Sihanoukville, a coastal town in Cambodia that has become known as a hub for Chinese investment, has seen it house rental prices fall dramatically following a ban on online gambling in the country.
Speaking to Khmer Times, Sorn Seap, CEO of Key Real Estate said that before the ban, the rental price for a flat house was around $8,000 to $16,000 per month. This has now slumped to $2,000 to $6,000 per month.
According to a CBRE report, land values have also staggered, falling 10 to 30 percent in the wake of the online gaming ban.
“Land prices in Sihanoukville City, one of the most favored destinations for investment in Cambodia … have had a high increase in recent years. So, it is impossible that the price will go up further – they are stagnant,” said Chrek Soknim, president of Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association (CVEA).
Earlier this month, it was reported that around 200,000 Chinese nationals left Cambodia in the lead up to the end of 2019.
However, the shakeup is paving the way for a new plan for Sihanoukville- which the government is aiming to transform into a “second Shenzhen,” according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Vongsey Vissot.
“We are preparing a master plan for the development of Sihanoukville to become a special economic zone which looks like China’s Shenzhen city,” he said.
“We don’t want Sihanoukville to be a ‘casino place’, but an industrial city, which provides technological, economic and tourism services,” he said.
In May last year, the government commissioned the Urban Planning and Design Institute of Shenzhen to map out the master plan for the coastal city.
The plan would be to turn Sihanoukville into a multi-purpose economic zone and major economic hub that serves as a vital base for exports.