With less than three months to go before the debut gala dinner and awards presentation ceremony, anticipation is already building for the first-ever Cambodia Property Awards as nominations from the country’s leading developers continue to flood in.
Set to take place at the Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra in the heart of the kingdom’s bustling capital, the Awards are the latest addition to the decade-old Asia Property Awards series, the most respected and widely recognised industry event in the region. The Cambodia edition will have a total of 14 award categories covering the condominium, housing, hotel, office, retail, green and mixed-use segments.
“Although Cambodia is a comparatively small market, it is quickly emerging and is definitely deserving of the recognition it will receive,” said Terry Blackburn, CEO of Ensign Media, event organiser and publisher of Asia’s industry leading magazine, Property Report. “Industry analysts expect the overall condominium market alone to increase its supply by 40 percent within the next three years, making our launch event in the country very timely.”
While Cambodia’s property market may not yet be as established as its regional counterparts, the kingdom is stepping up in the development sector, with numerous low-rise and ambitious high-rise projects currently in the planning stages or under construction in Phnom Penh, which is undoubtedly establishing itself as a desirable investment destination due to the relatively low prices and average rental yields of 5.3 percent – very attractive for an emerging market.
Other destinations such as Siem Reap and Sihanoukville province are also showing on many local and foreign investors’ radars, thanks to the kingdom’s existing laws giving investment incentives, and an open and free economy. The recent economic growth outlook of 7.3 percent for 2015, based on a recent Asian Development Bank study, is also a major contributing factor for the rapid growth of the local real estate scene.
“Competing in Cambodia will give the winners of the big awards the opportunity to showcase their latest projects at our South East Asia Property Awards grand finale to be held in Singapore this October, which will coincide with our inaugural Property Report Congress,” Blackburn said.
As is the case with all the events in the Asia Property Awards series, successful entries – nominated by the public and industry peers – will be assessed by an independent panel of highly-experienced judges who shall conduct thorough site inspections of all shortlisted properties before the final decisions are made. The nominations and judging process will be supervised by BDO International, one of the world’s leading accounting firms.
The highly-experienced Simon Griffiths, associate director of CBRE Cambodia, was recently elected chairman of the esteemed judges panel. The panel boasts a wealth of experience from various sectors of the industry, including David Littlejohn, sales and marketing manager for Comin Khmere; Sung Bonna, CEO and chairman of Bonna Realty Group; Ratana Phurik-Callebaut, executive director, EuroCham Cambodia; and Anna Araki, CEO, AnnaCam Partners Co Ltd.
“We had the first judges meeting quite recently so we’re just starting with the judging process,” Griffiths said. “I’m very much looking forward to the Awards and I think it is a great thing for the industry and Cambodia in general.
“There is a definite market trend in Cambodia of a ‘flight to quality’. If developers can truly distinguish themselves through innovative and truly quality developments, from design and architecture to construction, execution and operation and by winning an independent award it helps consumers identify those properties, it can only be a good thing for developers and design firms.”
Supported by Southeast Asia Globe, Official Magazine of the Cambodia Property Awards, and with the highly active European Chamber of Commerce onboard as a Supporting Association, the inaugural event is set to attract extensive coverage on television, print and radio, leading up to the announcement of the shortlisted nominees prior to the gala night, and the awarding of Winners and Highly Commended developments on 25 September.