A Sunny outlook for Cambodia

A Sunny outlook for Cambodia

Thu, 30 May 2013 Rupert Winchester Sunny Soo, driving change in Cambodia’s real estate market. Photo Supplied With a rash of changes of senior management at some of the Kingdom’s largest real estate firms in recent months, it can be hard to keep track of who is working where.However, Sunny Soo, former country head with international property firm Knight Frank, is always happy to talk to the press. He has just left Knight Frank to start his own firm, Messrs Sunny & Co. He talked to Property Post’s Rupert Winchester about changes in the Kingdom, and what drove him to strike out on his own: So why make the jump now? I believe now is a good time for our sort of professional firm, for valuers, and we’ll start to have more opportunities. We are starting to see international firms shown some interest in Cambodia, like DTZ, Jones Lang LaSalle and Savills, and I think that we’re starting to see several Singaporean real estate firms studying the market now. So what will your new firm be doing? I’m basically doing what I have been doing over the past 15 years, maybe with Knight Frank or DTZ– I’ve always wanted to have my own practice. I’ve been productive for Knight Frank in Cambodia, and I see it as a good thing. I’ve got their blessing to go solo, and to me its win-win. For me, it’s really about having greater freedom in planning my own career. I will be doing global research; we’ll do appraisal works and will expand further into agricultural valuation, we are targeting potential retail and commercial...
Office rents flat with demand stabilizing

Office rents flat with demand stabilizing

Thu, 30 May 2013 Rupert Winchester Asia Pacific office rental rates remained stable in the first quarter of 2013, on the back of cautious occupier behaviour and the subdued economic outlook, according to the latest figures from international property agents CBRE. Net absorption totalled 650,000 square metres, the same figure as the previous quarter. Japan “witnessed a noticeable improvement in occupier sentiment following the election of the Liberal Democratic Party,” while Hong Kong was the only market to record negative absorption due to the release of large amounts of secondary space in the market. The CBRE Asia Pacific Office Rental Index —which tracks office rental growth for the region—recorded marginal growth of 0.05 per cent over the third quarter of  2012, reflecting the relatively flat rental cycle found for the past six quarters. Rental performance across the region continued to diverge, with Bangkok and New Delhi recording strong rental gains, while others such as Bangalore and Mumbai witnessed declines. However the company says demand from international occupiers looking to enter Cambodia remains strong. More established businesses are continuing to drive the market through expansion requirements, either taking extra space within their existing offices, or relocating in search of more floor space. Transactions in the 50-100 square metre range will continue to dominate, much as they did in 2012, especially for logistic and manufacturing companies arriving from countries such as Korea, Japan and China. However CBRE says the majority of office space in Phnom Penh is still low-grade, in terms of international standards. The prime-rent index across Phnom Penh shows an annual growth of 3 per cent, with further prime...

Thu, 30 May 2013 Siv Meng Although the real estate sector in Phnom Penh is thriving, with current trends increasing values and plenty of buying and selling, this has not been seen much in the provinces. Buying and selling properties in the provinces has increased little, while prices in Phnom Penh have increased between 5 to 10 per cent and could jump to 15 per cent for the area in the middle of the city, Dith Channa, general manager of VMC Real Estate Cambodia said. The value of land in towns such as Sihanoukville, Siem Reap and Battambang, is around $800 to $1,300 per square metre, while on the outskirts it is from $100 to $150. In Phnom Penh, values in the Central Business District are around $3,500 to $4,500. “Property values in the provinces do not have strong growth, due to less demand from investors, because most people are interested only in the area near Phnom Penh because there are a lot of people, business activities and good road infrastructure. If we look at the provinces, investors often face many challenges, such as infrastructure, water and electricity, etc,” he said. Provinces on the coast, such as Sihanouk and Kep have a lot of buying and selling activity because many foreigners invest in hotels, guesthouses and bungalows along the seafront, Channa said. However property in Sihanouk and Siem Reap have not increased much compared to 2012, while the land value in the two provinces have increased less than 10 percent, Chrek Soknim, Deputy director of VTrust property Co said. The demand for land in Siem Reap is mostly for...
Flying into action in Phnom Penh

Flying into action in Phnom Penh

Thu, 30 May 2013 Post Staff Phillip Scott is a young property surveyor who has just arrived in Phnom Penh to work for CBRE. Here, he describes his initial impressions of Phnom Penh, and the property market. “After travelling half way around the world to begin a new life in a continent you have never visited, the final approach to Phnom Penh International Airport is a daunting prospect. The initial darkness of the capital city was a shock; coupled with the rush of Phnom Penh, it enthralled me with possibly optimistic views of the time I’ll spend here. The change in culture was also a shock, but was equally deeply intriguing. It was something that I knew I would learn to love. After the jet lag passed, with the help of a few close friends and the kind offers of a few more, I gradually came to terms with the life-changing move I had made in pursuit of a respectable career in real estate. Simply getting to grips with the way in which real estate, and more so its respective markets and economies work, has been thus far the hardest point to comprehend. What has become my home from home has shown me the harsh reality of ‘what can be’ with dealings in real estate, but equally, it has provided me with a fantastic truth of what can be achieved, and inevitably will be achieved, in such a fascinating and emerging country. Not a street is without the prospect of new development, whether that be 12 stories of a high rise serviced apartment and condominium block, or simply the...

Thu, 30 May 2013 Hin Pisei A new borey, River Town, is going up on Chroy Changva, located between the Mekong river and the Tonle Sap, which together with the construction of the second Chroy Changva bridge is adding to the continued expansion of the peninsula’s infrastructure. River Town is along National Road No 6, 800 metres from Chroy Changva bridge, covering two hectares, and is expected to cost $30 million. The project will contain 70 luxury flats, about 40 single and twin villas, and will complete in 2015. Teng Rithy, general manager of River Town, said construction started in early May, with a large number of workers, and currently customers are increasingly interested in this project. Rithy said, “now the sales of the project is 30 per cent, and many customers are Khmer”. A two-and-a-half floor flat is priced at between $140,000 to $490,000, and the twin villas are $220,000 while the single villa price has not yet been determined. Concerning sales, Rithy said “the River Town project will be successful as planned because I’ve seen that only 20 days after the sales opened, the company has sold 30 per cent already.” He added “the reason that River Town is successful quickly is because it has three special things: first, a favourable location located along National Road 6. Secondly, the building has good design which is popular. Thirdly, all construction workers are clearly skilled workers, together with high quality and luxurious equipment.” Dith Channa, general manager of VMC Real Estate Cambodia, told Post Property that River Town is a project that can satisfy customers, due to its good...