The Definitive Guide to Moving to SouthEast Asia: Cambodia

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It skipped the Asian Financial Crisis of the s, ignored the tech-bubble of the early s, and even outgrew the recent Financial Crisis.

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The reason is because Cambodia, like many frontier markets, is less correlated with the global economy. Almost every country is dependent on others in the 21 st Century.

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If China, the US, or Europe gets sick, the rest of the world will too. Cambodia is under the radar of most investors yet this is quickly changing. Manufacturing is also growing at an impressive level — especially due to the lower cost of labor compared to China, which is becoming too expensive for industry.

But a problem exists: well-paid expats, often making six-figure salaries from international firms, have issues finding apartments that meet their standards. These second-tier cities see practically zero foreign investment activity — it will inevitably arrive over the next decade though. First movers are always in the best location. Either way, Cambodia is one of the most exciting and undiscovered places in Asia for property investment.

Cambodia not only allows foreign investment but encourages it arguably more than anywhere else in Southeast Asia. Living in Cambodia with a long term visa is simple and cost-effective. For real estate buyers, foreigners can own strata titles for condominium units directly in their own name. But strata titles are not available for land or shophouse apartments.

The general consensus is that new condominium buildings are overpriced. You can often find the best deals in older shophouse apartments left over from colonial times. Plots of land with development potential are also promising for active investors. You must either set up a nominee agreement, enforced by several different types of contracts, with a Cambodian citizen or form a Cambodia land holding company. A land holding company is more legally secure, but requires annual licensing fees and monthly tax filing.

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Both give you legal freehold status and must be owned by either a Cambodian person or Cambodian company. Soft titles are instead registered through the local government. Soft titles are, at least in theory, not as ironclad as hard titles. Soft titles are solid enough that practically any local bank will accept one as collateral for a secured loan.

Most Cambodians even prefer soft title property because the transfer fees are a lot lower. Not only that, but the local government takes far less time for processing compared to the national government. With that said, proper due diligence is a good idea. Real estate investors will often hire a lawyer to speak with the neighbors, look through the land registry, and make sure the seller of a soft title property is indeed the true owner and has no encumbrances.

The program finances a comprehensive, fully-digital land registry across the nation. Slowly yet surely, all land in Cambodia will be converted from a soft title to a recognized hard title through this initiative. They would find out otherwise if asking local experts and checking what banks accept as collateral. Annual property taxes are 0. Various deductions may apply and can bring rates down significantly.

Land purchases should be immediately developed and used to generate income as quickly as possible.

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In a word, yes. Foreigners enjoy freehold ownership and total control over their properties if things are done correctly. This can be easily avoided with proper due diligence. That would require help from an attorney. Cambodia is a fairly small nation with a population of just over 15 million. With that said, they have plenty of cities that, each for their own reason, are great places to buy real estate. Others like Sihanoukville and Siem Reap attract investors because of their their rapid growth in tourist arrivals. A lot less activity from foreign investors happens in those cities.

But they arguably have more to gain from an economic boom than anywhere else in the country. For the most part, anything of business or political importance at all happens in Phnom Penh. Longtime travelers and residents of Southeast Asia would tell you Phnom Penh is reminiscent of Bangkok about 30 years ago. Nowadays, Bangkok is a modern metropolis of 16 million inhabitants, a regional business hub, and the most visited city by tourists in the whole world. Smart investors should take that as a cue. That aside, Phnom Penh has much to offer any visitor — from highly authentic French cuisine to its casinos and street markets.

Daun Penh is the most centrally-located district of Phnom Penh. Of course, real estate values are still a fraction of riverside apartments in Bangkok or Saigon. They have potential to be resold at a premium to large developers in the future. Even hotel brands like Shangri-La, scheduled to open in , are currently moving into this part of town and benefiting from the tourist boom.

West of both Daun Penh and Chamkar Mon, further away from the riverside, 7 Makara is not as central nor as pricey as either. Numerous cafes are already starting to pop up. You could easily see why 7 Makara will probably get swallowed up by the city center during the next decade. There's a problem loading this menu at the moment. Amazon Best Sellers Our most popular products based on sales. Updated hourly.

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