Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Castaway Cambodian Islands - the Next Asian hotspot

Written by Liam Bailey

Brocon Group are to build a massive luxury resort on previously unheard of Cambodian islands. Will they be as successful as Thailand's islands, a new Asian hotspot perhaps? Property Wire's global markets expert Liam Bailey gives us his opinion.

Successful Australian property developer Brocon Group; the company behind the hugely popular French Colonial apartments in Phnom Penh, were recently given the green light for a massive $35million luxury resort development on two Cambodian islands just off the coast at Sihanoukville.

I recently predicted Sihanoukville as having the potential to become a massively popular and profitable destination for overseas property investors, but when I heard about this it blew me away.

I fell for Sihanoukville because it was a virgin coastal region of Cambodia; with white sandy beaches, tropical climate. Comparative coastal areas throughout Asia have been some of the most profitable of all overseas property investment locations. Sihanoukville also wet my whistle because it was undiscovered and so, perfectly positioned to capitalise on Cambodia's recently and rapidly rising tourism -- to be further boosted by the re-launching of the Cambodia national airline.

The islands of Koh Oeun and Koh Bong, the sites of the new resort, have all the above and much more:

Brocon's possession of the islands, now fully granted by the government, will combine with the island's tropical beaches surrounded by lush rainforests, to make them an exclusive island hideaway for the region's growing middle classes, which are always on the lookout for virgin beaches to stake their claim to.

 The massive power of Asian regional tourism and the massive effect it can have on an emerging property market have been seen time and time again. The most comparable are the Thai islands of Koh Samui and Phuket, which saw luxury property values grow by 50% per year in 2006 and 2007, and continue to grow strongly.

The new emergence of luxury resort property on a virgin Cambodian island, which shares many of Koh Samui and Phuket's sought after characteristics, and offers the chance to get in early at low prices, is sure to become a massively profitable endeavour.

'When we heard about a luxury resort development on previously unheard of Cambodian islands, when Cambodia's tourism was just starting to sprout hot-spots on Cambodia's coastline we were filled with excitement,' said Eleanor Flanders of Buy Sell Abroad. 'We will be marketing the Brocon resort development in the UK, and depending on starting prices, which could be extremely low, we foresee annual capital appreciation of at least 20%, and the potential for rises of up to 50%. Rental yields should start at 6% and climb to around 10% over three to five years,' she continued.

In closing, the emerging Cambodian islands have all the strengths of the other Asian islands that have been so profitable for foreign property investors, with the added bonus of being a completely new kid on the block - a virgin market with proven potential if you will.

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