The Cambodian government is planning to expand National Roads 3 and 4 in 2018, either before the election or after it, according to Nou Vattanak, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.
Vattanak said that a Chinese company is in charge of construction for the project, while the Chinese firm Wan Ann will serve as a technical consultant. National Road 3 will be expanded by two lanes from the Cham Chao roundabout to the Bay Kous area.
“Presently, the company constructing the road is occupied with building a meticulous report for the Ministry of Public Works and Transport on what model will be used for the project,” he said. “This road can have a garden in the middle, like National Road 6A, or not, depending on the decision of the higher-ups and the design of the project.”
The road between Cham Chao roundabout and the Bay Kous area in Takeo province is 82 kilometres long, he said, adding that the entire road itself is 135 kilometres long. The government also has plans to expand National Road 2 from Takhmao city to Takeo province with funding from South Korea. This road is currently undergoing impact evaluations from a team of ministry experts.
Sothida Ann, director of CBRE Cambodia, said that normally infrastructure development in any area will benefit the real estate market. But the real estate along National Road 3 is already in high demand, so the road will not raise the value of the land.
Land from Cham Chao onward runs for between $100 and $300 per square metre. The price drops by $100 the further you get away from Cham Chao, with some areas reaching a price of $30 per square metre.
“If we think about the potential of National Road 3 and 4, National Road 4 is the best because there are many industrial factory zones in the area, not to mention it is the gate road to Sihanoukville,” she said.
Kim Heang, head of the Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association, said that the potential market for land around National Roads 3 and 4 was about equal, but that the area around National Road 4 was developing at a faster pace.
“The moment the government announced that there will be an expansion [of the road], the value increased immediately,” he said, adding that buyers should seize the opportunity and sell the land while it is valuable.
“The land along National Road 3 is a bit hard to develop, since it costs a lot of money to do so. Moreover, it will also cost them a lot to refill the land,” he said. “Some areas require land filling from 1 meter to 3 meters in height, which will make it so expensive.”
Heang said the area around National Road 3 is suitable for industrial zones and only medium-priced and affordable housing can be expected to sell.
“Luxury housing will not work in this area,” he said.