Value of construction approvals doubles in 2011, as demand slowly returns to the market

Value of construction approvals doubles in 2011, as demand slowly returns to the market

The value of construction approvals granted by the government authorities more than doubled in 2011, compared to the previous year, according to official figures obtained by the Post.

Some 2,129 potential projects worth US$1.7 billion were given the green light last year, compared with 2,149 construction projects worth $840 million approved in 2010, according to the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction.

The ministry’s Construction Department Director Lao Tip Seiha said that the ministry had improved an increasing number of larger developments, such as housing developments, industrial developments and tourist facilities, last year.

“We saw increases in the construction sector in the Kingdom’s three major economic hubs of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville,” he said, adding that larger construction projects were approved with a higher value.

Capital investment in the sector continues to increase as a result of political stability and the Kingdom’s safe investment environment, he said.

“I believe the construction sector will grow in the next few years, as foreign investment returns to Cambodia.”

With the subsidence of the economic crisis and the optimistic outlook of the property sector, other experts believe it is the right time to resume construction of stalled housing developments.

“Demand returned to the market in 2011. It’s now time for developers to restart construction projects after three years of economic downturn,” said Chrek Soknim, deputy director of property agent V Trust Property Co.

He added that the bourgeoning banking sectors increased provision of home loans would boost the real estate sector.

Previous figures from the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction showed that 2,230 projects worth $1.9 billion were approved back in 2009.

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