The new generation of Phnom Penh residents is likely to prefer condo, inner-city living over the more traditional dwellings, with real estate experts identifying the city’s population growth and rising income levels as factors in a change of lifestyle preference for the millennials of Cambodia.
According to Ngoun Chhayleang, CEO of Ratanaka Realty, as incomes grow, young people will change course to adapt to a more modern standard of living, with condos being the desirable dwelling choice.
“I think the new generation will choose to live in condos where they can stay close to their workplace,” he said, adding, “The youths will decide to live in the city, and the condo investors targeting this group of customers will benefit from that.”
According to a recent study by property developer Urban Living Solutions, the number of residents in Phnom Penh will hit four million by 2030, with Chhayleang noting that the trend of living in condos would be a norm by then.
Along with the city’s growing population, real estate experts are also pinpointing the implications of the urban boom that is taking hold.
“With the population at four million in 2030, they will definitely face more traffic jam issues and environmental pollution, and technology will partake in resolving these issues,” Va Vireak, CEO of Century 21 Fortuna Investment, said.
He added that more people will move from the outskirts to the heart of the city, believing that a majority of the next generation would opt to live in condos for the convenience and lifestyle that it offers.
“The youths, especially those who are sent to study overseas, will choose to live in condos back here because they are close to cafe shops, shopping malls, gymnasiums and their workplaces,” Vireak said.
According to a 2016 study by the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction regarding the city development framework in Cambodia, it was found that the number of residents living in Cambodia’s biggest cities by the end of 2014 was 4.5 million – equivalent to 27.1 percent of the entire population – and will continue marking up to 7.9 million people by 2030, equivalent to 44 percent of the whole Cambodian population.
Economist Mey Kalyan, also a senior advisor to the National Economic Council, said the more developed a country is, the more people will live in its capital city; when the city expands, more infrastructure is inevitably compulsory.
“When the city grows bigger, the quality of life will start to fade,” he said.
According to Kalyan, even if the government is unable to prepare for an influx of people, it should at least focus more of its resources on legal solutions to resolve traffic issues, and invest deeper into infrastructure and public services.