Siem Reap is now expanding east, with land prices in the eastern part of the city rising as the government plans a new city in the area, real estate experts said during a workshop yesterday.
Speaking at a forum on the future of Siem Reap held at Raintree Phnom Penh yesterday, James Hodge, CBRE Cambodia director, said real estate developers in the city are looking east, where, due to the distance from Angkor Archaeological Park, restrictions on high-rise developments do not apply.
“We are seeing some levels of decentralisation, most spreading outward. Particularly we can see movement towards the east of Siem Reap along the national road as well as the new 60-metre road. These locations appear to be where the city is heading,” Mr Hodge said.
He pointed out that the eastern side of the city is attracting huge construction projects, and presents notable advantages over other parts of the city. While the north and the west areas have regulation to protect temples and other religious sites, and southern areas are prone to flooding due to its proximity to the Tonle Sap Lake, the east has plenty of land for construction, he said.
It is also well connected to the city centre by several roads, including a ring road.
Other strengths of this side of the city are that it already has a good network of roads, it is close to the existing international airport, and the land is cheaper, Mr Hodge said.
Developments on the way in the city include a new urban centre complete with new international airport, ring road renovations, a 70-hectare solar power station, a floating market and resort complexes.
The east of the city is already home to the Song Saa Reserve and a community-based development in Bakong Village and will soon welcome the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium, he noted.
“The new city is quite a separate location. It is 60 kilometres away from the existing city. If it does happen, it will certainly increase the land value considerably,” he said.
“We are also looking at the types of real estate that are being developed there. It is not just hotels but also residential projects. They are also tapping into the office, commercial and retail sectors, as well as education and healthcare provision,” Mr Hodge said.
He pointed out that growth in the real estate market is cyclical. Although there will be ebbs in the future, right now the market seems to be going in a positive direction, he said.
Land prices in Siem Reap city have increased by 50 percent in the last two years, reaching $50 per square metre, according to Chhayleang Nguon, Pointer Property CEO, the company behind the project in Bakong Village.
Mr Nguon said the performance of real estate in Siem Reap in closely linked with tourism: as long as tourists keep coming, demand for accommodation in the city will be on the rise, he noted.
“More tourists means more job opportunities and increasing demand for houses. Developers should not just build houses but should also build tourism products to support growth in the sector,” he added.