Experts in the Kingdom’s real estate sector hold different opinions about the best time for the start of investing in the condominium and apartment sector in Sihanoukville, even though the ASEAN economic integration is coming in 2015.
Kuy Vat, president and CEO of VTrust, told Post Property that now it is not a good time for investing in condo and apartments in Sihanoukville city. “The reason why some companies are investing in borey and villa construction is because they expect to reap the benefit from crude oil in the future, but so far the result has not come yet,” he said. There are also a lot of villas being constructed for sale in Sihanouk city, but the sales do not show significant results, he added.
He said that currently “the condo and apartment markets in Phnom Penh are still limited, so the markets in the provinces are even more limited. Although 2015 will arrive, it is still not a good time to invest in this sector, although the official flight connections by airline companies to Preah Sihanouk province will help accelerate other sectors.”
Kuy Vat noted that Sihanouk province has a lot of hotels operating to serve short-term accommodation, but stays in condos or apartments are for a longer-term stay, so there is not the demand for condos and apartments.
Kim Heang, the president of Khmer Real Estate Co, expressed the same view as Kuy Vat, saying that it is not the right time to invest in condos and apartments, and that it needs to wait until Phnom Penh is full first.
He confirmed that “if you have ability, you should buy land and keep it because the number of tourists is increasing and two airline companies are to connect their flights to the area.” He added that “when there are a lot of tourists, it will have rising demand automatically, but if you want to construct condos and apartments, it is not a good time. You should wait until 2014.”
Noun Rithy, the general manager at Bonna Reality Group, said that there are investments already in Sihanoukville but they are not for sale yet. He mentioned Maro company as an investor in developing housing units, condos and apartments.
He confirmed that “foreigners who stay in Sihanouk city are mainly Russian and some from Europe. They come here to rent places for business and accommodation rather than buying a house or a condo.”
For Cheng Kheng, director of CPL real estate company and president of the Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association, he has found rather the opposite, saying that if investors start putting their money into condos or apartments in Sihanoukville, it is good because there are a lot of flights and tourists, especially foreigners coming to stay. He added that previously the hotel sector did not grow and one could not find a hotel that has 100 rooms, but now there are a lot of hotels that have between 100 and 300 rooms, and the sector is continuing to grow further.
He said “if investors can start their investment in condos or apartments here first, they will be successful if that condo or apartment has 100 or more than 100 units.” He continued that “in Cambodia currently, there are apartments more than condos, but when our country is more advanced, we will not have apartment anymore, we will have only condos.”