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Sihanoukville shows promise of being an alternative condo hub

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Construction site of the D’Seaview mixed use development. POST STAFF

Sihanoukville shows promise of being an alternative condo hub

In Sihanoukville, increasing international flight connections, untouched blue seas and beaches contrast with new residential real estate properties being built as the coastal bay province’s natural attractions continue to spawn the injection of more condo investments.

Ly Sen Leap, CEO of FURI Real Estate, told Post Property via phone on Tuesday of Sihanoukville’s largely untapped potential, particularly as a result of the opening up of its skies with air routes connected to China and Siem Reap.

With massive numbers of Chinese tourists – as well as investors – flocking to the famed seaside town, Sen Leap has no doubt about its development prospectivity given there is an abundance of land available for investors keen for a high-stakes game of pick and choose.

“If we talk about condo investment in Sihanoukville, we have to ask who their target customers are. If the investor wants to target local people, I don’t really feel confident about that,” said Sen Leap, explaining that Sihanoukville residents are unlikely to be interested in condos and are indifferent to it, compared to how they have always been dwelling in their landed properties.

After Phnom Penh, where Knight Frank Cambodia monitored the market and released its 2016 H1 survey forecasting the condominium sector to summit at 25,533 units by 2020, Sihanoukville took the second spot for Cambodia likely to be the next condo hub.

With projects such as D’Seaview, Sunshine Bay, and Blue Bay condos being constructed on the beachfront, these developments will cater to a group different than that of those preferring city condo living.

Chrek Soknim, CEO of Century21 Mekong, said because Sihanoukville is a tourism site, the government is planning to turn it into a commercial area in the future, as investors have a long-term vision for the province.

He added, “The Royal Government of Cambodia has paid special attention to that area by restoring the beaches. They are also planning to build a highway to connect Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh. Having an international airport, as well as an increasing number of tourists has helped to boost condo investment in this coastal province.”

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The government has made efforts to restore Sihanoukville’s beaches. Scott Rotzoll

In regards to the recent Pchum Ben holidays, Soknim said, “It’s hard to find a place to stay during holidays. Therefore, a holiday condo is also a good choice.”

Prices have also gone up in the area, with Soknim explaining that land prices along bigger roads are now between $600 and $1,000. On the other hand, the land along Ochheuteal Beach is between $1,000 and $1,500, while land along smaller roads is priced between $250 and $300 per square metre.

An investor of one the aforementioned condos said, on condition of anonymity, “Sihanoukville is a beautiful seaside town. It’s the second tourist hub behind Siem Reap. Therefore, I think it will become better for my condos because there aren’t many condos or luxurious hotels around.”

“We built these condos to attract foreigners to come to our country. Oil extraction will begin in 2018 which can also attract more investors,” the investor added.

Ho Vandy, general secretary of Cambodia Tourism Association said, currently, there were two local airlines in Cambodia – Angkor Air and Bayon Air. Both have daily flights to and from Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, and Sihanoukville.

Lucky Air from Kunming, China, Dragonair of Hongkong, and Singapore’s Silk Air, count as the few international flight operators landing in Sihanoukville.

Vandy said, “The success of condo and other real estate property investments in this area depends on its environment preservation, and this area’s attraction.”

Yun Min, governor of Sihanoukville, said currently, there were three condos being constructed along the beach which were a mix of local and foreign investment.

In contrast to FURI’s Sen Leap, the governor said, “Sihanoukville people show a keen interest in condos.”

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