Insiders have shared similar sentiments, saying that the local real estate market has remained resilient; though the global pandemic is still in place. Having learned the situation that is on its ways to gradually recover, insiders are optimistic about investments in the sector to bounce back and even greater than the pre-pandemic.
In a virtual press conference hosted by Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association (CVEA) on 20 May 2021, four experts shared the market update and their perspectives in the post-pandemic.
Mr Chrek Soknim, CVEA president
From the second semester of this year, we will see the sector enjoy the improvement. That’s being said, investment activities will gradually increase due to the government has worked diligently in its fight against COVID-19, and accelerating the vaccination program to its people as fast as possible. Investments recovery at this stage, which Mr Soknim said they support by the local investors who have either good or enough cash flow hunting the potential properties with below market price. He added that buying at this moment will generate high capital gain once the economy backs to normal. If the situation is getting better within the next two or three months, and the travel restriction gets eased; he expected that foreign buyers especially Chinese investors will start coming back and looking for investment in the Kingdom. When foreign buyers are flocking again, the market price will be eventually growing up sometime late this year, or early 2022.
Okhna Cheng Kheng, Chairman’s Cambodia Properties Limited
Every crisis creates opportunities, said Okhna Cheng Khenhg who echoed Mr Soknim sentiment, explaining that the opportunity is buying low-price properties with favourable payment condition.
It will bear fruit soon after the economy starts to grow. He noted that the transactions in land property are currently on a good track after the government’s prudent steps locking down the capital for a short time.
When the economy backs to normal, he is optimistic about investments in the real estate sector that it will be even greater than the pre-pandemic. Because the behaviour of developers or investors will always expand their investments to capture the market share in market competition.
Mr Sorn Seap, CVEA’s Vice Executive
Once CVOID-19 is curbed, Mr Seap said real estate investments will be more active before the outbreak based on two key drivers: economic growth and infrastructure developments. According to him, the government’s infrastructure development is a major catalyst in boosting investment, land property in particular. For instance, the new $1.5 billion Phnom Penh Airport is being built in Kandal province’s Kandal Stueng district. And ring road 3 – just to name a few. These kind of projects always boost the investment in land property nearby. In addition, the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Cambodia and China, which was already entered into force. The same trade deal with South Korea is also concluded and expected for the official signing agreement this year. The deal is what Mr Seap has said it will create demand in warehouses, factories and land for plantation. The trade deal will attract more investments, especially in manufacturing from the two developed economies.
Lim Socheat, CVEA’s BOD Chairman
The real estate market is dominated by Cambodian buyers who have negatively impacted the economy resulting from job loss and a pay cut. However, Mr Socheat has concluded that the local buyers’ force is expected to recover from 2022, thanks to the improvement of employment opportunity which means people start to earn more incomes. Construction projects delayed also set to resume, and this will help boost the market confidence. Meanwhile, the demand for foreign buyers is still going to be strong due to some factors: high return investment, law investment is attractive, while land property price is still lower than some Southeast Asian nations.