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ASEAN Investment assessed by Cambodians
AREA Press Release No. 185/2016: May 25, 2016

Dr.Sopon Pornchokchai, Ph.D. Dip.FIABCI, MRICS
President, Agency for Real Estate Affairs (AREA)

            How Cambodian professionals assess the property markets in the ASEAN Region.  Actually, Cambodia is a destination for real estate roadshows.

            During May 5-7, 2016, Dr.Sopon Pornchokchai, President, Agency for Real Estate Affairs who was also a board member of the ASEAN Valuers Association (AVA) went to participate at the annual congress of the AVA in Phnom Penh.  He conducted a survey of Cambodian valuers, brokers, investors, bankers, developers and regulators who participated at the congress to assess the market situation.

            1. For the economy of Cambodia, Cambodian professionals assessed at 6.1 where 10 was the best situation, 5 was moderate and 1 was the worst.  This implies that these professionals did not have very high hope to the economy at large.  It is not at the substantial growth stage.
            2. In the case of 2017 economy in Cambodia, they assessed at 6.3 out of 10.  This very slight increase implied that the situation would be similar to that in this year.  According to the respondents, they expected that after the election in 2018, the economy and property markets would be better than today.
            3. While assessing the property markets in Thailand, it was scored at 6.0 out of 10.  Cambodian professionals saw that Thai markets are not very strong at this moment perhaps due to the current political situation.
            4. In the case of selected ASEAN countries which attract foreign investment, the score is as follows;

Country                Score Proportion
Myanmar              1,860 35%
Cambodia             1,400 26%
Vietnam                    720 13%
Thailand                   480 9%
Singapore                 460 9%
Malaysia                   420 8%

            The most attractive country is Myanmar which was assessed at 35%.  Cambodia is the second in the priority (26%), Vietnam is the third at 13%.  Thailand is at the fourth in the priority with only 9%  If Thailand is in a better political climate, there should attract more foreign investments in real estate.

            5. Considering the destinations for Cambodian professionals to buy a house abroad, the following is the result.

Rank Country Score Proportion
1 Singapore 1,560 29%
2 Thailand 1,160 21%
3 Australia 940 17%
4 Malaysia 420 8%
5 USA 380 7%
6 Myanmar 260 5%
7 Europe 220 4%
8 Indonesia 200 4%
9 Canada 100 2%
10 New Zealand 100 2%
11 Vietnam 100 2%

            Singapore is the most popular destination with the proportion of 29%.  This is because Singapore is very economically and politically stable. Thailand is the second in the list (21%).  Australia is the third in the priority at 17% although it is located afar from Cambodia.  It can be observed that although Myanmar is the most attractive real estaet investment country in this Region, it is not so popular for buying a house to stay there.
            Actually, Thailand which is a very closed neighbouring country to Cambodia could be placed at the first priority.  However, due to the contemporary political climate, their potential seems weak.  Whereas, in Singapore, one has to pay some 15% of the transfer fee to the market value of the properties he or she buys.  Singapore tries to curb speculation.
            If Thailand returns to democracy and have political stability, it should be a very attractive country to stay in this region.  Cambodia is actually a destination for roadshow of Thai real estate projects.