The persistence of COVID-19 remains the bane of Cambodia’s property market, 18 months since it was first detected in the Kingdom. Uncertainty on when economic activity will return, especially from foreign buyers and international tourism, is keeping property sale and rental prices down; unfavorable tidings to developers, but a boon to keen property investors looking for considerable returns. After all, the question of recovery is not “if” but a matter of “when”.
As of July 26, Cambodia has recorded over 73,000 positive cases with 6,439 current active cases. Daily cases remain within the 700-900 range, giving health authorities much to worry about, leading to constant reminders to follow public guidelines to curb the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.
The government, however, is doing far more than sounding off. Health authorities recently concluded their first mass vaccination in Phnom Penh last July 8. According to the health ministry’s report, over 2 million people over the age of 18 in the capital city were inoculated with plans on the way to vaccinate children aged between 12 to 17 years old.
The Ministry additionally reported that vaccinations are currently underway for 14 provinces, including major population centres like Siem Reap, Kandal, and Preah Sihanouk. The mass vaccination is a major step in creating long-term herd immunity in the coming months, supported by the constant flow of vaccines into Cambodia.
The healthcare front is one way the public and private sectors are combating the effects of COVID-19. Much of the country’s economy, particularly tourism, has remained at a standstill since Q2 2020 when tourists and business travelers stopped traveling. The government has since rolled out multiple economic aids to affected provinces, restructured loans, and announced tax waivers to affected businesses.
In addition to short-term economic relief, the government has initiated several infrastructure projects across the country. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport has been active in road improvement projects, the chief example being the Phnom-Penh Sihanoukville Expressway estimated to cost around $1.9 billion USD. The massive project will allow much faster travel between the capital and the coastal town with the country’s only major deep-water port.
Siem Reap, famed for its Angkor Wat temples that attract millions of visitors yearly, is now largely absent of tourists. The lull in tourist activity has allowed construction workers to turn most roads in the city upside down as part of the 38-road project, a $150 million USD infrastructure project covering road rehabilitation, an improvement on drainage & sewage systems, and construction of sidewalks. The project is expected to improve the quality of life in the city, and consequently, raise property prices in 2 to 3 years.
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