Recapturing Vann Molyvann one model at a time

Rebecca Heliot

After five years of collecting dust in storage, little models of famous Cambodian architecture under glass boxes stand scattered across Sa Sa Bassac’s studio, while students work on recreating even bigger models of iconic buildings on nearby desks.

The Vann Molyvann Project 2015 has begun its latest project, including both American and Cambodian students, fellows and architects who will occupy Sa Sa Bassac over the summer as their workshop and gallery to recreate Vann Molyvann’s Olympic Stadium. Their work will also build models of three other buildings from Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville that the famed architect designed.

The students participating in the project come from four different schools: Phnom Penh’s Royal University of Fine Arts and Norton University, New York’s Parsons The New School for Design and Melbourne’s University of Melbourne.

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Malaysian development seeks Cambodian investors

Sum Manet and Julius Thiemann

For the first time a Malaysian based real estate developer will presale residential property to Cambodian investors. According to Thida Ann, Senior Associate Director of CBRE Cambodia, the presale of foreign residential property is just the logical consequence in a general development asset diversification.

“We are seeing a rising trend of cross country investment within ASEAN and investors in the region are interested in every strong market,” she said.

Damansara City (DC), a luxury Malaysian property project developed GuocoLand, a Singaporean listed property development company, will be made available for Cambodian investors in a pre launch sale starting on June 27. The development, worth $700 million is scheduled to go online in 2016.

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ANZ backs manufacturing to move up the value chain

As Mekong Basin economies increasingly move into to higher-skilled production, Cambodia also looks set to step up the value chain as long as its government sustains the effort, according to ANZ’s latest Mekong Quarterly Outlook.

The report said that Asian countries have traditionally “cascaded up” value chains, with poorer nations in the region attracting low-skilled industries such as garments which have been driven out by higher wages in other countries.

While Cambodia’s economy has benefited from the migration of garment factories from places like Thailand, the Kingdom’s comparative advantage of cheap labour has not changed much over the past decade, according to the report.

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Ministries need to pull together on skills gap

The Ministry of Economy and Finance is urging ministries to avoid overlapping each other’s programs when it comes to tackling the Kingdom’s long-lamented human resource skills gap.

A workshop was held yesterday between the Finance Ministry, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Labour, the private sector and development partners aimed at increasing the efficiency of vocational training programs that support Cambodia’s planned shift to an industry-based economy.

“This requires specific policies, clear goals and principles, and clear priorities in who receives more funding [for the budget next year],” said Vongsei Visoth, secretary of state at the Finance Ministry.

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Singapore developer launches camhomes to offer quality affordable housing in cambodia

Phnom Penh, 18 June – Leading Singaporean developer HLH Group Ltd announced its entry into the Cambodian property market today with the launch of CAMHOMES, a property development firm that will provide high-quality, affordable homes in premium locations across the country.

The Camhomes brand is a subsidiary of Public Housing Development (Cambodia) Ltd, which is part of the HLH Group Ltd. The group has been building homes in Singapore since 1988, and listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange in 2000. HLH has completed a number of major residential, commercial and industrial developments in the island city-state, including numerous public housing units.

Cambodia’s property sector is booming and new buildings are springing up all over the country. However, most existing developments focus on the high-end, luxury market with very little on offer for middle-income buyers. As a result, many young Cambodians are finding it difficult to take their first steps on the property ladder.

With a focus on developing quality housing for the middle-income market, Camhomes will offer Cambodian families the chance to get involved and own a home at one of their upcoming developments in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and in other major cities.

The developments are modelled on Singapore’s public housing system and will utilize the ‘Build-to-Order’ sales policy, where prospective buyers register their interest in advance. This means properties do not lie empty after they are built, reducing waste and cutting costs. In Singapore, official statistics show that more than 80 percent of residents live in apartments of this type.

“We want to offer quality, affordable housing for young Cambodian professionals and families with big dreams and a mid-range income,” said Dato Dr Johnny Ong, founder and CEO of HLH Group.

Camhomes are looking to make it easier for young, professional families to achieve their dream of owning a home through a range of attractive financing options.

“We’ve been building these type of homes for Singaporean families for over 25 years. We hope this business model will work very well in the Cambodian market and will help young Cambodians realise their dreams of home ownership,” said Dato Dr Johnny Ong.


Airport area is turning into residential and business hub

Rapid developments in greater Phnom Penh paved the way for new residential hubs on the outskirts of the city, especially the area around the Phnom Penh International Airport.

The expansion of the airport, Lion City and the Parkson Mall development is turning the area into a residential and commercial hub, while the area gets ready for investment. The successful Nord Anglia’s Northbridge school along the Road 2004, Axis Residences and The Orchid Villa The Grand near the airport continue to grow due to the steady flow of new residents and investors.

The rising developments and investments help change the city’s skyline through means of an improving infrasturture system, said Ann Thida, Senior Associate Director at CBRE.

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FDI survey may lead to new property regulations

Cambodia’s property sector continues to grow, offering both opportunities and challenges for both foreign and local investors. Meanwhile, ahead of the ASEAN Integration, a wider access to transparent information about the FDI fuelling the sector could lead to the adoption of stronger regulatory principles and standardized practices that could benefit the industry and attract more investment, experts said.

Therefore, last week, the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) announced that it would launch a detailed survey—set to be completed by the end of September—of foreign investors operating in the Kingdom to understand the benefits investment brings to the local economy and promote informed policy making decisions. Many see this measure as potentially paving the way to encourage more investment.

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ost Property Inside Business – ‘Buy from China, fabricate in Cambdoia’

Recently Post Property started investigating how much of Cambodia’s construction industry was substituting imports for locally produced materials, and if there was a trend towards industrialization beyond brick production (Post Property reported last week).

In an email, ANZ Royal CEO Grant Knuckey, told Post Property: “From our perspective [of] construction materials, importation has remained strong and substitution isn’t significantly evident outside of perhaps cement.”

Nevertheless, with an expanding real estate and property market, a transition should kick in at some point.


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PP land prices on the rise

As Cambodia moves forward with its economy and prepares for the ASEAN integreation, land prices in Phnom Penh are rising.

Phnom Penh land prices increased between 10 to 30 per cent depending on whether the area was an economically active location, a residential area or an industrial area, according to a recent study from World Trust Estate for the first quarter of 2015.

The following price estimates are based on square meters shown by the study for the first quarter of 2015.

Commercial land along the main road in Chomkar Mon district increased to $3500 -$8000 from $3500-$5500 last year, while the sub roads

increased to $2800-$4000 from $2500-$3000.

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