Condo sales to foreigners on the rise

Condominium sales to foreigners are up 10 to 15 per cent so far this year.
Condominium sales to foreigners are up 10 to 15 per cent so far this year. Hong Menea

Condo sales to foreigners on the rise

Foreign homebuyers have purchased about 1,200 condominium units so far this year, a 10 to 15 per cent increase compared with the same period last year.

The deputy head of Bonna Realty Group’s research department, Hin Socheat, said most of the buyers were from Singapore, Malaysia, China and Japan.

“Revisions to the laws on foreign ownership of properties are helping to boost development in the property sector,” he said.

“The ownership regulations are making foreigners more confident about buying properties in Cambodia, because the rules allow them to own property with a hard title issued by Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction.”

Condominiums in central Phnom Penh average at between $1,500 and $2,800 per square metre, while prices on the city outskirts averaged at between $700 and $1,000 per square metre, said Socheat, noting that prices varied according to the quality of construction, the height of the building and its exterior and interior design.

According to Socheat, oversupply was not a problem in the Cambodian property market due to the large number of investors eying the Kingdom as a growth economy.

Kuy Vat, president and CEO of Vtrust Group, agreed that the condominium market in Cambodia was gradually acquiring traction due to the interest of overseas investors. Japanese and Chinese buyers in particular, he said, were interested in condominiums because prices in central Phnom Penh were about a sixth of those in first-tier cities in Japan and China.

According to Vat, few local buyers were interested in condominiums largely due to the fact that land was still available for sale on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. But he added that this was a trend he expected to change over the next five years.

“The turning point will be when land for sale becomes scarce or too expensive, forcing local people to consider condominiums,” he said, adding that more major condominium projects were expected to come on tap with the Asean economic integration late next year.

“More foreigners will come to Cambodia, and they tend to live in condominiums and apartments,” he said.

The general manager of Cam Top Property Group, Khat Sovann, concurred that most foreigners who were buying condominiums in Cambodia were from China, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea. He said some bought them to live in, while others bought them to lease out and sell in the future. Most local buyers, he said, purchased condominiums to lease out and make income on rent.

“Cambodia’s not suffering from oversupply of condos, even though there are a number of big projects under way, because we’re expecting increased numbers of foreigners to come here between 2016 and 2018,” he said. “I think that the market will be performing very well by 2018-2020 because a lot of major projects will be completed by that time.”

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