Growth in real estate companies reflects healthy market

Growth in real estate companies reflects healthy market

Wed, 27 November 2013 Siv Meng The number of legally registered real estate companies in Cambodia grew by nearly 50 per cent in the past year, a development that industry leaders say bodes well for development of the property sector while reflecting increased domestic and international confidence in Cambodia’s future. Since the end of 2012, 19 new licences for real estate companies were issued by the Cambodian government. More than half of those were issued to companies with foreign investment. There are now presently 59 licensed real estate companies operating in Cambodia, 33 of which are also members of industry association Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association (CVEAA). Cheng Kheng, CVEAA president and director of Cambodia Properties Limited, told the Post that the 48 per cent jump in licensed real estate companies over the past 12 months demonstrates an increasing interest in Cambodian real estate internationally. “The growing number of companies illustrates the growth of real estate sector in Cambodia as well as growing international investment inflows,” he said. Even though there is positive growth in the number of legally registered real estate companies, CVEAA property investment research suggests that up to 90 per cent of real estate investments in Cambodia are not properly licensed. Kuy Vat, president and CEO of VTrust Group, said growth in legally operating real estate companies in Cambodia, especially foreign-invested companies, would have a positive net effect upon the industry by driving competition. Vat added that the influx of foreign investment in Cambodia is an indicator of confidence in economic growth and political stability in the Kingdom. “Among the 10 countries in ASEAN, people...
De Castle Royal preparing to bring luxury condos to Phnom Penh

De Castle Royal preparing to bring luxury condos to Phnom Penh

Wed, 27 November 2013 Post Staff Phnom Penh’s condominium market is only just beginning to develop, with early movers scooping up prime locations. The De Castle Royal development in the city center, which will come online in the second quarter of next year, will change Phnom Penh’s skyline, and likely pave the way for expansion in luxury residential offerings to come. The construction of De Castle Royal is currently finishing up on Street 288. When completed, the 32-storey building will have 414 residential units ranging in size from one to three bedrooms as well as parking for up to 474 cars in its six-storey garage. Ann Sothida, associate director of the Cambodian office of CB Richard Ellis (CBRE), which took over as property manager of De Castle Royal in September, said that the development’s location in Boeung Keng Kang I, commonly known as BKK1, was a big advantage. “De Castle Royal’s location in BKK1 makes it appealing to both wealthy locals and expatriates,” Sothida said. “The project’s unique selling point is that it is the first condominium in Cambodia to provide individual owners with a strata hard title.” CBRE Cambodia property manager Simon Griffiths said that De Castle Royal will take luxury residences in Phnom Penh to a new level. “De Castle Royal is on a much grander scale than other developments,” Griffiths said. “It’s unique not just in terms of the quality of services but also in the materials used, the workmanship and the design.” CBRE’s property management duties at the moment involve what Griffiths describes as “preconsulting”, in which CBRE begins involvement in a property nine months...
Business travellers to change skyline

Business travellers to change skyline

Wed, 27 November 2013 Post Staff New residential and office spaces will change the Phnom Penh skyline for many years to come, but new hotels catering to business and high-end travellers will also play a big part of changes in the city. This was illustrated earlier this month when it was announced that the capital’s first Grade A office building, Vattanac Capital Tower One, reached an agreement with Rosewood Hotels & Resorts to manage an ultra-luxury hotel on the building’s top 14 storeys. Cambodia relies on tourism more than any of its Southeast Asian neighbours, with the sector accounting for a substantial 16 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). But at the moment, Phnom Penh, with its cultural, architectural and historic attractions and buzzing nightlife, still lags behind Siam Reap in terms of its hospitality sector. Unfairly, but perhaps not surprisingly, many cash-rich leisure travellers still simply fly in and out of Siam Reap without visiting the capital. Asking a developing country’s capital to compete with Angkor Wat and Siam Reap’s world-class dining may be a bit much, but Phnom Penh does possess one distinct advantage over its northwestern rival. As Cambodia’s economy continues its solid growth and more foreign enterprises set up shop, international business travellers will come to Cambodia, with Phnom Penh as their primary gateway. Global hotel brands understand this and are already making moves. Markland Blaiklock, senior vice president of Sofitel Asia Pacific, told the Post earlier this year that the hotel’s France-based parent company, Accor, was planning to diversify its target markets in Phnom Penh. Blaiklock said Accor’s economy brand Ibis and mid-range...
Snake Island plans back to the drawing board

Snake Island plans back to the drawing board

Wed, 20 November 2013 Siv Meng A development company with a government concession for a high-end property project on the island of Koh Pos, also known as Snake Island, has announced that it will significantly alter its original plans for the project. The new plan, which must first be submitted for government approval, will raise the project budget from $276 million to $1billion. Keam Kolnead, chief public relations officer of Koh Puos (Cambodia) Investment Group, told the Post in a phone interview that the villa, hotel and office projects on the island have been redrawn to adapt to the current situation. Villas were not selling well due to their large size and nearly $1 million asking price, he said. “Now the company is altering the project blueprints before seeking permission for construction from the Council of the Development of Cambodia [CDC] again,” Kolnead said. “Reapplying for permission will happen in 2014 and the revised project will have a budget of $1 billion.” A model of the planned development at Koh Pos. Heng Chivoan The company submitted its first application for the project to the CDC in 2006, when it was planning on investing $276 million in converting the 116-hectare island into a luxury residential and resort complex. Kolnead said the company had already invested $100 million in building a 1-kilometre bridge to the island as well as other infrastructure on the island itself, including an unfinished 5-kilometre road circling the island. Noun Rithy, general manager of Bunna Realty Group, said that it appeared that progress on the Koh Pos project was slow. Bunna Realty’s contract to sell residential properties...
Tonle Bassac: Primed for the future

Tonle Bassac: Primed for the future

Wed, 20 November 2013 David Murphy This week, Phnom Penh property expert David Murphy of Independent Property Services explores the southern riverside sangkat of Tonle Bassac. Tonle Bassac is located on the western shore of the Bassac River, from which it takes its name (Tonle is Khmer for ‘river’). Contained by the river to the east, Sihanouk Boulevard to the north and Norodom Boulevard to the west, Tonle Bassac hooks westward under BKK1 until reaching Monivong Boulevard. This up-and-coming area is home to a number of small alleys and roads that branch off of the larger boulevards, creating a suburban environment of quiet leafy streets a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of central Phnom Penh. In the past few years there has been considerable development activity on Tonle Bassac’s riverside area, including the Sofitel Hotel, Diamond Island, Naga World and some gated community. New restaurants and entertainment establishments have also popped up in the area, from Korean restaurants along Sothearos to noodle houses on Diamond Island and diverse dining options in Naga World. The wide variety of options within a small area make Tonle Bassac an ideal area for new families arriving in Phnom Penh. In terms of traffic and transportation infrastructure, Tonle Bassac enjoys access to the dining and entertainment areas of Riverside to the north, easy connection to central Phnom Penh via Sihanouk Boulevard and Norodom Boulevard and convenient journeys to the airport via the Street 271 ring road. There are three main gated communities located within the Tonle Bassac sangkat. Bassac Gardens, Les Jardins du Bassac and Chamkarmorn City offer a variety of property...