Phnom Penh’s high-end condominium prices fell 9.1 percent in the second quarter, according to a CBRE survey. Affordable condo prices were down by 4.9 percent. CBRE doesn’t break out monthly price moves. It will release its July to September survey next month.
Condominium prices are rising in Vietnam’s biggest city despite rising Coronavirus deaths and a city-wide lockdown. In the world’s most vaccinated city per capita, Phnom Penh, condo prices look set to continue falling because locals lack the spending power of their Vietnamese neighbours.
In Ho Chih Minh City (HCMC), which is home to 3.4 million people, prices rose by 9 percent last month, compared with a year earlier, according to local listing website Batdongsan.com
HCMC has been locked down for more than 100 days with residents ordered to stay home unless absolutely necessary. A maximum of two people are allowed to meet in public. In spite of the lockdown, the city’s fatality rate from Covid-19 was 3.69 percent on Saturday, compared with a national death rate of 2.49 percent and Cambodia’s 2.59 percent national fatality rate. The figures were compiled by Our World in Data and Nikkei Asia.
Batdongsan says the reason for the rise in HCMC apartment prices is tight demand even as fewer people shop online for homes. Condo searches on its website fell 23 percent last month compared with August 2020.
Batdongsan Regional Director Dinh Minh Tuan is still optimistic that sales will rise when Delta cases drop.
“Despite the economic difficulties caused by the Covid-19 epidemic, the demand for housing is still high. The more the epidemic, the more people want to own a safe, private home,” Dinh said.
“In recent months, due to social distancing, cash did not directly flow into real estate but focused on securities. However, the phenomenon of selling off real estate has not occurred especially in areas adjacent to Ho Chi Minh City. This shows that many investors still keep their money and wait for opportunities to buy real estate after the pandemic,” he said.
In Cambodia’s capital, home to 2.1 million people, prices are not reaching the heights of its Vietnamese neighbour. Few locals and expats are testing the real estate waters even though Phnom Penh is the most vaccinated capital city in the world per capita. Around 99 percent of adults have received two jabs and some have been given a booster of a different vaccine.
The managing director of estate agency CBRE Cambodia says one reason for rising prices in HCMC is that locals have more to spend than Phnom Penh buyers.
“In Vietnam, the domestic audience for real estate investments has been growing rapidly, whereas in Cambodia, while the domestic market is growing, it still remains small, especially for high-rise residential,” James Hodge said.
“The purchasing power of the average Vietnamese buyer is larger than in Cambodia, meaning that a broader proportion of the population can afford to invest in real estate. In addition, Vietnam’s economic performance remains strong and their real estate market is more developed. These factors act to hold up demand from foreign buyers, whereas in Cambodia we are at an earlier stage of economic and real estate market development,” he said.