parts of the neighbouring Kampong Cham province, are racing to get their hands on some of the bordering land.
Despite the province’s isolation from other major real estate hotspots, land prices remain high along National Road 73, with land prices commanding up to $4,000 per metre front.
“The land is not being sold by metres squared, however, but rather according to metres of road-front access,” noted Seap, adding that investors are buying purely for retail and other commercial purposes.
“The current land for sale is being resold now, having been subdivided by the original buyers into smaller sections.”
While large parcels of land were originally available for first movers, Seap said since plans for the city have become more concrete, all plots have been divided to a maximum of 10 metres road-front, with between 30 to 50 metres of land attached behind.
James Whitehead is content director at www.realestate.com.kh