Earlier this month, PropertyGuru, a leading online property group in Asia, announced to the media the launch of the second edition of the Cambodia Property Awards during an event held at the Raffles Hotel Le Royal.
Nominations are now open for the exclusive and highly-prestigious awards, which, in its debut last year amassed huge success and surpassed expectations within the industry.
We have a chat with Terry Blackburn, PropertyGuru’s Managing Director of Awards and Publications, to get his opinion on Cambodia’s dynamic real estate market and learn more about the new edition of the awards.
B2B: Why is Phnom Penh a good city to invest in property?
Blackburn: Phnom Penh is an emerging city with lots of real estate potential, judging by the quality of entrants at the first Cambodia Property Awards. We saw an opportunity this year in terms of its development cycle. One thing to note is there’s so much heritage architecture there. It’s very encouraging to invest in the city right now.
B2B: Can you describe the current commercial and residential property landscape in Phnom Penh and any new developments of note?
Blackburn: Things are looking very positive at the moment. Everyone’s talking about the exceptional growth of the construction industry in the last two years. For new residential projects that set the bar high in Phnom Penh, investors are excited about Grand Star Platinum, a modern housing project from Borey Peng Houth Group, as well as two high-rise condo developments from Urbanland, Embassy Residences and Embassy Central. The Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation (OCIC)’s Olympia City mixed-use project, which will include residential, retail and commercial spaces, is also highly anticipated among local and foreign customers.
B2B: What’s your opinion of the condo market in Phnom Penh? Are condos a true value proposition?
Blackburn: All property markets are cyclical, and in Cambodia we expect to see a lot of growth in the next 3 to 5 years, including Phnom Penh’s condo market. Maybe it will slow down in a few years, but there will certainly be a new wave of developments after that. There wasn’t the volume of projects to have our own awards programme in Cambodia in the past, but that’s obviously changed now.
B2B: There has been a lot of talk recently about the growth of office space in the city. What’s driving this growth, and what’s the outlook for 2016?
Blackburn: Cambodia’s economy is relatively open, making it easy to do business there, which is why the office segment in Phnom Penh continues to grow. Several high-end and luxury condo developments, such as Olympia City and the Taiwanese backed TK Royal One along Russian Boulevard, have office spaces as well.
B2B: Real estate reports have highlighted an increase in prime residential developments located in non-traditional, secondary areas, such as Chroy Chang Va and Sen Sok. What is driving this change?
Blackburn: Building on the rapid growth of the sector in Phnom Penh, developers in Cambodia are broadening their involvement in secondary districts and satellite cities. OCIC has a multimillion project in Chroy Chang Va. Easy accessibility contributes to this trend. Other emerging areas like Siem Reap and Sihanoukville are now being serviced by boutique airlines, and that certainly helps in introducing these locations to investors.