Phnom Penh getting more expensive

Phnom Penh getting more expensive

Thu, 20 June 2013 Rupert Winchester Phnom Penh has risen up the rankings of the most expensive cities for foreigners to live in – but from 217th to 213th, according to the latest cost of living research by ECA International. Meanwhile Tokyo has been knocked off the world’s number one spot by Norway’s capital Oslo, and now lies in sixth place. Oslo is followed by the Angolan capital of Luanda, where the goods and services commonly bought by expatriates are difficult to access, and command a hefty premium. Stavanger in Norway, Juba in South Sudan and Moscow in Russia are also now more expensive than Tokyo. The ECA International survey is conducted twice a year, comparing a basket of consumer goods and services commonly purchased by employees in more than 400 locations worldwide. Within Asia, Japanese cities still dominate the top of the cost of living ranking – four of the region’s top five most expensive locations are found there. Seoul joins them, having jumped from seventh to third most expensive Asian location, and from 29th to 14th globally. Not only have the prices of goods and services there increased at a faster rate than the previous year, but the local currency has also strengthened against other major currencies, pushing up costs there for many international assignees. Beijing (24th globally), Shanghai (26th), Singapore (36th) and Hong Kong (38th) complete the list of the top 10 most expensive locations in Asia. On average, prices of items in ECA’s cost of living basket for Chinese locations have increased little or even seen small decreases this year. As a result, Chinese locations...
Housing development on Cambodian islands not the right time yet

Housing development on Cambodian islands not the right time yet

Thu, 20 June 2013 Siv Meng Although currently there are a lot of development projects for resorts and guesthouses on various islands off Cambodia’s coast, experts say it is not the right time for such developments. Po Eavkong, managing director of Asia Real Estate Cambodia, said the development activities on islands in Cambodia’s sea seem to be quiet,  although there has been a lot of activity recently. So far only Song Saa island and Dek Koul island have been successfully developed, while other islands have only incipient projects, such as the massive Koh Puos development project, where recent information says the company developing that area is changing their manager and the design of the development. Po Eavkong said “the development on those islands could have potential for the future but if you look at the domestic demand this time, it is not necessary and it is not the right time to develop housing on the islands yet. At present, there are a number of domestic flights to Sihanoukville, but those flights are not broadly available yet, and this is why the area has been unable to attract large developers yet.” Po Eavkong added that development on islands requires a lot of money but if the demand is not adequate, the investors will not take risks. The development is also related to conditions such as security, safety, and infrastructure, power and water system for the living needs of the people. Noun Rithy, the general manager at the Bunna Reality Group stressed that if those islands are resorts that have houses and commercial activities running well, a lot of people will...
Crackdown on unlicensed companies

Crackdown on unlicensed companies

Thu, 13 June 2013 Siv Meng The Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association is now ready to take action over any company that has no valid license, because they are causing difficulty in the sector. The leaders of the association will be discussing the issues to take measures against invalid agencies or businesses without clear licenses; up to now in Cambodia there has been no action related to these issues yet, Cheng Kheng, director of the CPL Real Estate Company and president of the Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association said. “We are currently discussing with the members of the Association and ministries concerned to issue Prakas, sub-decrees or laws for controlling the agencies and companies that have no rules and order,” he said. “A country cannot be without laws and all people must also respect the law because when something happens it is often resolved by the law. Currently, the companies with valid licenses are mocked by the rogue businesses, and the number of the dishonest businesses is more than the fair businesses,” he said. “We do legitimate business, always with ethical standards as well as paying tax to the government but the rogue companies do not do so, specifically from purchasing, selling and renting commission, he said, adding that, “we cannot allow them to make troubles.” So far, the association has 24 company members. Sorn Seap, general manager of KEY Real Estate Ltd admits the problems and he said he will urge action from the ministries concerned over invalid companies, comparing those companies to “mosquitoes that come to bite us even they know that biting us makes...

Thu, 6 June 2013 Rupert Winchester Cambodia remains an attractive destination for industrial work, with a low inflation rate of 3 per cent and a low minimum wages of $80 per month, according to the CBRE Asia Pacific Logistics Rental Index. The index showed a slight increase of 0.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter of 2013 compared to just under 1.0 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012 as rental growth remained weak for a third consecutive quarter. Annual growth also continued to decline, falling to 4.4 per cent year-on-year. Leasing activity slowed during the quarter as occupiers opted to stay in their existing premises. In the first quarter of 2013, Cambodia’s textile exports reached $1.34 billion, compared to $1.14 billion in the same period last year, with export commodities including clothing, timber, rubber, rice, fish, tobacco and footwear. In 2012, exports totaled $6.14 billion. Factory rents in most markets – particularly in China – continued to record steady gains in the first quarter of 2013, along with the improvement in regional exports. In Southeast Asia, factory rents are generally stable. In Cambodia rents also remain stable as a continuation of trends seen in 2012, with prime locations in industrial zones commanding rents of $2.5 square metre. Rents in lower quality industrial zones, where units are of a lesser standard, offer rents of $2 per square metre. CBRE says there remains a distinct lack of supply of industrial units as occupancy levels in existing industrial parks continue to rise. The development of new industrial units has been slow as a direct result of the economic downturn,...

Thu, 6 June 2013 Sam Sopanharith and Hoem Seiha The coming sprawls of Phnom Penh’s new satellite cities will bring about not only opportunities but also challenges for the population. “Any urban area has to sprawl outside the main city areas so that it can keep up with the increasing demand of commercial land,” said Chrek Soknim, deputy director at Vtrust Property Co. He said the prices of land in the busy central parts of Phnom Penh are increasing from year to year, and some of the residents have sold their land and moved to suburban areas where housing prices are much lower. They can use their savings from the selling for their businesses or other purposes. The expansion of the urban area is an organic process, and this results in an easing of heavy traffic to the main city because of the relocation of some of the population into the other areas. This makes traffic in the central areas less severe. Soknim said once a satellite city is built, it will also establish infrastructures and important facilities that ease the lives of the people there. “People will move from the central areas into that place and open up businesses that complement one another there,” he said. Some of the middle and lower class population could move to the new areas because they think the places are good to live, while they also spend less. They could have more opportunities to generate good incomes, compared to the central locations of the urban area proper, said Soknim. The expansion of the central city to the outskirts of Phnom Penh can...