The Future of Phnom Penh: Southern Districts & Beyond
In this major new report from CBRE Cambodia, our research and consulting team consider the future of Phnom Penh, zeroing in on the southern districts & beyond as holding huge potential as the path of the city’s future growth.
Interest in the southern regions of Phnom Penh has accelerated markedly during the last five years following the announcement of Hun Sen Boulevard, setting off a spate of speculation across Southern Phnom Penh.
Through a combination of rising infrastructure development and a relative abundance of affordable land, the area is rapidly positioning itself to become the preeminent location for future growth for all property segments.
This trend is set to continue following the Cambodian Government’s decision to construct a new international airport to the south of the city, driving further activity southward.
This area of the city is well-positioned to capture a large percentage of future development, fueled by this infrastructure investment, several new urban areas and nascent industrial activity.
In the transformation of Southern Phnom Penh, the private sector has the chance to effectively transform the development trajectory of the entire city, and in turn the nation of Cambodia. This report seeks to define the geographic area that is “Southern Phnom Penh”, set out the current situation, ongoing trends and present a forecast of the future.
Defining the South:
Southern Phnom Penh consists of parts of the Capital’s most southern districts namely Dangkao and Mean Chey. Beyond this, the report covers the territory of Kandal province which consists of Takhamo City, Kandal Steung District and Saang District. In recent years, these localities have witnessed rapid development and steady population growth combined with major investment in infrastructure. These trends combined are positioning this area to be the country’s new economic corridor, encompassing future residential, commercial and industrial activity.
Land & Infrastructure:
Land values in Southern Phnom Penh began to pick up pace in 2011 after the announced construction of Hun Sen Boulevard.
Within Phnom Penh’s formal boundaries, speculation on land values in outskirt districts began to take hold in the 2010s, after larger Borey (landed property) projects started to reach completion.
This increasing cost has made sourcing affordable land difficult for developers within close proximity to the CBD. Due to this price trend, areas in the center or fringe of the city have begun to witness increasing project density.
Responding to these pressures, developers and speculative land buyers have begun to look to greener pastures towards the south, where large amounts of land remain at a more attainable price point.
The move south is being assisted by infrastructure, which brings the combined effect of lower travel times, increased accessibility – making development sites more valuable, and suitable for an array of uses.
Infrastructure is turning what a few years ago were lakes and rice paddies, into residential, commercial, industrial and logistics real estate.
A key consideration for all stakeholders moving forward will be the potential benefits and challenges presented by urban planning policy. Whether the value-add of clearly defined zoning policy to help avoid the problems of urban sprawl to the constraints created for developers by potential green belts as the city would become denser and, consequently, land values rise.
It is equally important to consider the long-term costs of not properly addressing and enforcing such policy; good planning represents the foundation for sustainable urban development, which in turn attracts residents and investors that add value to cities.
Cities with high supply of land, low regulations, cheap finance and no barriers for developers, often end up in a situation in which no project is safe from competition. What is to stop a competitor building a higher or better project on a site adjacent, potentially devaluing your own property. Fundamentally, only one of the two projects can “win” – as such, good regulations protect property value.
The full report, The Future of Phnom Penh: Southern Districts & Beyond covers a wide array of sectors and takes an in-depth look at key factors likely to shape the city’s growth into the future.