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Foreign investors zoom in on Cambodia

Cambodia’s property market has been attracting much interest in recent years, particularly among foreign investors, following the passing of legislation in April 2010 allowing foreigners to own property in the country.

Under the Foreign Ownership Property Law, foreigners can own upper floor units, not ground floor units, and up to 70 percent of a condominium project.

This restriction has little impact on foreign buyers considering that apartments are usually not built on the ground floor, according to property consultancy CBRE.

As a result, more residential developments from the kingdom are being launched to overseas buyers, including Singaporeans.

Among them is Axis Residences in Phnom Penh. The 566-unit project saw over 60 percent of its residential units pre-booked prior to the public launch in March 2015.

In January this year, Singapore-listed HLH Group launched the ground-breaking ceremony for its maiden project in Cambodia, dubbed D’Seaview.

The seafront development saw over 80 percent of the 300 units in Phase 1 subscribed by both local and foreign buyers.

“The strong response to our D’Seaview project underscores the rising demand for good quality and affordable homes among Cambodians in the country’s key cities. The majority of the buyers are young professionals and businessmen who see good value in owning these homes while the foreign buyers are keen to invest in real estate now in view of Cambodia’s rapidly growing economy,” said HLH Group CEO and Deputy Chairman Dato Johnny Ong.

“In fact, Cambodia’s GDP growth is among the highest in Asia. The World Bank has projected 2015 and 2016 economic growth for Cambodia at about 6.9 percent, which is really robust compared to other Asian countries. This will herald healthy demand for quality housing in the coming years,” he added.

CBRE noted that Cambodia’s condominium market offers great potential. The consultancy’s local branch has seen the number of condo units in Phnom Penh increase from just 178 in 2009 to 2,095 in 2014. It expects over 9,000 units to enter the market between 2015 and 2018.

Meanwhile, investors have been recording rental returns of between five and seven percent and capital growth of between five and 7.5 percent per annum.

As the residential market heats up, more property agencies are also expanding into Cambodia to support marketing efforts. US-based Century 21 opened a representative office in Phnom Penh in 2014, while international property firm Savills joined forces with Cambodia’s Keystone Property Consultants in 2015.

In what could be a sign of the country’s status as a rapidly emerging real estate market, nominees for the inaugural Cambodia Property Awards 2016, presented by PropertyGuru, were recently announced.

To be held on 25 February, the event will present a total of 13 awards, divided into the highly competitive Developer, Development and Design sections.

“The Cambodia Property Awards will present the top winners a tremendous opportunity to showcase their most outstanding projects on a regional stage at the South East Asia Property Awards grand finale to be held in Singapore later this year,” said Terry Blackburn, Managing Director, Property Awards and Publications, PropertyGuru.

“While Cambodia is still a small market, it is quickly emerging and definitely deserving of international recognition, and that’s why we’re delighted to hold Cambodia’s first national event in 2016.”

For more information on the inaugural Cambodia Property Awards, go to: bit.ly/249tGfa

Picture Source: Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.
Source copied: http://www.propertyguru.com.sg/property-management-news/2016/2/117454/foreign-investors-zoom-in-on-cambodia

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