The Kingdom’s property sector is showing no sign of a slowdown in the short-term, the president of the Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association (CVEA) told The Post on Thursday.

Speaking at an annual event organised by CVEA, Chrek Soknim said he is optimistic about the sector in 2020 and the years ahead, despite some external challenges.

Soknim dismissed concerns that the current coronavirus outbreak in China, one of the biggest investors in the local property sector, could affect the industry here.

“The real estate sector is different from others like tourism, which was immediately affected by the outbreak. The outbreak is only a short-term problem, and I think it will disappear in just a few months.”

Soknim pointed out that property prices in Sihanoukville – one of the hottest real estate markets in the Kingdom – are not decreasing. Rents, on the other hand, are declining.

Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Vongsey Vissoth said at a forum on Thursday that growth in the construction and real estate sectors in 2020 will be sluggish.

Vissoth pointed out that the ban on online gambling imposed last year is likely to drive Chinese investors away.

He said the outbreak of coronavirus, uncertainty over trade relations between China and the US, and the European Union’s potential cancellation of Cambodia’s trade schemes are likely to dent growth in the real estate and construction sectors here.

“The decline won’t be big and won’t last long, so don’t worry too much,” he told the audience.

A report by the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction shows that last year, a total of 4,446 construction projects, worth about $9.3 billion, was approved.