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Sihanoukville Property Boom: A New Metropolis in the Making

Sihanoukville Property Boom: A New Metropolis in the Making

Angel Real Estate (ARE) is going to start its sales operations in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, from October onward. The move is in hand with ARE’s strategic plan for business expansion to other markets beyond Thailand. This year, the company already announced its venture of selling condo and house units in Osaka, Japan, and condo units in Istanbul, Turkey.

Sihanoukville used to be a calm and cozy tourist destination due to its beaches that attracted mostly families, solo travelers, and backpackers. The once-sleepy resort town became a new buzz for Southeast Asia’s real estate market after the Cambodian government introduced economic reforms in the country and Chinese-led development projects boosted the city as one of the most promising hot spots in the region.

Sihanoukville is now peppered with a range of new condominiums and hotels. The fast transformation in recent years is as well associated with the booming of its casino industry, which may not yet be as much attractive as the world’s most lucrative ones like Macau but offers advantages to gamblers in general, especially high-rollers.

The Chinese Connection

With a population of about 160,000, the coastal city of Sihanoukville attracts about 2.6 million tourists per year. Official data show the declining of western visitors is being compensated by the soaring of Chinese tourists since 2012.

It is estimated that Chinese nationals make up about 90% of the expatriate population. An impressive number of 48 casinos, out of 71 in the province are operated by Chinese. They also run other businesses, such as restaurants, hotels, guesthouses, karaoke clubs, and massage parlors.

The “One Belt, One Road” initiative, as part of the spreading China’s political and economic influence across the region, is leading to massive infrastructure investment in Cambodia, included financing for new roads, highways, power plants, airports, and others. Such developments are contributing to make Sihanoukville a sort of a newborn Chinese enclave where neon signs in Mandarin are seen in detriment of those in Khmer and English.

As a result, Chinese property developers are taking this golden opportunity to spread their investments in the country and having Sihanoukville as a focal point of their interests. Some projects are targeting specific international markets, and for this reason, property developers choose not to have a sales office on sight.

Development & Growth

Despite being a massive tourist destination with high prospects of growth in the upcoming years, Sihanoukville still has much to accomplish towards real development.

Poor infrastructure, poor municipal management, and a small international airport don’t prevent tourists from arriving at this haven.

Furthermore, a greater number of foreigner buyers are flocking to Sihanoukville and purchase units in new high-rise condominiums that are flourishing within its beach and urban areas.

A few factors contribute to having this city situated on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand as a safe bet in terms of real estate investment.

Firstly, Cambodia continues to be in the top 10 “Fastest Growing Countries” in the world, with an average growth rate of 7% in the last 14 years.

The rental yield is very much attractive since it can go up to 15%, while real estate property prices are still low in comparison to other Southeast Asian countries. Airbnb is an open option for any potential landlord, for instance, who could buy a whole floor and freely operate into the rental market.

Also, the extension of the airport serving the city will boost the arrivals of tourists, which is beneficial to respond to the real estate demand.

Finally, the economic and trade ties with China will continue to attract investments in hotels, casinos, condominiums, and commercial buildings.

High-end Projects

Several high-end projects already in the pipeline are promising to take Sihanoukville into a new level.

The Seagate Suite, an urban commercial complex in downtown with a 360-degree view of Victoria Beach, consists of a mixed-use property of 45 floors with units sized 31-113 sq.m. The building, which will be fitted with an infinity pool, fitness area, and banquet hall, is set to have an international property management service.

The project includes shopping malls, casinos, art galleries, cinema, KTV, VIP lounges, restaurants, and cultural venues. It will be the tallest building in Sihanoukville’s Central Business District.

Another high-end development is under property developer Star Bay, which has the biggest land bank in Sokha Beach connected to the downtown area planned for commercial and mixed-use projects.

The 15-story New Nordic Sunshine Hotel & Resort, by New Nordic Group, will have 136 apartments ranged from studio to two-bedroom type a few minutes’ walk to Golden Lions Roundabout and Ochheuteal Beach. The property will be operating as a service residence and it will also have a full-service resort.

Prince Real Estate Group is a major property developer operating Sihanoukville with an undergoing project of building the Prince City Center, which is divided into three phases.

The first phase comprises of three condominium complexes along with a modern living center. Units are expected to be completed and delivered to customers on October 2019. The second phase includes a commercial center and the largest hospital in the city. The third stage consists of apartments, villas, and commercial buildings, among other facilities.

If you need any further help or want to have a chat with us, please feel free to write an email to daniel.O@angelrealestate.co.th. We will be more than happy to discuss and support your international real estate investment.

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Daniel Oliveira

With over 10 years experience of journalism between Macau, Special Administative Region of People's Republic of China, and Portugal, Europe, I developed a special interest in real estate by observing closely the changes and impacts the sector has in people's lives. It was then a natural choice of going in depth and be passionate about the industry.

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