CVEA pres­i­dent analy­ses real es­tate

The Phnom Penh Post - - BUSINESS -

After suf­fer­ing dur­ing the 2008-2009 global fi­nan­cial cri­sis, the King­dom’s real es­tate sec­tor has since shown strong growth.

Cam­bo­dian Valuers and Es­tate Agents As­so­ci­a­tion (CVEA) pres­i­dent Chrek Soknim, who took of­fice on Jan­uary 1 this year, was in­ter­viewed on Sun­day by The Post’s Hin Pi­sei about the state of the King­dom’s real es­tate sec­tor, his ex­pec­ta­tions for this year, as well as his plans for CVEA.

How has the real es­tate sec­tor in Cam­bo­dia de­vel­oped in re­cent years?

Po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity, eco­nomic growth and ris­ing for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment, as well as sup­port from the bank­ing sec­tor, have boosted the real es­tate sec­tor in Cam­bo­dia ev­ery year over the last three to four years, and real es­tate prices have in­creased about 15 per cent an­nu­ally on av­er­age.

Prices last year in­creased be­tween 10 and 15 per cent com­pared to 2017. Land prices climbed around 20 per cent, while the price of houses and com­mer­cial build­ings grew by around 10 per cent.

Cur­rently, which lo­ca­tions are see­ing the high­est prices in Cam­bo­dia?

Phnom Penh’s Boe­ung Keng Kang I still has the high­est prices, with land prices start­ing at more than $4,500 per sqm. Apart from the cap­i­tal, the next lo­ca­tions with the high­est prices are Preah Si­hanouk, Siem Reap and Kam­pot prov­inces.

Which lo­ca­tions have ex­pe­ri­enced the fastest price spikes and why?

Preah Si­hanouk prov­ince’s prop­erty prices have ex­pe­ri­enced the fastest growth in Cam­bo­dia over the last cou­ple of years. In some places, prices more than dou­bled in a year.

The in­crease in land prices at the time was caused by such things as the ex­pan­sion of the deep sea port, the in­crease in in­vest­ment in Si­hanoukville Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone and an in­flux of Chi­nese tourists and in­vestors that height­ened the de­mand for land to con­struct ho­tels, casi­nos, restau­rants, res­i­dences and en­ter­tain­ment dis­tricts.

Cur­rently, the lo­ca­tions see­ing the fastest rise in real es­tate prices after Preah Si­hanouk prov­ince are Kam­pot prov­ince and Ban­teay Meanchey prov­ince’s Poipet town.

What do you think about the real es­tate mar­ket this year?

The real es­tate mar­ket this year will con­tinue to be strong, es­pe­cially on the out­skirts of the cap­i­tal and other coastal and bor­der prov­inces. Real es­tate prices will in­crease 15 per cent on av­er­age.

As for Preah Si­hanouk prov­ince, be­cause last year saw a high rate, which was above the fore­cast, I think that the growth rate this year will steady. The trend of price in­creases will turn to the neigh­bour­ing prov­inces.

What do you think about the prop­erty mar­ket in Cam­bo­dia over the next five years?

I think that from now un­til 2023, Cam­bo­dia’s real es­tate sec­tor will re­main healthy. Look­ing at Cam­bo­dia’s po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion and eco­nomic growth, they are still go­ing on strong. Ac­cord­ing to re­search, the real es­tate cy­cle nor­mally pro­gresses for a 30-year pe­riod be­fore it faces a cri­sis and it has only been 11 years since the 2008 cri­sis, so the sec­tor will not see any prob­lems yet. I am still op­ti­mistic about the mar­ket be­yond 2023.

How has the use of ser­vices from li­censed real es­tate com­pa­nies and pro­fes­sion­als for buy­ing and sell­ing prop­er­ties pro­gressed?

I no­tice that the use of ser­vices from li­censed real es­tate com­pa­nies or pro­fes­sion­als in Cam­bo­dia is still lim­ited be­cause most of them are ac­tive in ur­ban ar­eas where there is a lot of buy­ing and sell­ing. We want ev­ery­one to un­der­stand the ben­e­fits of buy­ing and sell­ing prop­erty through a li­censed pro­fes­sional or com­pany. Trans­ac­tions and prop­erty rentals that do not go through a spe­cialised com­pany tend to see a lot of prob­lems.

As CVEA pres­i­dent, what kind of strate­gies do you have to help keep the real es­tate mar­ket strong in Cam­bo­dia?

CVEA cur­rently has 90 mem­ber com­pa­nies. I have a lot of plans to jointly pro­mote the real es­tate sec­tor im­age in Cam­bo­dia with the gov­ern­ment, in­clud­ing giv­ing ad­vice and solv­ing mem­bers’ is­sues, com­mu­ni­cat­ing with ex­perts in the as­so­ci­a­tion and con­duct­ing more train­ing in the real es­tate sec­tor.

This in­ter­view has been edited for length and clar­ity.

SUP­PLIED

Cam­bo­dian Valuers and Es­tate Agents As­so­ci­a­tion (CVEA) pres­i­dent Chrek Soknim talks about the King­dom’s real es­tate sec­tor.

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