• Buying Property in Siem Reap: The Ultimate Guide

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    Siem Reap is the gateway to one of the most visited ancient temples in the world, Angkor Vat.

    Following the increased amount of tourists visiting Siem Reap, both locals and foreigners want to grab a share of the real estate market.

    Not only will you find opportunities to buy residential property, it’s getting increasingly popular to buy hotels and restaurants as well.

    In this article, I explain the basics you need to know if you plan to buy property in Siem Reap.

    Siem Reap real estate market

    Compared to its rival Sihanoukville that gets income from other industries than tourism, like manufacturing and fisheries, Siem Reap’s economy relies heavily on tourism. In fact, it’s said that 50% of the Cambodians who live in Siem Reap work in tourism.

    Just look at these numbers:

    The tourism has increased massively in Cambodia the past years and more than 5 million people visit the country yearly. Siem Reap receive more than 2 million tourists each year, making a great contribution.

    I think we can agree that these numbers speak for themselves.

    As one of the most visited cities in the world, especially from countries like China, Korea and Vietnam, tourism grow by 10% on average annually.

    The Chinese flood Siem Reap’s property market

    The tourism from China grows by around 25%. The same as it goes in Sihanoukville, the Chinese invest heavily in Siem Reap, something you can gain from.

    The number of business travelers increases even more on a percentage basis in Cambodia, but most of them go to the capital, Phnom Penh.

    So: with a tourist boom, making Siem Reap one of the most visited city in the world, it’s not strange why the condo, hotel and restaurant market have boomed.

    When I was working in China, I often heard about American and European colleagues telling about their holiday plans, going to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat, places you simply should have seen.

    Locals help to drive up the demand for property

    As one of the biggest cities in Cambodia, you should also keep in mind that many locals move to Siem Reap looking for opportunities.

    The tourism boom helps to create jobs in both tourism, infrastructure, construction and other service sectors.

    The combination of middle class and wealthy locals and foreigners investing in Siem Reap has helped to increase the demand for property.

    Property prices

    Both Siem Reap and Sihanoukville has seen a stagnation in property prices and it might continue like this for a while.

    But with a rapidly growing economy, Cambodia is predicted to perform well over the long term.

    Where should I buy property in Siem Reap?

    Even if Siem Reap is a fairly small city, it’s important that you get some guidance when choosing your location.

    Some of the most popular areas where foreigners buy property are:

    Most attractions are found in these areas and many tourists go here.

    Buying a condo in Siem Reap

    If you want a hustle free procurement, but not expect great yields, a condo is probably your best choice.

    In fact, you can own a condo in your own name as a foreigner in Cambodia (not including the bottom floor in a building), making condos one of the most sought after options.

    In Cambodia, 70% of all units in a condo can be owned by foreigners, a bit more generous compared to for example Thailand or the Philippines.

    Condos are easy to maintain, usually have great amenities like pool areas and gyms, 24/7 security and are easy to rent out. Reselling one can be a bit more difficult though, as many people prefer to buy off-plan and new condos.

    However, compared to Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, you can’t find many condos in Siem Reap unfortunately.

    A more common option is to buy a landed house or apartments (more about foreign ownership regulations on these property types later in this article).

    Buying land in Siem Reap

    Due to the increased amount of investment and tourists, many foreigners want to buy land in Siem Reap.

    Prices differ much depending on where you buy, land in popular areas cost USD 2000 – 2500 per square meter, but land at smaller roads in the city will cost you 5-10% of that price.

    Locals have complained that areas around smaller roads are sometimes not maintained well though and lack clean water.

    Be sure to visit the area in person before you decide to buy any land to reduce risks.

    Foreign ownership of property in Cambodia

    Buying land is not as easy as buying a condo, the reason is that you can’t own land as a foreigner.

    As I’ve written in my separate guide, explaining how foreigners can buy property in Cambodia, you can read more about the different options how you can buy land.

    There are four different ways:

    • Buying land through a Cambodian company (common)
    • By setting up a leasehold agreement over 50 years (common)
    • Buying land by obtaining Cambodian citizenship (difficult)
    • Buying land through a Cambodian nominee (difficult and risky)

    Real estate agents

    It’s important that you find a reliable real estate agent who knows the local market well. Some of the most popular real estate agents in Siem Reap are:

    • Realestate.com.kh
    • Camuk-realestate.com
    • Ips-cambodia.com
    • Angkorrealestate.com

    Property solicitors in Siem Reap

    There aren’t many property solicitors available in Siem Reap, it’s not strange as the city is way smaller compared to the capital, Phnom Penh.

    As I’m writing this article about Siem Reap, I’ll only list two of the most popular property solicitors located here:

    • Siem Reap International Law Office
    • Siem Real For Sale

    Conclusion

    Siem Reap has grown much the past years, it’s not strange with its proximity to the ruins of Angkor Vat. Hotels and restaurants are popping up here and there and many Chinese are flooding the market.

    Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find many condos in Siem Reap, landed properties are more common whatsoever.

    Property and land prices differ much depending on where you want to buy and stretch from USD 100 up to USD 2500 on average.

    If you want to know more about how you can buy property in Siem Reap, I recommend you to read the complete article.

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