Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Population mostly out of touch with property boom



Population mostly out of touch with property boom

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
White Building resident Tha Borany wants the government to know just one thing: “Please don’t let the people leave in tears. We want to live, or leave happily.” Pha Lina

Population mostly out of touch with property boom

If it hasn’t been reiterated enough, the Kingdom is going through an unprecedented property and construction boom at present.

Besides industry experts who have been predicting an imminent glut in the market, with condo and borey sales declining, not the same can be said for those on the other end of the spectrum.

A substantial chunk of the population are not particularly privy to the ongoing phenomenon, while many are indifferent to it.

Office worker Vitou, 30, lives in a two-storey shophouse, renting space that sets him back $300 a month.

Unconcerned with the big picture, he lamented about the weak water system in the house and the long distance from the capital’s centre.

“I don’t know if the property market is booming or not because I haven’t been following it. If I see information about it, I’ll read it, but if not, I wouldn’t be bothered,” he said, adding that he did not know the worth of the land he is staying on, although he knew that land prices were generally increasing.

Vitou was more concerned with the country’s escalating political strains, saying, “If the political situation is stable, the property price will go up accordingly. If it’s unstable, there might be a price drop. It depends on the political situation.”

Chakriya, 28, whose mother is the owner of Phariya Condominium on Street 99, is the main leaser of all the units in the same condo. She lives in one of the units, and rents out all the other units from $500 upwards, catering to the so-called middle-income class in Cambodia.

According to Chakriya, the property market can only keep moving forward: “I think the boom is good because when there are many condos, more foreigners would come in, so our economy goes up as well. I don’t think there’s such a thing as too many condos because I see so many investors coming to invest in Cambodia.”

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Inside a two-bedroom house in the White Building. Pha Lina

Meanwhile, Sonina Thon, a 28-year old executive director of O.S.C Co. Ltd. – a medical equipment supplier and construction consultant company – provided more insight on how the more affluent population of those living in boreys views the property market.

“The [industry] used to be even more booming than the current status because there were fewer competitors back then. However, there’s still a huge market growing nowadays. I can say that all of the units here have been sold out and mostly one owner owns at least two to three units,” said the resident of borey townhouse Camko City.

She estimated the average price of a Camko City home to be between $200,000 and $240,000.

Asked why she thinks the government is still not providing low-cost or affordable housing to the vast majority of Cambodians, Thon said, “I think it’s because people only focus on the central [city centre areas] which increase the value of housing and lands in the city.”

Perhaps – ironically – most apathetic to the current predicament of real estate are those from the lower-income class.

Tha Borany, a 61-year-old former traditional dancer, has been living in the White Building for the past 36 years. Last week, the White Building was reported as being next on the demolition list, and Borany has resigned to the fact that she will go along with whatever plans the government has for the residents of the building.

“I don’t know much about the property market, and I don’t know which direction anything is heading. I only care about my retirement. I stay home and sew clothes. Other than that, I don’t want to know anything.”

She had a single message for the authorities: “Government, please don’t let the people leave in tears. We want to live, or leave happily.”

MOST VIEWED

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • Delta spreading in Kingdom

    Cambodia has so far detected more than 200 cases of the highly contagious coronavirus Delta variant, with 109 found on July 31 and August 1. The Ministry of Health has expressed deep concerns that the variant may have already reached communities and be spreading as some of the cases

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four

  • US' Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines arrive

    The first batch of 455,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine donated by the US touched down in Phnom Penh on the morning of July 30. They are part of the total 1,060,100 doses the US has pledged to provide to Cambodia through the World Health Organisation-led (