Areyksat cools down on bridge construction gridlock

Source: The Phnom Penh Post / Thu, 24 March 2016 by

2-areyksat-ferry

Without bridges, the land in Areyksat is only accessible by ferry. Moeun Nhean

Investment activity and land prices have cooled in the Areyksat area of Lvea Em district in Kandal province as two bridge projects face uncertainties, according to ministry officials and real estate insiders.

Va Seomsorya, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, said that the two bridge projects – planned as a connection between Chroy Changvar to Svay Jrom, and Kdey Takoy to Areyksat – have not yet had their exact timelines confirmed.

According to Seomsorya, the Chinese company undertaking these bridge projects is still conducting further feasibility studies of the region.

“The funding is sourced from a Chinese grant so the Chinese are the researchers and evaluators of these plans,” he said, while also noting that the amount of funds needed for the projects has not been finalised either.

“From my perspective, these plans are not easy to implement because they require consent from the government.”

On land prices, Chrek Soknim, CEO of Century 21 Mekong, said that Areyksat’s popularity had receded as there are no longer any mass land transactions, and only tiny plots of land are being sold presently.

“This region is no longer popping like it once was [back] in 2014 and 2015 when the government first declared a bridge project into it,” Soknim said, adding that land prices along the riverside average from $80 to $120 per square metre, while inner land plots range from $20 to $30 per square metre.

Asia Real Estate’s general manager, Po Eavkong, said that if the bridges’ plans remain uncertain for the next couple of years, local landowners would want to decrease the price of their land, as opposed to the longer-term property investors, who are not in need of funds.

“Previous talks about the bridges’ plans were rumours meant to create a more favourable condition to sell land, and this resulted in the doubling of the land prices of the area,” he said.

He added that the potential of Areyksat depends solely on the government’s development scheme.

Lyly, who owns a plot of land in Areyksat, said she had purchased the land a while back when it was much cheaper, but had recently increased the price in accordance to the general soaring of the area’s land prices.

She affirmed that transactions of land in the area have now halted because the bridges’ schemes are still in limbo, saying, “I am now deciding whether to keep the land or sell it, but [real estate] experts are saying that I should not do so if I don’t need money now.”

“In the long run, investment in this area is profitable, but for now it remains very quiet,” said Soknim.

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