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Real estate sector buoyant despite elections – experts

Sum Manet / Khmer Times Share:
The architectural model of a building shown at a fair in Phnom Penh. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The local real estate sector continues to thrive and is not likely to suffer from a downturn in business activity as a result of the upcoming national election, experts said yesterday at a forum on the future of the industry.

According to industry insiders, the property sector will continue to perform well despite the national poll later this month as the country is now accustomed to holding elections, and as Cambodians have much more access to reliable information.

Speaking yesterday at a forum titled ‘The Future of Doing Real Estate Business in Cambodia’, Kim Heang, president of the Cambodia Valuers and Estate Agents Association (CVEA), the event organiser, said due to political stability in the country, Cambodia has been able to achieve impressive economic growth, particularly in the real estate sector.

He said the sector will be largely unaffected by the national poll due to citizens’ enhanced access to trustworthy information, which will limit paranoia regarding a possible decline in business activity as a result of the election.

“Today, for example, a lot of people are aware that the property sector is running smoothly. Activity in the sector will remain unaffected because people are much better informed.

“This election will be much more peaceful than previous ones because people have access to more information and they know that there is no need to worry,” he said, adding that Cambodians now enjoy access to information based on “solid studies and research”.

He also stressed that Cambodians are now more used to having elections.

“Elections are not a rare occurrence. This will be the sixth national poll since 1993, and, it doesn’t matter: people still need homes and land to live on, so they will keep buying.”

Dith Channa, CEO of Lucky Realty, agreed that the property sector will remain stable throughout the election.

He said the national poll will not affect the housing market. “I think the political situation does not influence the housing market because Cambodian are not buying to speculate; they buy to live in the purchased properties.

“For next few years the housing market will continue to thrive because people are coming to live to the cities. Many newly-wed couples are now looking for their own house,” he said.

He added that developers should focus on mid-range properties.

“Right now a lot of money can be made by building moderately priced properties. There is high demand for this in the market,” he added.

Investment in the property market reached $6.42 billion last year, an increase of 22.31 percent, according to the Ministry of Land Management.

More than 3,000 construction projects were approved that year across the country, with the ministry granting business licenses to 275 companies.

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