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Buying a property in Phnom Penh: a complete guide

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property investment Phnom Penh

Yes, the analysis of Phnom Penh's property market is included in our pack

Thinking of investing in real estate in Phnom Penh? You're not alone!

Actually, many people find the bustling city of the Pearl of Asia fascinating and dream of owning, for example, a condo or a shophouse there.

Does it make sense from a financial perspective, though? Are property prices increasing in Phnom Penh? Is it expensive? Is it more profitable to invest in BKK1 or Russian Market? Is there any hidden tax? What yields can I expect?

We have all the answers you need.

The BambooRoutes team knows this market like the back of their hand. Actually, we've put all our findings together in a pack. Get it now.

In this article, we're happy to share useful information with you.

How is the property market in Phnom Penh?

How is the property market performing? Let's rely on data and figures to find out.

Property types

In Phnom Penh, you can find various types of properties for sale, including apartments, condos, houses, and commercial spaces.

Apartments and condos are ideal for individuals or small families looking for convenient living, often offering amenities like security, parking, and gyms.

Houses provide more space and privacy, suitable for larger families or those desiring a standalone property.

Commercial spaces are available for business ventures, such as shops, offices, or restaurants, catering to entrepreneurs and investors looking to establish or expand their enterprises in the city.

Buy or rent?

(In case you want it for yourself, not for rental purposes)

If Phnom Penh is your city of choice, you may be pondering the buy vs. rent decision in this vibrant capital of Cambodia.

Obviously, it's better to buy if you're looking for an investment that will appreciate in value over time.

Our advice? Use the property price-to-rent ratio as your decision-making compass. This helps you understand the connection between rental income and the property's current price in terms of years.

According to Numbeo, the property price-to-rent ratio in Phnom Penh is around 16.13, which is below the world average.

In simple terms, it would typically require 16 years of rental payments, on average, to buy a property in Phnom Penh. If you plan to stay that much (or even less, since you can re-sell), it's better to buy.

Property prices in Phnom Penh

On average, according to the last data from Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), buying a property in Phnom Penh will cost you around $2,280 per square meter.

Naturally, things are quite spread out. An apartment in BKK1 may have a different price per square meter than a house in Toul Kork. We actually give you a more detailed breakdown in our pack for buying property in Phnom Penh and in Cambodia.

To put things in perspective, it is 8 times less than the prices in the center of New York.

Also, housing prices in Phnom Penh are 60% cheaper than in Bangkok.

The most expensive neighbourhoods in Phnom Penh are probably BKK1 and Boeng Keng Kang, while the cheapest are likely to be those located in the outer suburbs.

Phnom Penh Property Price per Square Meter


First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that Cambodia is, as we speak, a very fragile country. The last Fragile State Index that has been reported for this place is 80.5.

This is important to remember when wondering if it's a good investment to buy a property in Phnom Penh.

That's not all - this impressive growth will keep going on since Cambodia's economy is expected to soar by 28.4% in the coming 5 years, resulting in an average GDP growth rate of 5.7%.

If you want to invest in real estate in Phnom Penh it's a good thing because individuals are becoming wealthier, leading to a probable rise in housing prices.

Also, in Cambodia, the average GDP per capita has changed by 7.4% over the last 5 years. It's a satisfactory number.

These are positive signals showing that property prices in Phnom Penh might increase in 2024 and during the coming years.

Looking for more updated data? We've done a big-picture study to find out if it's a good idea to purchase property in Cambodia right now.

Buying property in Phnom Penh

Buying real estate in Phnom Penh can be challenging due to the lack of reliable and up-to-date information available. That's why we have created the pack to buy property in Phnom Penh and in Cambodia.

Buying process

In our pack, we've explained the entire process of buying properties in a detailed way. We've pointed out the mistakes to steer clear of, shared tips for finding properties that give you the best returns, and provided information about taxes and necessary documents.

Now, we're giving you a simplified version of the buying process.

This is the step-by-step process to purchase a property in Phnom Penh:

  1. Verify eligibility as a foreigner to buy property in Cambodia.
  2. Engage a licensed real estate agent or developer in Phnom Penh.
  3. Choose a property and negotiate the price.
  4. Sign a Letter of Intent and pay a reservation fee.
  5. Conduct due diligence, including the "Hard Title" search at the Land Office.
  6. Sign the Sale and Purchase Agreement with the seller.
  7. Pay the initial deposit, usually 10% of the property price.
  8. Obtain a "No Objection Certificate" (NOC) from the local Sangkat (commune).
  9. Transfer funds to a local bank account for the property purchase.
  10. Complete the property transfer and pay the remaining balance.
  11. Register the property at the Cadastral Office and obtain a new "Hard Title" certificate.
  12. Update property ownership records at the local Sangkat and Tax Office.

Also, if you're not from the country, you might want to check our article on how to buy property as a foreigner in Cambodia.

Make a profitable investment in Phnom Penh

Better information leads to better decisions. Save time and money. Download our guide.

buying property in Phnom Penh

Where to find a property

If you're starting your property search in Phnom Penh, these websites can help simplify the process:

  • IPS - IPS Cambodia Real Estate is a premier company offering a diverse selection of properties and investment opportunities in Cambodia's booming cities.
  • SEAPS - SEAPS Cambodia Real Estate is a trusted company in Cambodia, providing a wide range of properties for sale and rent.
  • Cambodia Property - A real estate portal for properties in Cambodia.
  • Expat - A housing portal allowing users to search for properties for sale or rent, including houses, apartments, and land in Cambodia.
  • Cambodia Property Helper - A professional real estate services provider based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Also, know that we have included contacts of real estate agencies, property lawyers, moving companies, expats communities and more in our pack for buying property in Cambodia.

What you can get

As mentioned before, the average price per sqm in Phnom Penh is $2,280. The cost of a one-bedroom property (60 sqm) is approximately $137,000, and a two-bedroom (85 sqm) would be around $194,000.

Obviously, property prices will change based on both the property itself and its location.

Prices tend to be higher in the top areas of Phnom Penh. For instance, a house in Boeung Keng Kang might be priced at around $430,000, whereas a residence in Tonle Bassac could have a price of $510,000.

Still, some spots are easier on your budget. You might discover a condominium in Russey Keo for $80,000 or a condominium in Toul Kork that's priced at $60,000.

Find a more detailed price list in our full pack for buying property in Cambodia.

Common mistakes

Here are the main pitfalls when buying a property in Phnom Penh, Cambodia:

  • Complex ownership laws: Confusing land tenure and foreign ownership regulations can lead to legal challenges.
  • Economic instability: Cambodia's volatile economy may affect property values and investment returns.
  • Land disputes: Lack of transparent land records can result in ownership conflicts and potential loss of property.
  • Cambodian property scams: Beware of fraudulent deals, fake titles, and untrustworthy agents.
  • Infrastructure issues: Some areas lack proper infrastructure, affecting property value and livability.
  • Environmental concerns: Coastal areas may be vulnerable to climate change and flooding risks.
  • Title irregularities: Ensure the property has a valid and clear title to avoid future disputes.
  • Hidden costs: Be aware of extra fees and taxes when purchasing, which can significantly impact the overall cost.

We don't want this to happen to you, so we have included a full checklist for your property investment in our pack of documents. Avoid these mistakes and save a lot of money.

real estate Cambodia

Everything you need to know is included in our Cambodia Property Pack

Living in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is a vibrant and bustling city with plenty of opportunities for buying property, making it an attractive destination for those looking to invest in a new home.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Phnom Penh is generally lower than in many other cities in the world. Depending on lifestyle, it is possible to live comfortably in the city for a relatively low cost.

Here are some examples to better understand the cost of living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia:

  • Traditional Khmer iced milk tea (Teh Bot): $1 at a local tea stall in Boeung Keng Kang 1 (BKK1) neighborhood.
  • Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the Russian Market area: $550/month.
  • Amok (traditional Cambodian fish curry) dinner for two at Romdeng Restaurant: $30.
  • 1.5-liter bottle of Cambodia beer (Angkor Beer): $1 at a supermarket.
  • Electricity bill for an 85m² apartment using Electricite du Cambodge: $60/month.
  • Monthly membership at NRG Fitness in Phnom Penh: $40.
  • Ticket to a movie at Aeon Mall's Major Cineplex: $6.
  • Local palm sugar (500g) at Phnom Penh's Central Market: $2.


We want to present information in a way that is easy to understand. So, we have made a table that shows the different areas in Phnom Penh. For yields, prices and rents, check our property pack.

Neighborhood Description Strengths Weaknesses

Chamkar Mon

Chamkar Mon is a popular expat area with a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and international schools, known for its lively atmosphere and diverse community.

Expat-friendly, diverse dining options, international schools.

High living costs, traffic congestion.

Daun Penh

Daun Penh is the central district, home to the Royal Palace and many historical landmarks, offering a mix of modern developments and traditional architecture.

Cultural attractions, historical sites, central location.

Noisy, crowded during peak hours.

Toul Tom Poung

Toul Tom Poung, also known as Russian Market area, is a bustling neighborhood with a vibrant market, popular among locals and expats for shopping and dining.

Lively market, diverse food options, expat community.

Congested traffic, limited green spaces.

Boeung Keng Kang

Boeung Keng Kang, or BKK1, is an upscale area with luxurious villas, boutique shops, and upscale restaurants, known for its modern and sophisticated lifestyle.

High-end living, upscale dining, boutique shops.

Expensive, limited affordable housing.

Chroy Changvar

Chroy Changvar is a rapidly developing area with new residential and commercial projects, offering riverside living and scenic views of the Tonle Sap River.

Riverside living, scenic views, new developments.

Limited public transportation, ongoing construction.

Sen Sok

Sen Sok is a suburban district with a mix of residential and industrial zones, offering more affordable housing options and easy access to shopping malls and entertainment.

Affordable housing, shopping options, entertainment.

Traffic congestion during rush hours, fewer cultural attractions.

Toul Kork

Toul Kork is a residential area with a growing number of restaurants, cafes, and schools, providing a quieter living environment while still close to the city center.

Quiet living, schools, restaurants.

Limited public transportation, fewer entertainment venues.

Russey Keo

Russey Keo is an up-and-coming district with affordable housing options and various development projects, making it attractive for investors and homebuyers.

Affordable housing, investment potential.

Less established amenities, limited public services.

Life in Phnom Penh

The economic landscape in Phnom Penh is dominated by the service sector, which accounts for more than half of the city's GDP. The city is also home to a growing manufacturing sector, which is expected to continue to drive economic growth in the future.

What expats usually like the most in Phnom Penh is the city's vibrant nightlife, with many bars, clubs and restaurants to explore, as well as the friendly locals and the city's rich cultural heritage.

You have to know that Phnom Penh is not the safest city in the world. Currently, the crime rate index is at 56, which is not low. The most common crimes in Phnom Penh are theft, fraud, drug trafficking, and violent crimes such as assault and murder.

A good point for a property investor - Phnom Penh has a mass rapid transit system, called the Phnom Penh Rapid Transit, which opened in 2020.

Access to healthcare in Phnom Penh is generally good, although there are disparities in quality and affordability.

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invest real estate in Phnom Penh

Renting out in Phnom Penh

If your intention is to buy a property not for personal use, but to rent it out and create income, then this section is for you.


Tenant Profiles in Phnom Penh

If you decide to buy and rent out to long-term tenants, you should target young professionals, expats, and students looking for a place to live in the city. For short-term tenants, you should target budget travelers, backpackers, and business travelers looking for a more affordable option than a hotel.

Here is a little summary table we've made for you.

Property type and area Profiles of potential tenants What they are looking for Expected monthly rent in $

Apartment in Chamkar Mon

Expats, young professionals

Central location, access to amenities

$400 - $800

Condo in Daun Penh

Expats, business travelers

Near business districts, modern facilities

$500 - $1000

House in Toul Kork

Families, locals

Spacious living, residential area

$800 - $1500

Studio in Beoung Keng Kang

Students, young professionals

Affordable options, vibrant neighborhood

$300 - $600

Apartment in Russey Keo

Local families, middle-income

Budget-friendly options

$200 - $400

Condo in Mean Chey

Young professionals, expats

Modern amenities, affordable

$300 - $700

Apartment in Chbar Ampov

Local families, budget-conscious

Quiet living, cost-effective

$150 - $300

Rental yields

Nowadays, the rental yields you get in Phnom Penh are between 5% and 7%. There are some opportunities. For a "good" rental yield, you should aim for 7% or more.

Properties in the city center and near popular amenities such as universities, shopping malls, and public transportation tend to give the best rental yields in Phnom Penh due to their high desirability and convenience for tenants. Additionally, properties located in areas with high population density and relatively low rental prices tend to have higher rental yields as well.

For further explanation and a more detailed breakdown, you can check the reports and analyses we have made.


You could also decide to rent short-term to expats working in Phnom Penh, or to tourists visiting the city for a few days. Business travelers and digital nomads are also potential tenants for short-term rental in Phnom Penh.

If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in the riverside areas of Phnom Penh such as BKK1, BKK2, BKK3, and Russian Market. Additionally, the area of Toul Tom Poung (or Russian Market) is also a popular area for short-term rentals.

Currently, there are approximately 2,505 active Airbnb listings in Phnom Penh, reflecting a highly dynamic and bustling short-term rental market. The average daily rate is at $40.

You have the opportunity to generate some additional income stream then. According to online testimonials and analytics platform like AirDNA, Guesty and Inside Airbnb, people who offer short-term rentals in Phnom Penh can make around $300 per month. Also, the average occupancy rate is estimated at 32%.

Is it worth buying real estate in Phnom Penh then?

Investing in a property in Phnom Penh can be a smart move if you're in it for the long haul. The property market in the city is on the rise, thanks to Cambodia's expected economic growth and relatively low property prices.

If you plan to stay in Phnom Penh for an extended period, buying a property can be a sound financial decision. The property price-to-rent ratio is favorable, indicating that it may take fewer years of rental payments to justify the purchase. Moreover, the potential for property appreciation over time can make it a profitable venture.

However, if you're a short-term visitor or unfamiliar with the local real estate market, it's better to think twice. Property transactions can be complex, with hidden costs, legal challenges, and potential land disputes.

Moreover, Cambodia's political and economic stability is not without its concerns, as indicated by its Fragile State Index rating. If you're risk-averse or have a limited understanding of the local dynamics, it might be wiser to explore other investment avenues.

Ultimately, the decision to buy property in Phnom Penh should align with your financial goals, risk tolerance, and commitment to the city, as it can be a promising investment for some but a potential minefield for others.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Phnom Penh

Don't rush into buying the wrong property in Cambodia. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.

real estate market Phnom Penh

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and does not imply endorsement or advice. While we strive for accuracy, we do not guarantee the completeness or reliability of the information, including text, images, links, or other elements in this material. Following the content and analyses presented here does not assure specific outcomes. For guidance tailored to your individual circumstances, it is recommended to consult with a professional, such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor.