Low cost housing project a step closer

May Kunmakara / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Low income earners and civil servants are being offered public housing and down-payments are now being taken. KT/Fabien Mouret

Low income civil servants and households who registered earlier this year with the public housing project being done by WorldBridge Land will start to make their first payments from next month to become the official owners of houses in the project, a sales agent for the project told Khmer Times.

WorldBridge Land received approval from the government to work on the project on the company’s land with an initial investment of $60 million to develop 24 hectares of the 45-hectare plot in Kandal province’s Saang district.

The project is about 18 kilometres from the district capital and only eight kilometres from the Takhmao roundabout.

Noun Rithy, the CEO for Khmer Foundation Appraisal and a sales agent for WorldBridge’s project, which is aimed at low-income earners and civil servants, said he was ready to accept down-payments to start construction of the project.

“I got confirmation from the company [WorldBridge] that they will allow our customers who already registered to buy houses in the project and we will start to take down-payments some time this month or in September – this means that once my customers come to pay, they will eventually become the owners of the houses,” he said.

He said now his company is contacting and interviewing the customers who had already registered to get more details about their personal information, incomes and family status to avoid any cheating by groups of wealthy people.

“I dare to say that we have been very successful with the project because we are 100 percent booked,” he said.

“Now we are informing them that it’s time to start their down-payments. So once I have all the information from the developers about the methodology of down-payments, I will set the exact date, but I am sure it will be in September,” he added.

“Once our customers come to make their down-payments, they can see our master plan of the project and samples of their houses as well as our construction site with their own eyes. For those who have already been contacted and don’t come to pay, we will cancel their bookings and open things up for others.”

Sear Rithy (left), the Chairman of Worldbridge Land (Cambodia), and Noun Rithy, the CEO of Khmer Foundation Appraisal, sign an MoU on February 4. Freshnews

The project comprises 2,297 units, all of which will be two-storey homes and will cost from $25,000 to $30,000. They will only be sold to married couples, with priority given to those in the civil service.

The first group of 2,025 units will come with two bedrooms and one bathroom, and the houses will measure four by seven metres.

The second set of 272 units will have three bedrooms and three bathrooms and be six by seven metres.

Mr Rithy said he did not know how much the down-payments will be, but added that it will be lower than buying a house via a bank, which requires a down-payment of at least 30 percent.

“I think the developer will make it easy for our customers because we have to help our low-income earners and civil servants to comply with the government’s goal,” he added.

However Chou Ngeth, a Senior Consultant at Emerging Markets Consulting (EMC), said previously that the price set by the developer seemed to be a bit high if compared to the per unit cost for the developer.

“If we compare the price set by the developer and price range in the market [between 40k and 60k], it is cheaper,” he said. “But that is apples and oranges.

“The price of a house which is currently set by the developer at 25k could be constructed for about 15K [including the cost of land, construction and other contingency costs].

“The way developers set prices is a value-based pricing, not a cost-based pricing. In that sense, to be fair as a branded social housing project, the price should be something around 20k.

“This makes more sense as the developer may still make 5k per unit. All in all, if it is branded as a social housing project, it should be at cost-based pricing,” he added. 

The Ministry of Land Management and Urban Planning signed an MoU on March 2 with another company, Bun Cheth Group, for the construction of public housing for low-income earners and civil servants.

Under that MoU, the company will build on 822,160 square metres of land and make 5,340 units located in Ponhea Leu district of Kandal province, some 21 kilometres from central Phnom Penh. The groundbreaking ceremony to start construction will be next May.

According to the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, demand for housing in Cambodia will be one million units by 2030, of which demand in the capital will be about 52,000 units.ww

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