NR5 property slated for modest growth

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The National Road 5 (NR5) expansion and renovation project is expected to complete by 2024. PUBLIC WORKS MINISTRY

The number of borey gated-communities and business centres along National Road 5 (NR5) are expected to see a steady surge in growth, underpinned by progress on a herculean expansion and renovation project expected to complete by 2024.

Real estate experts are speculating a rise in property prices along the road of at least 10 per cent between now and then.

The 407.45km NR5 connects Phnom Penh north to Kandal province’s Ponhea Leu district, then traverses the provinces of Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, Battambang and Banteay Meanchey, where the road ends at the Thai border in Poipet town, and joins end-on with Route 33 in Thailand’s Aranyaprathet town.

The 366km segment of the road – a part of the 20,557km Asian Highway 1 – from Phnom Penh to Banteay Meanchey province will be expanded from two lanes to four, paved with asphalt concrete, and its median partially lined with parks and gardens.

The segment is scheduled to complete in 2024, and construction is financed by a $500 million loan from the Japanese government.

Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association president Chrek Soknim told The Post on September 1 that the real estate market along NR5 could increase 10-15 per cent from now until the project completes.

He argued against a higher rate, pointing to the fact that it is an existing road that carries a lot of traffic, and that the project was merely a revamp.

“Property prices along roads that are already open to traffic are not as volatile as those along new roads. But for construction and investment projects, there will be more when road construction is entirely completed,” he said.

He underlined, however, that property prices there could also witness jumps if the government revealed a master plan or other relevant decision to turn an area along the road into a commercial or industrial zone.

Global Real Estate Association president Sam Soknoeun stressed that NR5 is an invaluable road for the Cambodian economy, connecting Phnom Penh to Thailand.

However, he noted, land prices along the road have not changed significantly in the last three years.

He said there aren’t as many borey-style housing projects or other large-scale developments along the road as there are along other national roads, but added that he expects a pickup in growth soon.

Soknoeun presents a far rosier outlook for real estate along the road than most industry players and is especially optimistic about price trends.

“From my standpoint, by when the revamping of the road [is complete], property prices will have increased by about 30 per cent, due to a number of factors, including travelling conveniences, as well as growing numbers of developments and diverse investment projects such as factories and warehouses.

“There will be new areas with hosts of large buildings, not unlike those along national roads 1 and 6 now,” he said.

Speaking at the “MPWT Live Show” on August 30, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said the NR5 segment from Battambang town to Banteay Meanchey province’s Sisophon town has completed.

The Sisophon-Poipet section is scheduled to complete in 2024, he said, mentioning that his ministry was recruiting a construction company.

Construction on the Prek Kdam-Pursat and Pursat-Battambang sections are underway and set to be completed in 2022 and 2023, he said.

Prek Kdam refers to the area around the last in a series of bridges crossing the Tonle Sap on the road north from Phnom Penh. The area is named for a hamlet of the same name that has since been partitioned into villages Prek Kdam I and II, in Koh Chin commune of Kandal province’s Ponhea Leu district.