Cambodia opens to foreigners
Foreigners may be able to purchase property in Cambodia for the first time following the proposal of new legislation by the country’s Government – but they will still be limited to apartments, houses and condominiums above the second floor…
Currently, international investors are not allowed to own land or homes in Cambodia – a limitation that is seen by some locals as a good thing, preventing speculation and price volatility.
Back in 2005, the Government amended an investment law to allow foreign ownership of buildings, but the Cambodian property market was then experiencing one of the biggest booms in Asia and, as a result, the law was never put into practice.
Between 2005 and 2007, the property markets in major hubs such as Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, skyrocketed, with prices rising by as much as 40 per cent.
But now, with the economy and property market suffering in the downturn, the foreign investment law has reared its head again.
If passed, it could pave the way for foreign ownership of houses, apartments and condominiums from the second floor up for resale. Foreigners would also be able to inherit property.
The Minister of land management, urban planning and construction Im Chhun Lim said, “We want this law to be passed as quickly as possible, but we need input from the private sector, so we have passed it on for feedback.
“The discussion with the private sector will focus on how many units and how much of the building can be bought, as well as which floors they can purchase,” he added.
The Cambodian Government is keen to pass the new law as they hope it will revitalize the country’s housing market and economy and prevent the market from sliding further.
It is also hoped that the laws will enhance foreign consumer confidence in the undeveloped property market.
As there is some local opposition to the ownership of land by foreigners, the Government is planning to specify a zone near international borders in which foreigners would not be able to buy property, which would prevent foreign ownership of property in disputed areas.
For more information on properties in Cambodia and the property market in general, please visit http://cambodia.themovechannel.com/
Notes to editors:
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