With the continual rise of tourism in Siem Reap, experts see a chance for increased property development in the Kingdom’s highest trafficked destination. However, according to a recent study undertaken by a local real estate agency, property prices have remained stable with little change, indicating that property development isn’t keeping up with the surging numbers of visitors.
Charles Villar, CEO of Key Real Estate, said Siem Reap land prices remained on par during the first quarter of this year with the same quarter in 2014. He equated this to the fact that the demand in Siem Reap compared to that in Phnom Penh has a smaller population vying for property or investment opportunities beyond catering to tourism and hospitality.
While Cambodia welcomed 4.5 million tourists in 2014, a 7 per cent increase from 2013, Siem Reap alone accounted for 2.3 million tourists. With the lion’s share of tourists flying in and out of Siem Reap, Villar believes there could be a boom in property in the near future providing some key developments take place.
“Basically, we need to let the world know that Siem Reap has potential for development in the property sector, and we need to have more businesses if we want to be the same as Phnom Penh, because there are things in Phnom Penh that are not in Siem Reap yet,” he said.
The recent study conducted by Key Real Estate on land prices in Siem Reap divided the city into nine zones:
Zone A which encompasses Pub Street and surrounding locations, has land valued between $1,700 and $5,000 per square metre on the main thoroughfares. Along smaller roads, the price dropped to $1,500 to $2,000 per square metre.
Zone B from Central Market to National Road 6, has prices from $1,000 to $3,000 per square metre on main roads and from $700 and $1,200 on smaller roads.
Zone C includes the main road to the Angkor Night Market. Prices are from $1,000 to $3,000 per square metre on main roads and from $350 to $700 on sub-roads.
Zone D stretching from Wat Domnak to Wat Reach Bo near National Road 6, saw prices ranging from $1,200 to $2,000 for main roads and $450 to $1,200 per square metre on sub-roads.
Zone E stretches from Wat Reach Bo to National Road, prices there range from $1,200 to $2,000 and from between $120 to $350 on the sub-roads.
Zone F stretches from Sameki Market along National Road 6 to Angkor Pyongyu, and land prices on the main road range from $850 and $2,000 and from $120 to $300 on the sub-roads.
Zone G ranges from the Sokha Hotel (next to National Road 6) to the western outskirts of the city, where prices range from $550 to $1,500 and from $120 to $350 per square metre on the sub-roads.
Zone H stretches along the main road from Krom Market to the western outskirts of the city, and prices range from $400 to $850 and from $90 to $250 on the sub-roads.
Zone I which stretches away from Angkor High School, prices range from $170 to $350 on the main road and from $60 to $250 per square metre on the smaller roads.
“I believe that [land] prices will remain the same [for the most part], without seeing a dramatic increase. Perhaps in particular areas, such as places where development will happen during the ASEAN Economic Integration, will see an increase, but [it shouldn’t] be too much,” said Villar.
Property developments in Siem Reap: What the local business community says
While the Key Real Estate report doesn’t foresee a dramatic increase in developments and property prices local business owners wish for mega projects like in Phnom Penh for their city and believe in their potential. Thik Kaliyann spoke to members of the community for Post Property and found that expectations beat prognosis and that Siem Reap needs one thing above all: a huge shopping mall. All pictures supplied
“If Siem Reap could be as developed as Phnom Penh, which has a lot of modern condos and supermarkets (such as Aeon mall) I think I will benefit as well. There will be many more tourists, local visitors and investors too and my business and the whole economy will grow. As I am a restaurant owner, I’ll be happy to see more locals and tourist come to Siem Reap.”
“Siem Reap is now growing very fast. There are a lot of properties going to open soon in 2016, and a lot more projects coming to cater to the tourism industry. And as far as I can see, the government is now trying to advertise Siem Reap as one of the tourism hot spots in the entire world. Large shopping malls such as Aeon could be built within the next one or two years. But I think local people still can’t afford to shop there, yet. There will be a big challenge on the marketing side, but of course at the same time, the quality and service will be upgraded, and I feel ready to serve the market. Of course, business people like me want to be part of supply in a big international market rather than competing with local businesses only.”
“As [Cambodia’s] main destination for tourists, Siem Reap would really benefit if it was developed like Phnom Penh, so it will attract more tourist and when the tourist number grows, the demand for land will also increase...The tourism sector needs a mall like Aeon, modern condos, apartments and many more things catering to tourists’ needs. Local people and the business community will thrive.”
“If Siem Reap develops like Phnom Penh, it will give me a lot of benefits. The population will increase, so demand for my business will surely be increased. My market will be bigger.”