How Laos’ neighbours are impacting its real estate

With a Belt and Road project making headway, the landlocked ASEAN country may yet defy a regional real estate slump and shortfall in demand

View from the top of Patuxai Arch in Vientiane, Laos. OULAILAX NAKHONE/Shutterstock

The regional slump in residential property prices may have some repercussions on Laos, the Khmer Timesreported.

Despite being relatively isolated in the region, Laos has been “feeling some minor effects from the current slump across Asia,” James Whitehead, CEO and director of Laorealestate.la, was quoted as saying by the Times.

Real estate firms in the landlocked ASEAN country need to promote investments in apartments instead of condominiums, according to regional property valuer Sopon Pornchokchai.

“Mega housing projects in Vientiane are likely to disappoint because they are not suitable for such a small city but apartment projects will boom,” he told The Phnom Penh Post.

Vientiane apartments will enjoy patronage from government employees and office workers, Sopon added.

Ambitious projects in Laos have enlivened property experts however. Under China’s Belt and Road initiative, a 414-kilometre rail network will soon connect Vientiane to the Chinese city of Yunnan.

Originally set for completion in 2021, the Laos-China Railway has been making headway of late, with builder China Railway No.2 Engineering Group (CREC-2) calling progress on the USD6-billion project a transition from “substructure to superstructure.”

Around 210,133 Chinese tourists made the overland crossing to Laos last year, a number that could swell once the trains become operational. The trains will run at speeds of up to 160 kilometres per hour.

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