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Construction material, investments on the rise

May Kunmakara / Khmer Times Share:
Imports of construction material have risen by more than one third along with investment capital. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Imports of construction material sharply increased in the first half of the year in response to a rise in the flow of capital investment.

Official data from the National Bank of Cambodia released last week showed that total imports of construction material went up 34 percent in the first half compared with the corresponding period last year, while imports of cement also went up by 10 percent after a sharp drop of 40 percent in the first half of last year.

The report also pointed out that construction investment in the first six months of 2017 reached $4.94 billion, compared with $3.87 billion over the same period last year, an increase of 27.44 percent.

“The increase in demand for housing for adults and the increase in middle-class households and the favourable investment climate policy for foreign investors will encourage the flow of both foreign and local investment in the sector,” said the report.

A cement truck on its way to a contruction site on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. KT/Valinda Aim

According to the report, the proportion of residential – big and luxurious projects – compared with the total approved value of investments was on a downward trend, while the proportion of commercial and tourism projects continued to increase on an upward trend due to investors changing their preferences from condos and luxurious housing projects to low and medium-priced housing, office space, supermarkets, business centres and hotels.

“There is a new trend of development focusing on low-income public housing that is a main push for the sector, while the construction and development in coastal areas, mainly Preah Sihanoukville province, is also on the rise,” said the report. 

Chrek Soknim, the CEO of real-estate agent Century 21 Mekong, said the property and construction sector in Cambodia has been performing very well in the first half of the year as it has been attracting a lot of investments.

The Vimean Keo Choranai Condo. KT/Valinda Aim

“There are many projects popping up in the outskirts of the city, but they are smaller than previous years, so the investment capital saw a decline,” he said.

“It is not a worrying sign for the property sector as projects keep popping up in the market. There already are many high-rise buildings in Phnom Penh, so this could be a sign showing an investment boost for projects in the outskirts of the city.

“Demand also is not a cause for concern now and in the future. Supply will also increase so it just needs time to fulfill the supply gap,” he added.

With the total value of approved investment, there were construction permits for 1,523 projects, equal to 7,284,675 square metres, compared with 1,183 projects with a total construction area of 10,512,261 square metres in the same period last year. For high-rise buildings and borey investments, in the first six months of 2017, there were 14 satellite city locations and 43 high-rise buildings of more than five floors.

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