Tycoon makes first foray into borey market

Sen Sok district’s new Makro store.
Sen Sok district’s new Makro store. Sreng Meng Srun

LYP Group, a conglomerate owned by prominent businessman and ruling party senator Ly Yong Phat, has broken ground on its first dedicated borey project and will develop rows of premium shophouses in its Pong Peay City development on the northern side of the city.

The Premier Land is a commercial and residential project on land adjacent to the Aeon II mall under construction inside the Pong Peay City development. The first phase will see the construction of 104 four-storey luxury shophouses in an L-shaped block that embraces the 150,000 square metre mall complex.

All units have already been sold, according to the company’s Facebook page, which lists prices starting at $300,000.

Seng Nhak, general director of The Premier Land and Phat’s son-in-law, said the location was selected because Sen Sok district, where Pong Peay City is situated, is an emerging commercial and residential area. He said improvements to infrastructure have made the district more appealing to homebuyers, while the neighbourhood now includes several banks, international schools and two large shopping complexes – the Aeon II mall that is scheduled to open later this year, and Makro, a newly opened warehouse club in which LYP Group holds a 30 percent stake.

“These luxury and elegant homes will provide convenience for living, and we can say that they are better than houses located in the middle of the city as the people can just cross the street to get to two huge shopping centres, Makro and Aeon II, while they are near international schools as well,” Nhak said.

He added that the project is also close to the Sen Sok Convention and Exhibition Centre, a newly built facility that can accommodate 5,000 guests.

LYP Group, whose business empire extends from electricity generation to hotels and sugar plantations, has several large real estate development projects under its belt. Among its most ambitious is Garden City, a satellite city announced in 2012 that is being built on 2,000 hectares located about 10 kilometres north of the capital. The project includes commercial and residential areas, as well as sporting venues and a river port.

The company’s latest thrust into the borey market appears well timed.

Ann Sothida, country director of CBRE Cambodia, said the borey market remains popular with Cambodian buyers, which has encouraged local and international developers to steer their investments into these projects.

She said the success of borey projects, which typically include rows of villas, linked houses, shophouses or flat houses, “is determined mainly by price and location, though there is still strong demand from local buyers”.

Chrek Soknim, CEO of real estate firm Century21 Mekong, said the market is healthy and boreys targeting average and above-average income buyers – those with units selling for between $150,000 and $300,000 – are doing especially well.

“The increase in people’s income and economic growth, as well as more convenient financing options from banks and competitive home loan interest rates, have helped to popularise the borey market,” he said.