Rainy season puts a damper on business

Rainy season puts a damper on business

120927_02

A view of land for sale in Phnom Penh's Sen Son district. Photograph: Hin Pisei/Phnom Penh Post

Famers are happy when the rains come, bringing with them the promise of good crops, but workers in the property sector don’t welcome the rain, because when the rainy season comes, their business often declines.

Dith Channa, the director of VMC Real Estate, says that during the rainy season, buying, selling and rentals often decline by 20 to 30 per cent because of factors such as flooded roads and travel difficulties. Blocks of land, which are often flooded, are also difficult to sell, he says.

Channa says the rainy season affects property rentals slightly, but it affects land sales significantly.

“It is difficult in the rainy season, because some foreigners change their jobs and leave Cambodia as tourists, or return to their countries and come back to Cambodia when the rainfall ends.”

Keuk Narin, vice-director of Asia Real Estate, says that if you look at business operations, there is always a decrease in the number of customers during the rainy season.

Narin did not confirm how many per cent it declined, saying there was usually a decline of between 10 and 15 per cent in revenue. He adds that the number of customers will inevitably increase and the real-estate sector will be very active again between January and March.

“The reason leading to the decline in the number of customers and the buying and selling of real estate is because of the rainy season and lots of festivals. Foreigners are also changing their jobs.”

“In the dry season, there are a lot of customers because it is not difficult to travel and because that is when people are changing their jobs from one place to another and when the schools return from their vacation.”

But Sen Chanrea Trey, chief executive of CEA Real Estate, said he was not aware of any seasonal swings in the amount of business he did.

He said that during his 10 years’ experience in the sector he had not noticed that the rainy season made the selling or buying of real estate decline. It was a time when customers came out to look at land, because in the rainy season they could see clearly whether the land was prone to flooding or not, and it was easy for them to evaluate it.

“The real-estate sector does not have seasons like the tourism sector, meaning that when the economy is good, people have jobs, livelihoods are better, and we are waiting to serve them.

“This sector is strongly connected to the economy. When the economy is good, this sector is also good.

“When the economy declines, the real-estate sector gets stuck, but when the economy is good, it has nothing to do with whether it’s the dry or the rainy season.

“I’ve worked for this sector for many years, and we never talk about the seasons.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Siv Meng at [email protected]

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