The real estate sector rebounds in Cambodia

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With a projected 5.3% gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2022, Cambodia’s economy is rebounding rapidly from Covid-19 setbacks and the Kingdom is now being hailed as Asia’s most attractive investment location. from the South East. In more than a decade, the country’s real estate sector has experienced tremendous growth and is considered one of the driving forces behind the evolution of the economy.

For the first time since the Covid-19 epidemic, a hundred players in the real estate sector came together at a 2022 real estate EXPO organized by real estate.com.kh in partnership with Khmer time at Sen Sok’s Premier Center in Phnom Penh for the past two days in what is seen as a turning point for the post-pandemic industry.

EXPO 2022 not only attracted a large number of visitors, but eventful B2B meetings took place with many developers offering clients attractive offers for the purchase of properties. In an exclusive interview with Khmer time on the sidelines of the exhibition, Tom O’Sullivan, CEO of real estate.com.kh said the real estate market, which suffered a severe blow caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, is on the road to recovery.

“But we are still waiting for the full reopening of China and really hope that in the second half of the year we will see aggressive buying in the real estate sector. More and more investors from Europe, the United States, Korea, the Japan, Singapore and Malaysia have also shown interest in buying a property in Cambodia and this has also boosted the confidence of local buyers,” said Tom.

Responding to a question, he said there was definitely an oversupply problem in the market, especially condominiums. “These projects were launched during the pre-Covid years when the market was still hot. Now they have to think more creatively to sell these units,” he said.

According to Tom, the rising cost of raw materials is a concern for the construction industry and he called it a new pressure. But it is also a matter of relief that new projects are now being announced in Cambodia like vacation homes. “But we have to say it’s not super aggressive and that’s good to some extent because it will control oversupply.”

He also added that foreigners are now increasingly using the provision of land ownership purchase through trust companies in Cambodia.

When asked how his business had handled the Covid-19 crisis, Tom said they needed to take a cautious approach. “We have changed our business model somewhat. For example, we stopped charging marketing fees and instead suggested success fees that retail agencies and developers pay when a deal is struck. Some developers also pay us marketing fees for promotions,” he said.

The company also had to reduce its workforce following the Covid-19 pandemic. The company which employed around 90 people reduced its workforce to 50 after the outbreak of the pandemic. “Now we are rebuilding our team,” the CEO said.

Another change in the operational aspect of real estate.com.kh, founded in 2009, was to focus more on online than offline. “We have over 150 businesses registered with us online now,” he said.

Asked about the outlook for next year, Tom said everyone is watching international events closely. “For Cambodia, the tourism sector is recovering. The same goes for agriculture and manufacturing. The real estate sector is also changing. It is no longer entirely dependent on the Chinese market. Other markets are also interested in the Cambodian market and that is good news,” he said.

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