Property prices along National Road 1, the dusty highway that connects Phnom Penh to the markets of Ho Chi Minh City through the border town of Bavet, increased by an average of 30 per cent in 2014, said Van Chanthorn, director of Town City Real Estate.
The reasons behind the increase, Chanthorn said, was the large number of people moving to the area, increasing residential development and improving infrastructure.
Land that is still close to the capital’s central districts, such as the stretch from Monivong Bridge at the end of Norodom Boulevard to the Tiger Beer brewery in Chbar Ampov district, now sells for $1,200 to $1,500 per square metre.
From the brewery to Prek Eng commune in the riverside Ken Svay district, land goes for between $700 to $800 per square metre, while the mostly agricultural land onwards from Prek Eng ranges from $150 to $200 per square metre.
“National Road 1 is ranked second for activity in property transactions, compared to National Road 6 [from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap] as the prices there have jumped even more strongly,” Chanthorn said. “I think that both transactions and prices will continue to increase strongly in 2015, as ASEAN economic integration is coming soon and investors can still gain profit from the area because land prices have not reached their peak.”
National Road 1 remains an important thoroughfare for the booming trade between Cambodia and Vietnam as it leads to Ho Chi Minh City.
It also is part of the Asian Highway Network, an international project to improve and link up key roads across Asia.
Property transactions along the highway rose on the back of healthy economic growth in 2014, said Dith Channa, general manager of VMC Real Estate Cambodia.
The Prek Somrong bridge in Takhmao, along with the yet-to-be completed two kilometre-long bridge at the ferry town of Neak Loeung, also played a part in boosting trade and property prices on the highway, Channa added.
Property prices from Monivong Bridge to the Bayon TV station by Boeung Snor lake are now about $800 to $1,000 per square metre.
Prices from the TV station to Kokir commune about 20 kilometres east of Phnom Penh range from $200 to $500 per square metre, while anything after Kokir usually goes for under $50 per square metre, Channa said.
“Prices will increase about 30 per cent along National Road 1 in 2015 due to the road expansion, Neak Loeung bridge and Cambodian political stability and economic growth,” Chnana predicted.
“I see that 2015 is a golden year to do business, as many projects and developments are planned to be set up along Road 1.”
Sorn Seap, director of Key Real Estate, said property prices along National Road 1 went up in 2014 because of the expected completion of the Neak Loeung bridge in April 2015.
The bridge aims to increase Vietnam-Cambodia trade by connecting the provinces of Kandal and Prey Veng, meaning that goods would no longer have to be transported by ferry across the muddy Mekong waters.
Yet parts of National Road 1 itself remain heavily underdeveloped due to damage from the civil war and ongoing neglect.
Since 2005, the Japanese government has provided assistance to help develop National Road 1 from Phnom Penh to Neak Loeung, along with the Neak Loeung bridge itself.
A Japanese development official recently announced that the last 4.5 kilometres of road construction will begin in April if the tender process for the $2 million project passes. through.