Real-Estate: Real Value vs Spoken Value

Sothie and Samnang’s daily hectic work, which tends to be from dawn to dusk, has led the two friends to rarely see each either physically or virtually these last months. With the effect of COVID-19 significantly diminishing, the two men began to truly focus on their work. However, they have never stopped observing or analyzing developments in society. And today, Sothie and Samnang talked about the real estate market.

Sothie: Are there any new Chinese investors involved in real estate, Samnang?

Samnang: I never have any property to put on sale. Why do you even ask me that?

Sothie: Oh, I am sorry. Perhaps, my question is not clear enough. I was going to ask you about the situation regarding real-estate buyers right now… Is there a pending need for Chinese investors in the real estate market at the moment?

Samnang: Now, the question is much clearer. Recently, a lot of people have complained about having very little to no demand for their houses and land. It seems to me that the real-estate market somehow is stagnant. There are sellers without buyers.

Sothie: Well, some other people still claim their land to be highly-valued or situated in good zones. How is that?

Samnang: Sellers can say what they want to say and think what they want to think. Still, as I said, there is no actual buyer right now. There is the value believed or spoken, but no market value. Some groups of real-estate sellers exaggerate the potential of their products. All in all, these are just dreams. I cannot say for certain what will happen in the future. However, for now, supply simply exceeds the demand. Sothie, I want you to be very careful about one thing. Do not feel too eager and fall into sellers’ traps when they say that they have sold every section of their land. Many buyers of those lands cannot obtain the hard title—the most secure document for property ownership—from the government authorities after purchasing.

Sothie: So, these prices are just “hollow” in the inside. Is that right?

Samnang: Well, it is not that bad. However, the real-estate situation is not that good right now.

Sothie: In this case, what about the people who borrowed money from the bank to invest in real-estate? Should they sell their real estate now or should they wait a bit longer?

Samnang: If they can continue to repay their loans, they should continue doing so. However, if it is already a dead end, I think it is better for them not to wait.

Sothie: Will the real-estate market recover soon?

Samnang: It will, but it will not be so soon. It will, as a whole, recover, but well after many businesses will have gone bankrupt.

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