Property investors with inside information may have bought up land across the Mekong River in Kandal province before the announcement of new bridges, a real estate agent claims.
Land in areas like Akrei Khsatr commune in Kandal’s Lvea Em district is set to become more valuable after this week’s announcement that the government has approved construction of two new bridges from the Chroy Changvar peninsula and Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov district. Access currently is only by ferry.
However, Kim Heang, president of Khmer Real Estate said property prices in the commune spiked amid a flurry of sales before the announcement.
“Rich people with information about the bridges’ construction have been buying up land in Kandal’s Akrei Khsat commune, across the Mekong … for the past three years,” said Kim Heang, president of Khmer Real Estate. “But lots more have been buying land there since February, March and April.
“They bought the land because they all know about the bridge construction,” he added.
According to a June 3 permission letter from the Council of Ministers released on Monday, the contract for the bridges’ construction went to the Chinese state-owned China Road and Bridge Corporation.
Van Chanthorn, managing director of Town City Real Estate, said property transactions in the commune, which is across the Mekong River from central Phnom Penh, had undergone a big increase since June. Land prices were up between 25 to 30 per cent compared with a year ago, he added.
“The area would have a lot of potential if they built a bridge from Chroy Changvar to the Akrei Khsat area – it would boost land prices, as the geography is comparable to the Chroy Changvar area,” he said. Chanthorn said he couldn’t comment on whether the buyers had inside information.
He said riverfront property now went for up to $250 per square metre.
However, Sorn Seap, director of Key Real Estate, said he had not seen any significant increase in land prices in the area. “If there is a bridge to the area, the prices will go four or five times up compared with the present day,” he said.