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CAMBO DIAN

PROPE RTY INVES TOR ISSUE 01 / APRIL 2016

RISE OF THE CONDO FOREIGN OWNERSHIP EXPLAINED EXCLUSIVE PROPERTIES

ROOM TO MOVE; MODERN OFFICES BOOST BUSINESS


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Welcome to the launch of CPI Managing Director, David Murphy IPS Cambodia is proud to present the first edition of Cambodian Property Investor—a regular publication that showcases the finest addresses, offers expert advice and provides a snapshot of the Cambodian real estate environment. We’ve earned our reputation as the country’s property experts by regularly contributing articles to newspapers, magazines and websites. Now it’s our turn to give our professionals in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap their own forum. In the first edition of Cambodian Property Investor, we’ll highlight the latest premium apartments, villas, houses, offices and land—all excellent opportunities with growth potential for savvy investors. We’ll also introduce you to our new niche property portal: CambodianCondos.com. This finely presented site is the result of IPS’ many years in the market, forging strong relationships with local and international developers. For investors seeking to enter the Cambodian property market, our latest articles will give you an insight into the country’s thriving property environment, debunk myths and provide the latest facts on real estate law. So sit back and enjoy the first edition of Cambodian Property Investor—the first of many.

Phnom Penh phone: +855 77 959 861 email: inquiry@ips-cambodia.com address: #182 Street 63 (corner Street 294), Boeung Keng Kang 1, Phnom Penh, 12203,

Siem Reap phone: +855 17 843 423 email: inquiry@ips-cambodia.com address: #618 Wat Bo Road (cnr St 26), Siem Reap, Cambodia

Grant Fitzgerald

Andreas Reiterer

Lachlan Lee

Daka Kun

General Manager

Branch Manager

Nigel Doughan

Commercial Leasing Manager

Melanie Lemaire

Property Consultant

Syto Nhiev

Commercial Leasing Agent

Branch Manager

Assistant Manager

Pary Hour

Property Consultant

Kunthea Hem

Property Management Officer

Phon Bora

Property Information Officer

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EXCITING CHANGES IN PHNOM PENH REAL ESTATE b y D a v i d M u r p h y which remain unoccupied and this is likely to lead to a softening of rentals in the near future.

With Phnom Penh real estate continuing to be one of the most vibrant and dynamic markets in Southeast Asia, IPS' Managing Director gives us an insight into the latest property trends. I don’t mind admitting it’s hard to keep up with the opportunities and challenges I’m presented every day. That’s a trend that hasn’t abated since our business entered the Cambodian real estate market seven years ago. We’re certainly not expecting to slow down any time soon! The expatriate community continues to grow as people see Phnom Penh as a positive investment proposition and large numbers of families choose to settle in the capital. These changing demographics are having a marked impact on both rentals and sales. At the same time, a growing Cambodian middle class has contributed to the increased demand for high quality residences. Three factors stand out in this changing market as the population increases rapidly: the development of modern condominiums, the gentrification of outlying suburbs and an increase in the quality of newly constructed buildings. These changes have seen the construction of numerous apartments, many of

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In stark contrast, supply can't keep up with the demand for the style of apartments condo developers aren’t constructing: those that combine western convenience with Indochine character. These renovated, mid-priced apartments can be found in Daun Penh, Tonle Bassac, BKK 2 & 3, and 7 Makara. Regardless of the inevitable cool-down in condo development we're predicting, the construction boom is currently in full flight with several impressive projects about to hit the market including Hong Kong Land's Exchange Square, Urban Land's Embassy Residence and the new Suncity Bassac Residential Development. There's been plenty of concern about occupancy rates but given the impetus is foreign investment, the discussion may be moot. Owners are buying in anticipation of the city's growth. In essence, investors are playing the long game. Of course, the sooner occupancy levels increase, the better, but feedback suggests owners are justifiably expecting excellent returns in coming years.


It’s satisfying to see the expanding Khmer middle class investing. This demographic has been a boon for developers due to the simple fact that sales result in owner-occupiers, and these constructions are creating increasingly desirable suburbs. The regions may not be the first stop for expatriate investors, but at the rate the city is growing, there’s no doubt we’ll have a vastly different perception of outlying suburbs in a few years. The final significant trend we're seeing is in the commercial market as growing businesses migrate from traditional villas to modern office space. The cause for this change generally tends to be speed of growth, in which case it's a very good problem to have. Canadia Tower and Phnom Penh Tower clearly exhibited the advantages for investors, and what may have initially been a tentative approach to modern offices is increasingly becoming the norm for new arrivals or companies that outgrow their initial locations. As a real estate business with two locations in one of the most rapidly changing nations in the region, it’s a battle to stay abreast of changes but two trends are constant: the country’s rising middle class and the increasing urbanisation of the country’s main population centres – Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.


IPS launches the ultimate destination for investors looking to capitalise on the booming condo market. CambodianCondos.com is the first of its kind in the country, servicing local and international clients interested in the rapidly developing condominium market in Phnom Penh. Experienced agents with in-depth knowledge of all listed condominium developments provide best in class service and representation. The company’s holistic approach to service delivers clients with high returns, tenant placement, property management and timely resale.

Working closely with real estate developers, CambodianCondos.com provides reliable and up-to-date information on current and new property developments. A subsidiary of Cambodia’s largest independently western owned real estate company, IPS-Cambodia, this exciting niche service guarantees best prices, end-to-end service and only the finest investment opportunities.

Current developments on the verge of providing world-class city living and excellent returns include Aura Condominium, Embassy Central, Axis Residence and La Vie Residence.

It only takes a quick visit to CambodianCondos.com to see how exciting the Phnom Penh condo market is, and how breathtaking the skyline will be on completion of buildings that will be among the world’s best constructions in terms of design, features, location and safety.


Charming Chroy Chongvar Villa offers best of French Colonial reproduction architecture 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, Furnished USD 890,000 Influenced by the signature architecture of Phnom Penh's French colonial era, this beautifully presented two-storey Chroy Changvar address boasts four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a large living room and separate modern kitchen. Located in a quiet location across the Japanese Bridge, its owners will enjoy the front balcony with views of the picturesque neighbourhood. The large open plan interior is fully furnished, and when you add the spacious courtyard, this premium property has a total size of 510 sqm.

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PROPERTIES Luxurious two-bedroom penthouse apartment in the heart of BKK1 2 bedrooms, penthouse, furnished USD 295,000 Completed at the end of 2015, this large two-bedroom duplex is a rarity in the highly desirable BKK1 region, known for its excellent restaurants, coffee shops and cocktail bars. With a total of 157 sqm the property features an open-plan kitchen/dining/living area on the second floor and two large bedrooms on the third floor. The apartment comes fully furnished with a designer kitchen, modern and stylish bathrooms, large LCD TV with projector and private balcony overlooking street 63.

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PROPERTY OWNERSHIP 1:01 A BRIEF HISTORY OF CAMBODIAN PROPERTY LAW In the first of a series of informational articles for property investors, General Manager Grant Fitzgerald offers a clear view of an investor’s legal rights.

‘only natural persons or legal entity of Khmer nationality shall have the right to land ownership. Legal private ownership shall be protected by law’. So how can so many foreign investors be profiting from the property boom? Firstly, the good news is that the laws are changing and there are a number of exceptions to Article 44, with the main one being foreigners are permitted to own strata title condominiums. Add to that, options such as the commonly used ‘nominee structure’, and investment can be secure as long due diligence is adhered to in order to mitigate any risks.

When it comes to property ownership for foreigners, there’s a lot of misinformation out there. It’s easy to see how investors looking to profit from the rebuilding of Cambodia, particularly the thriving capital, can be misled. On one side, investment can be deterred by unnecessary pessimism that insists the market lacks security, while on the opposite side, we see the dangers of over-optimism and a lack of due diligence. With the exception of condos, foreigners are not allowed to own property in our own name whether it be a ground floor, first floor, second floor apartment, a villa, land or any other type of property you might come across. Yet this fact doesn’t stop major investment pouring into the nation’s property market, and without that influx of capital, Phnom Penh’s skyline wouldn’t be changing so rapidly.

Let's take a look at a very brief history of land ownership in Cambodia. While this is just a snapshot of the key milestones, it should help new investors gain a basic understanding of the evolution of property laws since the end of the Khmer Rouge. During the Khmer rouge period (1975-1979) land and property ownership was abolished. Existing records of that time were destroyed. Following the fall of the Khmer Rouge, all property was owned by the state up until the early 90s.

12Article 44 of the Cambodian Constitution states:


Penh is now booming. The long forecast for the city is obviously positive considering several towering structures, built by reputable developers and boasting world-class features and security, have either hit the market recently or are due for completion within the next 18 months.

Private ownership of land only became possible in 1992 when the Cambodian Government passed the land law. During this time, the local Sangkat issued ‘soft titles’ to residents. In 2001 the new land law came into effect, further strengthening an individual’s right to property ownership. This law saw the introduction of ‘hard titles’, which allowed for the registration of land at the national government level.

For investors banking on Phnom Penh real estate prices to boom, the arrival of more expat residents and businesses, expenditure of the growing Khmer middle class, and rising population are contributing to attractive investment propositions. Despite current low occupancy due to the sheer number of condominiums on the market, developers seem undeterred and subsequently, long-term investors are following their lead. In the next edition of Cambodian Property Investor, we’ll explain the four forms of titles available in Cambodia and the common use of the ‘nominee structure’.

Cambodia’s new civil code came into effect on the 21st of December 2011 and with it the concept of co-ownership. In the west it would be known as Strata Title ownership. In 2010 the Cambodian National Assembly passed the law of foreign property ownership, which effectively allows for foreign ownership if the apartment or condominium is above the ground floor. There has been some confusion regarding what the law allows foreigners to buy. In brief, it allows foreigners to purchase condominiums in coowned buildings built after 2010, with up to 70% of all the units in the co-owned building allowed to be owned by foreigners. While this is not the only method of property ownership, it’s the only one officially recognised by the government, and it’s no coincidence that the development of high-rise buildings in Phnom

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VILLAS VERSUS OFFICE SPACE IPS-Cambodia's Commercial Leasing Manager, Nigel Doughan explains the latest commercial trend of businesses migrating from traditional villas to purpose built commercial spaces. All Phnom Penh residents are familiar with BKK1, the Sangkat (suburb) once known for its NGO offices and large villas, now becoming famous for its coffee shops and condos. As a direct result of this transformation, villas in BKK1 are becoming harder to find, and while most businesses still want to keep their roots in Phnom Penh’s most sought after location, landlords and prices are forcing things to change quickly. As long-term leases expire and landlords can smell the reward of selling to developers, villa and land prices in BKK1 have moved out of reach of NGOs and most corporate clients. The result has been a strong shift towards professional office space in newer buildings. The office space that villas provide is not the most

efficient, and organisations are able to reduce their requirements, in overall square meter terms, as they move to tailored solutions in office buildings. There are other advantages in moving from villas to an office building. Villas historically have little or no fire and safety standards, whereas new office buildings will most likely include fire standards. Security guards also tend to be included in service charges of new buildings so there is no longer a need for the business to provide their own 24-hour security. At the end of the day, a purpose-designed office creates a far more efficient operation. By the time the size is reduced to the actual space required and the security cost is subtracted, the net result is a much smaller increase in overall spend on rental costs. The transition from villa to office buildings is becoming the norm rather than the exception for Phnom Penh’s business and NGO communities. For example, a company that used to have 400 square meters of villa space may find that, with an efficient design, they can comfortably move into 250 square meter open plan office space. Price also plays a very important part in this process. NGOs are now competing with internationally branded coffee and food chains for the same Villas and obviously cannot compete. Commercial offices come at a higher sqm rate but often this increase is offset by the efficiencies gained in working in a quality office environment.

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A recent joint IPS–Cambodia and ECC event marked the start of IPS’ sales of units in this project. Much like the condo projects that are abundant in Phnom Penh, foreign investors can purchase a piece of the project ranging from 33sqm up to full floors at around 450sqm.

IPS–Cambodia Partners with East Commercial Center IPS–Cambodia is pleased to announce its partnership with Eastland Development on the company's latest project, East Commercial Centre (ECC).

Where commercial space becomes a more attractive option for investors is when you consider depreciation of items in condos. Commercial space comes with no furnishings and nothing to be continually replaced. All fitout costs are borne by the tenants, so investors get to realise the investment potential without being continually responsible for costs every time a tenant moves out.

IPS–Cambodia will be selling commercial office units in the ECC project—a first of its kind for Cambodia, offering strata titled commercial office space for sale. The ECC project is located on Norodom Boulevard in Tonle Bassac, just minutes from the centre of Phnom Penh. ECC will be a strong Grade-B office building, filling a growing demand for quality offices with international standards but at affordable prices.

With the increase of multi-national firms entering the Cambodian market, the demand for high-end offices continues to grow. ECC will fill the need for new market entrants who demand quality services but aren’t ready to invest in Grade-A prices. The East Commercial Center is an attractive investment option for tenants seeking their own space and investors looking for strong returns.

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Classic 1930s French Colonial apartment at Riverside (Daun Penh) 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, Furnished USD 380,000 This is the first time in 17 years this original French colonial-era property has been available on the market. The apartment's unique Indochina charm remains, including original wooden floorboards, tiles and window shutters. An original blacksmith's gate privides private access to the first-floor apartment, which is tastefully decorated with antique Chinese and Art Deco furniture, and has no floor above, so occupants can enjoy the tranquility of the patio overlooking a well-established garden and fishpond.

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PROPERTIES Prime development opportunity in the heart of Phnom Penh's restaurant and cafe district. 5,398sqm, hard title, road access USD 3,500 sqm This hidden oasis presents one of the best development sites currently available in central Phnom Penh. Set-back approximately 30m from Norodom Boulevard, with direct access via a short common road, the fully fenced block boasts an established garden offering quiet tranquility in the heart of the city. The land is connected to electricity, city water and sewerage. With no need for backfill, this hard title site is primed and ready. The large size of the land makes it suitable for a diverse range of residential or commercial developments.

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PHNOM PENH: THE PEARL OF SOUTHEAST ASIA? Prior to the tragic events that virtually gutted the thriving capital, Phnom Penh was a scenic and lively population centre, rich with local and imported culture, and boasting an incredible music scene.

One of the best recent examples was the Golden Street Pa

hundreds packed into the small street and its surrounding But a new generation is emerging and it seems determined to revive Cambodia’s reputation as an inspiring source of entertainment. As the city is

Keely of popular group ...And You Will Know Us By The Tra

Playboys, the live performances were world class, while clu contingent of DJs.

revived via a construction boom and influx of new businesses, the economy is on the rise and with that comes new restaurants and venues.

It was one of the few times the many disparate acts spread

from the perception of the country's musical entertainmen

event proved there's a wealth of originality and unique sty Phnom Penh already has a great nightlife but with the arrival of more foreigners expanding the diversity of cuisine and live performances, there’s an encouraging mix of cultures that harks back to the heyday of the ‘Pearl of Southeast Asia’. In particular, expats’ love of classic Khmer rock n roll has seen a new wave of live bands comprised of local and imported talent. It’s increasingly common to see a well-attended event where a band with Australian, American and Khmer members plays against a backdrop of colonial architecture as patrons sip cocktails made by topclass mixologists. It certainly helps when Cambodia offers a relatively high standard of living at a low cost. In fact it takes a concerted effort to stay at home.

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we're sure to see more of these small festivals in the future


arty, which was a great success, with a crowd of

g venues. Showcasing international acts like Conrad

ail Of Dead, alongside local favourites like Kampot

Whether you’re enjoying the latest club tunes at popular cocktail bars in the BKK1 region, including the famous Bassac Lane, or seeing the new wave of heavy rock acts at established live music institutions, there’s plenty of musical entertainment on offer. Late at night, the atmosphere can get very lively as venues like Pontoon, Club Love and Epic attract crowds of revellers. Phnom Penh, loved for its reliance on common sense rather than stringent laws, may find its Achilles heel is the same affliction suffered in Australia: a reduction in live music venues due to noise complaints or other restrictions. Hopefully new venues rise to replace the fallen and the city’s entertainment scene continues to foster live and original music.

ubs were buzzing with activity thanks to the city's large

d across all regions of the country came together. Far

nt being dominated by cover bands and expat DJs, the

yles. If the energy at the main stage was any indication,

e, but regular events are also on the rise.

The clearest sign of any city's increasing standard of living is diversity, and Phnom Penh is certainly beginning to satisfy niches. One of the more innovative venues, Showbox, now features a night of life drawing classes while one of city's best sources of quality cocktails, Che Culo, recently hosted a successful comedy night featuring internationally renowned comics. Regardless of sporadic stalls or surges, Cambodia’s capital is growing rapidly, adding two million residents since 2008. It only takes a quick Tuk Tuk ride from the Toul Tom Poung district known for the Russian Market, through BKK1’s blocks of worldclass restaurants, all the way to the picturesque river district, to see why expats love living in Phnom Penh. Great food, savvy DJs, entertaining bands and thriving markets are plentiful. Now, if we could just fix the roads…

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Khna Village - beautiful modern style Khmer villa in Siem Reap 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms USD 350,000 Set in a quiet neighbourhood just ten minutes from the airport, Siem Reap business district and Angkor Golf Club, this stunning modern villa combines Khmer charm with western luxury. Featuring a spacious living room, wide veranda, minibar and picturesque garden with blooming flowers, this is one of the finest adresses in Siem Reap. The land size measures 1200sqm and villa has been built by strict western standards. This spectacular property is an investment opportunity not to be missed and is unlikely to be on the property market for long.

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PROPERTIES Luxurious villa with swimming pool, located in Siem Reap's finest suburb 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, furnished USD 710,000 With a unique blend of western and Khmer influences, outdoor swimming pool, garden, quality furnishings, parking aera and excellent location in Wat Bo, this outstanding two-storey villa has it all. This exquisite property is an architecural gem in the most attractive and sought-after suburb in the rapidly growing city of Siem Reap. East meets west in the design of the villa, and also indoors where the finest local and imported furniture and fittings are tastefully combined to create stunning interiors.

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BOOMTOWN – THE EVOLUTION OF SIEM REAP’S PROPERTY MARKET There’s a flow-on effect that ripples through all sectors in the city. As it attracts more investors in the service industry, new constructions are adding to Siem Reap’s impressive commercial sector. This year alone, we’ve seen the completion of a Duty Free Shopping Centre operated by DFS, the opening of a Marriott hotel and the first project completed by the new Sokha Hotel Group.

IPS-Cambodia’s Siem Reap Branch Manager, Andreas Reiterer believes Cambodia’s tourist capital is emerging from the shadow of Angkor Wat to become a thriving city in its own right. The Siem Reap real estate market is evolving, backed by Cambodia’s premier tourist attraction, which provides the city with a steady influx of tourist dollars, independent of macroeconomic cycles. But the long-term advantages of having over a million people visiting the city each year are the improvements to roads, the quality of construction and subsequently a rising standard of living. In the short-term, there’s no doubt the real estate market is heavily influenced by the hospitality and service industries. It’s the backbone of Siem Reap and currently enjoys great stability, but medium to long-term growth will see the establishment of sectors outside traditional industries. For investors in the commercial sector, Siem Reap’s central location in Asia is another critical factor. Tourists can fly from most locations in Asia within seven hours. The city is on track to beat last year’s number of tourists, and we’re expecting a spike in the near future due to plans to connect Siem Reap with India, Indonesia and various cities in China and Japan.

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As organic population growth continues, Siem Reap is one of the most desirable locations for Cambodians and expats, partly due to the improvement or expansion of roads and electricity. A good example is the recent shift of focus within the construction sector. Companies that may have developed boutique hotels a few years ago are beginning to see opportunities in residential developments. Buildings featuring between 20 to 25 apartments are being constructed, targeting expats and the growing Cambodian middle class. Property prices have been steadily increasing as the appeal of the city and its suburbs grows. Central locations and the Wat Bo area are currently in high demand, presenting excellent commercial and residential prospects for investors. There’s no doubt Siem Reap is becoming more than a tourist destination but Angkor Wat will continue to act as an excellent foundation for many decades to come. It’s been the catalyst for positive change, and in turn the city’s property market is becoming one of the most exciting areas of expansion.


Cambodian Property Investor  

A regular publication that showcases the finest addresses, offers expert advice and provides a snapshot of the Cambodia real estate environm...

Cambodian Property Investor  

A regular publication that showcases the finest addresses, offers expert advice and provides a snapshot of the Cambodia real estate environm...

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