1. VTRUST Quarterly Urban home prices getting high faster than incomes(Page 2) VTrust announces owner-manager cooperation approach(Page 2) Condos foreseen to replace apartments (Page 7) Apartments on strong demand though more units added(Page 6) And much more...1 January - 31 March, 2013 Volume 1, Issue 1InterviewMr. Kuy VatCEO at Vtrust Property Co.Ltd, talks over real estate inCambodia
2. coming years,‖ said Chrek Sok-nim, deputy director at VtrustProperty Co. Ltd.Currently, an income ofaround US$1,000 per month isgood enough to secure a bankloan for a house worthUS$40,000 to US$50,000, butit’s going to be a dauntingchallenge finding houses withthose prices by the next 5 to 6years.―People’s incomes aren’t ris-ing quickly enough to race withthe increasing property pricesand inflation,‖ said Soknim.Provision of long term homeloans from commercial banks isa good way to ease the tensionof future home ownership inurban areas, though thesebanks should do more to keepup with the future trend ofproperty prices and incomelevels. (Continue on page 5)By Hoem SeihaExperts say the affordabilityof future home ownershipwill become lower as propertyprices keep increasing, espe-cially in the urban areas.―We think the later genera-tions of middle class or belowwill meet difficulties affordinghomes because property pricesare increasing over the next-Urban home prices getting high faster than incomesment or office building insteadof the owner himself, whomight gain a dividend basedon the amount earned from therents.Chrek Soknim, deputy direc-tor at VTrust Property Co. Ltd.,said this initiative is an innova-tive approach to effectiveproperty (Continue on page 6)By Hoem SeihaAs the real estate’s ser-viced apartment andoffice sector is on the increase,a local player brings up aninnovative plan to expand itsoperation through propertymanagement approach involv-ing cooperation betweenapartment and office buildingowners.The cooperation betweenthe two players means that aproperty company takes overthe management of an apart-VTrust announces owner-manager cooperation approachInside this issue:Demand on Capi-tal’s office spacestill on the rise3Current construc-tion costs low buthigh could it be3Expats’ eyes onCapital’s servicedapartments4Money invested inconstruction rises5Foreign invest-ments in propertysector coming5Apartments onstrong demandthough more units5Construction com-panies increase6Property MarketBriefings6Condos foreseento replace apart-ments, experts say7A relatively luxurious house in a block in Phnom Penh
3. Demand on Capital’s office space still on the risecentral and geographic position ideal formany types of trades, and thereby itdrives the demand of office space.VTrust’s office centers have been almostoccupied, covering 95% of its two officebuildingsReal estate experts say office rentalgrowth in Phnom Penh increased 10% to15% by the end of 2012. And the officemarket itself is slated for 27% increasein supply next year.―Office rents in the Capital is increas-ing gradually after the crisis,‖ said ChrekSoknim, deputy director at VTrust Prop-erty Co. Ltd.Soknim indicates that Grade ―B‖ of-fice, usually priced at $8 to $12 per sqmeter, is most popular with guests fromAsian countries. European guests preferGrade ―A‖ office whose price is $12 persq meter. Local companies afford thelowest priced office with Grade ―C‖.The Post reported that the demand onoffice space is more than the supply, butit doesn’t affect the price of 2012 whencompared to that of 2011.VTrust’s Soknim is optimistic that Cam-bodia will reap the advantages from itsVtrust Quarterly Volume 1, Issue 1Page 3Current construction costs low but high could it beof skilled labors, likely-to-increase oflabor wages at a fast rate could poten-tially result in an increase of these costsAdditional reporting by Hoem SeihaInflation rate does not hit the Kingdom’sconstruction costs, which is 1.36% year-on-year. The inflation rate was projectedat 3.5%, according to the Post.The competitive market conditions barconstruction costs from increasing, despitethe fact that inflation has put much pres-sure on labor costs and other constructionmaterials.The Post said construction costs couldincrease because of some reasons. Lim-ited vocational training offers, shortageVTrust’s Soknim is optimistic that Cam-bodia will reap the advantages from itscentral and geographic position ideal formany types of trades, and thereby itdrives the demand of office space.VTrust’s office centers have been al-most occupied, covering 95% of its twooffice buildingsAdditional reporting by Hoem SeihaReal estate experts say office rentalgrowth in Phnom Penh increased 10% to15% by the end of 2012. And the officemarket itself is slated for 27% increase insupply next year.―Office rents in the Capital is increasinggradually after the crisis,‖ said ChrekSoknim, deputy director at VTrust Proper-ty Co. Ltd.Soknim indicates that Grade ―B‖ office,usually priced at $8 to $12 per sq meter,is most popular with guests from Asiancountries. European guests prefer Grade―A‖ office whose price is higher than $12per sq meter. Local companies afford thelowest priced office with Grade ―C‖.The Post reported that the demand onoffice space is more than the supply, but itdoesn’t affect the price of 2012 whencompared to that of 2011.Current construction costs low but high could it beOverlooking Phnom Penh’s picturesque riverfront,it’s only at Vtrust Apartment - Riverfront.Book now at 012 569 832 or email@example.com
4. Expats’ eyes on Capital’s serviced apartmentsfriends.Unlike what he’s experienced in hisown country where he lives with his fami-ly, he said it’s a good experience of liv-ing in an apartment unit in Phnom Penh.―Whether it’s a short or long term stay,I want an experience where I can stayhappily without having to do chores onmy own,‖ said VercruyssenBy Hoem SeihaAway from his home country, Bel-gium, Michael Vercruyssen hasbeen in Cambodia since early2012. Now he’s living in Phnom Penh,Cambodia, where he works for an ap-praisal firm which is not so far from hisrental accommodation belonging toVtrust Apartment located near O’RusseyMarket.Spending his free time in his servicedapartment unit along with some friends,Vercruyssen, an appraisal specialist, wassitting down on a sofa, enjoying a sportsprogram on CNN. He was having somesoft drinks and snacks while talking oversports with friends. Always having friendreunions at some of the weekends, theseexperiences indicate how he enjoys livingin a serviced apartment.He said if people don’t have much timebecause they usually go for work andcome back with little time to do all thechores, it’s ideal for one to live his life ina serviced apartment.―It’s convenient for me,‖ said Ver-cruyssen. ―When I arrived in this apart-ment, everything was ready for me tostay. I don’t have to do with the prepara-tion or any future maintenance or clean-ing.‖Since Vercruyssen is a single tenant, hestays alone in an apartment unit with abed room and a bathroom but without akitchen. Other apartment units may havemore than 2 bedrooms, more than 2bathrooms, a kitchen and a living roomequipped with full facilities.High security and cleanness are agood benefit of living in a rental servicedapartment. Because Vercruyssen staysalone, he doesn’t cook food for himself.He usually eats out along with otherPage 4Volume 1, Issue 1 Vtrust QuarterlyWhen away from a home country for work in Phnom Penh, an expat usuallyopts for one of the serviced apartments. Perhaps this is not because of itsprice but some of the benefits over renting a rental house, though someexpats say a rental house is much more fun to live in.“Whether it’s a short orlong term stay, I want anexperience where I can stayhappily without having todo chores on my own.”Mr. Michael Vercruyssen in his office Photo: Hoem SeihaVtrust QuarterlyUnderVtrust Property Co. Ltd.Editor-in-ChiefMr. Hoem SeihaReportersSam SopanharithDesigners & PhotographersHoem SeihaDistribution DepartmentMr. Hon MengheangMs. Tek SopheavateyMs. Kan KimlyMr. Neth ChannthoeurnMs. Sarah Marran Garcia
5. Urban home...Vtrust Quarterly Volume 1, Issue 1Page 5Money invested in construction risesstruction projects, according to Lao TipSeiha, deputy general director of con-struction at the Ministry of Land Man-agement, Urban Planning and Construc-tion and an adviser to the Supreme Na-tional Economic CouncilSource: Phnom Penh PostAdditional Reporting by Hoem SeihaThe investment in construction has in-creased largely, driven by an influx ofconstruction projects into the Capital cityand some of the provinces such as PreahSihanouk, Battambang, Kampong Thomand Kandal.The data from the Ministry of LandManagement, Urban Planning and Con-struction shows an increase of 72% in2012, compared to the year before.The total investment of $2.1 billion in2012 consisting of 1,694 constructionpatents covered $6.5 million square me-ters of land, indicates the data.The risen demand for housing, tradingbuildings, offices, hotels, schools, hospi-tals and entertainment centers contrib-utes to the increased investments in con-white-collar workers earn aroundUS$100 to US$1,500 per month, ac-cording to the according to USAID Pro-vincial Investment Profile.Organic inflation that causes commod-ity prices to rise is believed to be one ofthe causes of the increase of propertyprices. An amount believed to afford ahome this year can’t ensure that samehome for the next 5 years.However, So Phonnary, ACLEDA’schief operation officer, said during themedia interview at ACLEDA’s headquar-ter on 8 February that investors aresmart and adaptive to the changingneed of the house buyers.―Though prices of houses could in-crease in the future, some investors al-ways build affordable houses and resi-dential buildings for certain segments ofthe buyers, as already seen in the out-skirts of the Capital, where affordablehouses have been offered to those buy-ers‖ said PhonnaryForeign investments in property sector comingThe data from the Ministry of Com-merce’s information department showsthere are 347 international companiesinvesting in property sector. The biggestnumber of the investing companies arefrom Korea, reaching 107, followed byChinaAdditional Reporting by Hoem SeihaForeign direct investments are now flow-ing into the Kingdom’s property sector,experts said.With confidence in the country’s poten-tial growth within real estate industry,foreign companies, most of which areSouth Korea, China, Singapore, Malaysiaand Japan, have come for these invest-ments, reported the Post.Chrek Sognim, deputy director atVtrust Property Co. Ltd, said the politicalstability and recent growth have assuredand drawn foreign investors into Cambo-dia. According to IMF, Cambodia’s GDPgrowth rate was almost 8% in 2012.“People’s incomesaren’t rising quicklyenough to race withthe increasing propertyprices and inflation.”Based on GDP per capita, Cambodi-ans earn an average amount ofUS$1,000 per year in recent years. Av-erage labor class earns around US$50to US$150 per month, while averageA block of Vtrust’s flats in Chamkar Dong, sold at US$2-0,000-US$40,000 Photo: Hoem Seiha
6. Apartments on strong demand though more units addedServiced apartment space continues itsstatus of strong demand on Phnom Penh’smarket, bolstered by the Kingdom’soverall economic growth in recent years.Local media reported a recent start ofsome additional apartment buildingshasn’t affected a strong demand on ser-viced apartments, indicated by a gradu-al increase of occupancy rate.Chrek Soknim, deputy director atVTrust Property, said, ―The number ofapartments has grown at 180 buildings,‖providing approximately 2,000 units.According to the Post, there is an in-crease of the demand on serviced apart-ments, strongly in Boeng Keng Kang are-asReporting by Hoem SeihaVTrust announces...management for serviced apartment andoffice buildings in the future market.―Property management approach liftsup the burden the building owner has tobear, because we property managerare responsible for the management andoperation costs of the his building,‖ saidSoknim.Soknim explained that if each buildingowner has to operate his own servicedbuilding, the cost of operation will behigh and then the price should be high aswell to settle with all the expenses.―A property manager still has thesame scale of operation costs event if ithas few or many buildings to operate,and the larger the number of the build-ings it has, the lower the spending is andthen the larger the profit margin itgains,‖ he said.This approach is an ideal solution tocost reduction within a serviced apart-ment and office building sector. VTrustProperty announced its cooperation planbetween property owners and VTrustProperty Co. Ltd. lately at the real es-tate workshop conducted at Park Café,Sovanna Outlet.The owner-manager cooperation ap-proach will shed a new light on propertysector in the shorting coming yearsPage 6Volume 1, Issue 1 Vtrust QuarterlyConstruction companies increaseThe growth of the number of constructionand design companies indicates an in-creased demand on property.Lav Tepseiha, deputy director of theconstruction department of the Ministryof Land Management, Urban Planningand Construction, spoke to the Post, ―Theconstruction sector in Cambodia has in-creased every year and it is continuingto boost the Kingdom’s real estate.‖Lav Tepseiha, deputy director of theconstruction department of the Ministryof Land Management, Urban Planningand Construction, spoke to the Post, ―Theconstruction sector in Cambodia has in-creased every year and it is continuingto boost the Kingdom’s real estate.‖The number of registered companiesgrew by 1,205 in 2012, the Post report-ed. There are 932 Cambodian and 273foreign construction and design firms atthe end of 2012, he said.Chrek Soknim, deputy director atVtrust Property, said the demand onproperty market will never decreasebecause, as the economy grows, invest-ments flows into the country and theneed of property will then follow.―The majority of the tenants are for-eign people who come for business inCambodia,‖ said Soknim.Investment projects draw expats toCambodia, leading to a demand onapartments, where the majority of thetenants who stay in are foreign people,representing 90%-95% based on VtrustProperty apartment’s figure, accordingto Vtrust Property’s officialsSource: Phnom Penh PostAdditional reporting by Hoem SeihaApartment - Supply & DemandThanks to the growth of foreign ex-patriates who have come for business inPhnom Penh, the market of grade B andC apartments is on the rise by the firsttrimester of 2013, and thereby it resultsin an increase of apartment supply.This year, the growth of the supply hasreached over 150 apartment buildings,comprising of around 3,000 units. Theongoing apartment projects will be com-plete by 2014, resulting in a supply of41 apartment buildings consisting of1,040 units.The occupancy rate grows well in re-cent years. Vtrust Property, one of theproperty developers, shows that itsapartment occupancy rate has grown at90% - 95% in the first quarter of 2013.Office Space - Supply & DemandThe demand of office space has seena positive growth, mainly driven by theexpansion of businesses that need largerspace for their operations. Foreign man-ufacturing and insurance companies thatusually dominate 50 – 100 square me-ters of office space are coming.There is a high demand on officespace, but the releases of the officebuildings are slow to meet the demand.Additional supply of office spacegrows by 34,000 square meters ofgrand A and 15,000 sq.m of grade B.35%58%7%Supply of Apartments in 2012Grade A Grade B Grade CProperty Market Briefings
7. Office space has been stable since thelast two years. Figures from Vtrust Prop-erty shows the occupancy rate of 95 -100% of its office space covering ap-proximately 30,000 sq. meters, thoughthe nationwide rate is lower than that.The majority of the dominated space isgrade B and C. An estimated 34,200square meters, representing 18% of thetotal office space, is still vacant.Grades - Office SpaceThe improved economic well-being ofthe established business has pushed ademand on higher grade of office spaceto lift up the image of the companies.Some of the businesses have upgradedtheir office from grade C to grade B.Grade-B office rents enjoy its growth of10% annuallySource: Vtrust Property Co Lt.d.Reporting by Hoem SeihaCondos foreseen to replace apartments, experts sayBy Sam SopanharithThe boom in blocks of flats has stillinfluenced urban residents’ way ofsettling down. But the trend is start-ing to change gradually, though to asmall extent, from living in blocks of flatsto apartment buildings. And apartmentbuildings, then, are believed to be con-verted into to condominiums over thenext ten years.―Until now, you’ve seen people devel-oped blocks of flats for sales and rents,but for now you start to see a growth ofapartments available for sales and rentstoo, and this change doesn’t end at themoment,‖ said Chrek Soknim, deputydirector at Vtrust Property Co., Ltd.Soknim also said the trend towardscondos is a result of the gradually-increasing prices of land over the comingyears.Apartment buildings are usually small-er and with fewer units than are condos,which could be types of high-rise build-ings.―For a good return on investment, apiece of land that can host a 20-storycondo will make only meager profit ifthe land is used for a 5-story apartmentbuilding,‖ said Soknim.The management cost is another factorcontributing to the changing trend ofapartment buildings to condos. Running aserviced apartment might cost as much asrunning a condo, he said.Cheng Kheng, president of Cambodi-an Valuers and Estate Agent Association(CVEA), explained that the future trendof condo investments is driven by chang-ing lifestyles of the Kingdom’s popula-tion.―The growth of the Capital’s popula-tion and incoming foreign visitors thatseek high-class accommodations is one ofthe driving force behind the changingtrend,‖ he said.Not far ahead, the Kingdom is tryingto standardize its hospitality and accom-modation services in preparation for up-coming ASEAN Integration that pulls for-eign investors and expats to come intothe country.Today in Phnom Penh, there are morethan 300 apartments and condos, bothof which are complete and under con-struction. Most of the tenants are foreign-ers, and the number of national tenantsbegins to increase gradually, accordingto CVEA.Additional reporting by Hoem SeihaVolume 1, Issue 1 Vtrust QuarterlyPage 7
8. 1 King-Size Bedrooms: $400 - $500, ex. VAT A king-size bedroom, a kitchen, a bathroom, a dining room,a balcony Riverside & skyline view, opposite the riverfront Cable TV, cleaning, Internet, parking, maintenance, 24hsecurity and reception services Book now at 012 569 832 or mail firstname.lastname@example.orgVtrust Apartment III - Riverfront for Rents2 King-Size Bedrooms: $850, excluding VAT 2 king-size bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, 2 bathrooms Some-minute walk from O’Russey Market and Olympic Sta-dium and few minute walk from German & Cuba Embassies Pollution-Free Cable TV, cleaning, Internet, parking, maintenance, 24hsecurity and reception services Book now at 012 569 832 or mail email@example.com Bedrooms with double beds: $850, excluding VAT 2 very neat and tidy bedrooms with double-beds, 1st floor A study (writing desk with reading lamp) in each room Fantastic modern kitchen Good sized modern bathroom Air conditionings, televisions, refrigerator, washing ma-chine, long fans Book now at 012 569 832 or mail firstname.lastname@example.orgLooking for an office?Check our premium office centers at ParkwaySquare or Vtrust Office Center (MTP)Call at 012-569-832 or mail email@example.com for more information.Vtrust Apartment IV - Pasteur Street (BKK1) for RentsVtrust Office - Parkway Square & Vtrust Office Center
9. 2 Bedroom Apartment: $700 - $850, ex. VAT Two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, 2 bathrooms, otherfurniture Some-minute walk from O’Russey Market and Olympic Sta-dium and few minute walk from German & Cuba Embassies Nice city view Cable TV, cleaning, Internet, parking, maintenance, 24hsecurity and reception services Book now at 012 569 832 or mail firstname.lastname@example.orgVtrust Apartment II - O’Russey for RentsStudio Room: $275, excluding VAT Double beds, 1 bathroom Some-minute walk from O’Russey Market and Olympic Sta-dium and few minute walk from German & Cuba Embassies Nice city view Cable TV, cleaning, Internet, parking, maintenance, 24hsecurity and reception services Book now at 012 569 832 or mail email@example.comSingle Bedroom Apartment: $620 - $670, ex. VAT 1 bedroom, living room, 1 bathroom, a kitchen & diningroom, balcony, other furniture Some-minute walk from O’Russey Market and Olympic Sta-dium and few minute walk from German & Cuba Embassies Nice city view Cable TV, cleaning, Internet, parking, maintenance, 24hsecurity and reception services Book now at 012 569 832 or mail firstname.lastname@example.org Bedroom Apartment: $800 - $1,000, ex. VAT 2 nice bedrooms with double beds, a kitchen, modern-sizebathrooms, a study, full facilities & furniture Some-minute walk from O’Russey Market and Olympic Sta-dium and few minute walk from German & Cuba Embassies Cable TV, cleaning, Internet, parking, maintenance, 24h se-curity and reception services Book now at 012 569 832 or mail email@example.comDisclaimerVtrust Property Co., Ltd. informs that some of the information, including some of the figures, statistics and opinions, is that ex-pressed by the authors of this publication and does not reflect Vtrust’s points of view. Therefore, Vtrust does not guarantee orbear any responsibility for any failure due to the information contained herein.
10. Interview with Mr. Kuy Vat, Vtrust Property’s CEO, talking over real estate industryVolume 1, Issue 1 Vtrust Quarterly Page 10number of foreign investments are com-ing in, and ASEAN integration is anotherdriver to pull in many foreign investmentprojects. Secondly, the recent improve-ments in policies of extended-lengthhousing loans—15 to 20 years—andforeign housing ownerships have enabledmiddle-class buyers to own separatehouses and appartments, resulting in anincrease of the apartment demand.It is said local investors gain a bigshare of the country’s real estate mar-ket. Could you explain how this sec-toral market is?First, the scale is large for local market—but never comparable to that of a devel-oped country. Another reason, local in-vestors have an advantage over the for-eign ones. That said, the economic crisishas pulled back large foreign companiesfrom staying in Cambodia, and that wasthe opportunity for local investors to de-velop and expand themselves in term ofproperty management and development.For these matters, after the absence ofinfluential foreign investors, local realestate leaders had an opportunity togrow and prepare themselves for thecompetition with foreign investors as well.Today, foreign investors have recentlycome while also been developing theirconstruction projects such as condo-miniums and some other big apartmentcomplex. Do you think they are com-peting with local investors?After the market became stable, theystarted to come, yes. However, becauseof the increased influence of local com-panies, some of foreign property inves-tors don’t have much voice in the market.Clients are now more confident with thelocal companies, seeing the resiliencefollowing the crisis. In the future, howev-er, we can’t predict how the competitionWhat can be said about the current situ-ation of real estate sector in Cambo-dia?The overall real estate sector has seen asign of recovery—the prices of apart-ments and office spaces both in the prov-inces and the bustling city now haveclimbed by 15% to 20%. Down duringthe economic crisis, it’s started to recoversince early 2010, especially from thebustling urban areas. The growth rate ofthe real estate sector is estimated by10% to 15%. The recovery is driven by aflow of foreign investments thanks to theavailability of stock market.What do you see about the near futureof real estate industry?The future is good. The market demandon real estate services—property man-agement, development, evaluations andother related services—is increasing rest-lessly, as the growing patterns learntfrom other countries have shown. The rea-son for the increased demand is that aThe so-called property bubble has long gone, followed by a more stableoverall real estate market since 2011. Once down at 30% to 40% inPhnom Penh, now the prices of property market have climbed up the risingline at well over 15%. Real estate sector has recently come back, thoughslowly. Apartment and office realty has been almost occupied, with a rateof well over 95% for office realty. For deepening into the insights into realestate industry, Entrepreneur Consulting’s executive director Hoem Seihasat down real estate enterprise leader Mr. Kuy Vat, chief executive officerat VTrust Property, a subsidiary of VTrust Group, for a talk over theindustry. VTrust Properties provides property management and appraisalservices, in addition to apartment and office services.
11. good opportunity to grow strong togeth-er.For VTrust Group, do you have anydevelopment or expansion plan forreal estate sector?For three years, we have achieved ouroccupancy rate of around 95%, some-times 100% for our serviced apartmentsand office spaces. Seeing the increaseddemand and flow of foreign investments,we’ve added a separated appraisaldepartment to our VTrust Property Man-agement and we also plan to add prop-erty development and property agencyin the future.Lastly, do you think there is still aspace for new startups in real estatesector?More space, yes. However, they shouldlearn a lot about real estate from expe-rienced real estate enterprise leadersbefore starting a new venture becausethe current startup settings will be differ-ent from those in the last few yearswill be, and unless we prepare ourselvesfrom now, foreign investors will come andtake over our market—like that of 2007.It is said that the price hikes before thecrisis affected real estate sector andother supporting industries. What doyou think about effects of the unregu-lated price hikes of property on Cambo-dia’s economy?Poor management in property sectorleads to overprices of property, whichaffects one country’s economy. When theprice of property—land and building—istoo high, investors will be overwhelmedand turn their investment plans away.That will ultimately result in economicstagnancy.Between office realty and apartmentmarket, which one is now growingstronger?Both are growing strong. When peoplecome to work or invest in the country,they need offices and also accommoda-tions. It automatically drives the two sub-sectors.What and how should local companiesprepare themselves for the ASEAN eco-nomic setting when integration allowseasy access to foreign investments?It has to be advantages and disad-vantages for the local business ownerswhen foreigners come for real estateinvestments. If we aren’t well-prepared,foreign investors who look to invest inreal estate sector can’t partner with us. Ifwe can’t work as a partner, therefore,we will work on our own projects andthey will work on theirs. The market willbe narrow and competition among eachother will become stiff. If foreign inves-tors do alone, the rate of failures is highdue to the lack of knowledge in Cambo-dia’s market. If we partner, we have aPage 11 Vtrust Quarterly Volume 1, Issue 1The only company to berecognized by Securitiesand Exchange Commissionof Cambodia (SECC) toevaluate companies forIPO purposes.
12. VTRUST Office Center (MTP)#10 St.109, across from Thvay Dongkom Pagoda and behind Council of MinistersPhone: +855 (0) 23 224 701 | +855 (0) 12 569 832 | Fax +855-23224 701Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: www.vtrustproperty.com