Ongoing COVID-19 cases and delayed road construction are hindering the real estate market from making a significant recovery
According to observers in Cambodia, the property market of coastal town Sihanoukville is slowly moving forward in its promise of robust growth that was ushered in 2018, even with the surge of nearly completed road infrastructure projects, reported Phnom Penh Post.
At the end of 2019, the government allotted USD300 million from the national budget for the construction of 34 roads and other infrastructure projects in Preah Sihanouk province.
The funding aimed to rebuild its provincial capital Sihanoukville and neighbouring areas into a multi-purpose model special economic zone and a sustainable pole of national development that will attract further foreign investments and tourists.
Oem Senghou, a branch manager at Sihanoukville-based Century 21 Zillion Holding, a sub-franchise of real estate agency Century 21 Cambodia, stated that the province’s property market has started to show growth since the end of 2020.
However, this optimism succeeded with an intense period of sharp decline in property rentals and transactions as Chinese tourists and investors step back, following the nationwide government ban on online gambling, as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The February 20 community spread also plunged the market to new lows, as the latest transmission “is having a number of repercussions for the real estate market in Preah Sihanouk, especially the rental market, which has been pushed to deadlock after authorities identified a series of positive cases of COVID-19,” Senghou said.
“If the number of COVID-19 cases detected in Preah Sihanouk continues to increase, the market will continue its decline,” he added.
As stated by Senghou, Sihanoukville land prices per square metre range from USD1,800 to 3,500 in commercial areas, while remote suburbs are around USD250 to 300 and areas adjacent to main roads are at USD500 to 700.
Nevertheless, Senghou believes that “after the construction of the infrastructure is complete and COVID-19 is completely under control, I think the market will start its recovery process to pre-2020 levels.”
Sam Soknoeun, Keller Williams (KW) Sen Sok regional operation principal, said that property prices in the city’s prime locations can reach more than USD4,000 per square metre when the provincial real estate is at its peak.
“Real estate can only make a significant recovery if COVID-19 is controlled 100 percent effectively and the roads are ready. However, property prices will no longer see such leaps – and that’s because in Preah Sihanouk province they are already astronomical,” Soknoeun said.
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