Shaun's Review: The Peak Residences and Shoppes, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

 10 min read

Looking for an international investment property overseas?
Here is my review of The Peak Residences and The Peak Shoppes in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Project Background

The Peak Residences and The Peak Shoppes in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is a freehold project by Singapore developer Oxley and Cambodia Worldbridge. Shangri-La Hotel will take up one of three towers, with the other two towers being sold as The Peak Residences. Below these three towers is a retail podium,The Peak Shoppes, which has CapitaLand signed as the managing agent to manage the property and ensure shoppers have a great mall experience.

T.O.P-ing in 2020, the 55 storey Peak Residences twin towers will have 1014 residential units, with unit sizes ranging from 667 sqft to 2,381 sqft and prices starting from USD$25x,000. and The Peak Shoppes will have 1094 shop lot units for sale spread over 5 floors (ground floor units only available to Cambodians), with unit sizes ranging from 55 sqft to 1,652 sqft and prices starting from USD$8x,000.

Buying Cambodia Properties

  • Foreigners are allowed to own land in Cambodia with certain restrictions.

Foreign nationals may own:

  • Cambodia properties on the 1st floor or higher to a maximum of 70% of any one apartment building, provided that the building has obtained a ‘strata title’, which generally applies to new condominiums buildings.

Foreign nationals may not own:

  • Properties on the ground floor of a building, as owning land outright remains prohibited under the foreign ownership property law

Below is a list of Cambodia property taxes and fees that the owner or landlord should take note of when planning to purchase or sell real estate in Cambodia.

  • Transfer Tax: 4% of property value levied on all ‘hard title’ property transfers (transfer of title)
  • Rental Tax: 10% (locals) or 14% (foreigners) per annum on gross rent
  • Property Tax: 0.1% per annum (value determined by Immovable Property Assessment Committee)
  • Capital Gains Tax: 20% for companies, N.A for individuals.

Facilities and Finishings

The Peak Residences

The Peak Residences owners will have access to two swimming pools, one swimming pool on floor 13A (actually 14 but 4 is an unauspicious number) and one 25m by 7m infinity pool on the highest floor (55th). There is also:

  • 24 Hours security
  • a BBQ (Area / Pavilion)
  • Covered car park lots
  • Function Room
  • Gym / Fitness (Room / Court)
  • Jacuzzi
  • Kids Pool
  • Library / Reading Room
  • Lounge
  • Pavilion
  • Kids Playground
  • Pool Deck
  • Sauna / Steam Room
  • Showers (Outdoor / Room)

The Peak Residences will have split unit air-conditioning, built-in wardrobes, tiled finish to rooms, shower set, water heater, lavatory, basin, tap and mirror.

The Peak Shoppes

The top floor of the Peak Shoppes (floor 3A) floor plans have a whole cluster of F&B shop lots on one end and retail shop lots on the other end. This planned layout could possibly materialize into what most malls in Singapore have on the top floors, a foodcourt and a cinema.

The Peak Shoppes units will have plaster and/or skim coat with emulsion paint finish, cement and sand screed finish, shutter door and air-conditioning (except duplex shop units).

Location

Phnom Penh, literally “Penh’s Hill”, formerly known as Krong Chaktomuk Serimongkul meaning “The City of the Brahma’s Faces” is the capital and most populous city in Cambodia.On the banks of the Tonlé Sap, Mekong, and Bassac Rivers, Phnom Penh is home to more than 2 million people, approximately 14% of the Cambodian population.

Phnom Penh has been the national capital since French’s colonization of Cambodia, and has grown to become the nation’s economic, industrial, and cultural center. Once known as the “Pearl of Asia,” Phnom Penh was considered one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina in the 1920s and there a number of surviving French colonial buildings can still be seen scattered along the grand boulevards.  Phnom Penh, along with Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, are significant global and domestic tourist destinations for Cambodia.

The Peak is located right in the heart of Phnom Penh city and faces the river esplanade, standing at the crossroads of the city. Nine minutes’ walk (700m) is all that is needed to get to AEON Mall and 6 mins (450m) to Naga World, as well as 2 mins (200m) to the National Assembly building, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and 3 mins (230m) to the Australian Embassy. The Independence Monument is 17 mins (1.4km) and the main Preah Sihanouk Boulevard 12 mins (950m) walk away.

Getting to The Peak from Phnom Penh International Airport via car will take around 35 min to 1 h 15 min (depending on congestion) to travel the 12.6km.

Developer and Manager Background

Oxley
Oxley Holdings Limited which is a home-grown Singaporean property developer listed on the Singapore stock exchange. Oxley is principally engaged in the business of property development and property investment. Since its inception, Oxley’s accelerated growth has resulted in a burgeoning presence both locally and overseas and it now has a presence across twelve geographical markets. Oxley has a diversified portfolio comprising development and investment projects in Singapore, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Myanmar, Australia, Japan, and Vietnam. Oxley’s property development portfolio encompasses choice residential, commercial and industrial projects. Key elements of the Group’s choice developments include prime locations, desirable lifestyle features, and preferred designs.
 
Oxley notably has experience in developing projects in Phnom Penh in the form of The peak’s neighbour, The Bridge. The 45 storey Bridge is a mixed development of residential, SOHO and shops which T.O.P-ed in 2018. The shops promised 70% guaranteed rental returns over 10 years (6% for first 5 years and 8% from 6th to 10th year), while the SOHO promised 39% guaranteed rental returns over 6 years (6% for first 3 years and 7% for the next 3 years). However, The Bridge does not have big names like Shangri-La to add class to the development and CapitaLand’s mall management experience and asset enhancement initiatives (AEI) which has rejuvenated many malls in this age of e-commerce. With these big names introduced to The Peak compared to no big names in The Bridge, it is no surprise that the guaranteed rental returns for The Peak Residences and The Peak Shoppes are reduced when compared to what was offered to The Bridge buyers.
 
CapitaLand
CapitaLand Limited is one of Asia’s largest diversified real estate groups and is listed on the Singapore stock exchange. Headquartered in Singapore, CapitaLand owns and manages a global portfolio worth S$131.7 billion as at 30 September 2019. CapitaLand’s portfolio spans across diversified real estate classes which includes commercial, retail; business park, industrial and logistics; integrated development, urban development; as well as lodging and residential. With a presence across more than 200 cities in over 30 countries, their focus is on Singapore and China as its core markets, while they continue to expand in markets such as India, Vietnam, Australia, Europe and the USA.

CapitaLand has one of the largest real estate investment management businesses globally as it manages eight listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) and business trusts as well as over 20 private funds. Since it pioneered REITs in Singapore with the listing of CapitaLand Mall Trust in 2002, CapitaLand’s REITs and business trusts have expanded to include Ascendas Reit, CapitaLand Commercial Trust, Ascott Residence Trust, CapitaLand Retail China Trust, Ascendas India Trust, CapitaLand Malaysia Mall Trust and Ascendas Hospitality Trust.

Other Considerations

Tourist arrivals into Phnom Penh increased 23.7% in 2018/17 and 22.5% in 2017/16 while from 2011 to 2018, the economy expanded by an average of 7.1% per year, fuelled by strong tourism, garments manufacturing, and agriculture. In 2019, the economy is expected to expand again by 7.1%, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The Gross Domestic Product per capita in Cambodia was last recorded at 3870.30 US dollars in 2018, when adjusted by purchasing power parity (PPP). The GDP per Capita, in Cambodia, when adjusted by Purchasing Power Parity is equivalent to 22 percent of the world’s average. GDP per capita PPP in Cambodia averaged 2150.37 USD from 1993 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 3870.30 USD in 2018

CBRE 2019 Residential Market Overview:

  • Total completed condominium stock to rise by circa 120%
  • Concerns of oversaturation in high-end and mid-range sectors persist
  • Serviced apartment sector to maintain healthy performance, on the back of relatively low supply levels

CBRE 2019 Retail Market Overview:

  • 543,653 sqm of retail stock by Q4 2019
  • Expansion focused on suburban districts
  • Community mall stock influx, with 6 new projects set to complete in 2019
  • More international brands entering the market, spearheaded by F&B operators
Having the Shangri-La hotel, offices, a CapitaLand mall and 2 residential towers in this mixed development is a good synergistic partnership as The Peak Shoppes will have a ready pool of clients who have retail shopping spending power.

Sales Packages

The Peak Residences

Guaranteed Rental Returns:
2 years @ 6% nett.
Total 12% over 2 years.

The Peak Shoppes

Guaranteed Rental Returns:
1st to 5th Year – 5% nett,
6th to 10th Year – 6% nett.
Total 55% over 10 years.

So what happens after the 10 year guaranteed rental? A simple majority vote would determine the outcome of negotiations regarding managing the mall.

Guaranteed rental return years not needing to pay:
1. Management charges and sinking fund
2. Insurance for unit
3. Annual real estate tax of 0.01% p.a
4. Maintenance fee and any other government taxes and levies on the unit
5. Withholding tax of 14% of rental income per annum

TL;DR

Pros

Pros

The Peak Residences

  1. In the centre of a Capital city and near to international schools and embassies.
  2. Sharing the same development complex as Shangri-La gives the development more class.
  3. No ABSD for Singaporeans looking for Investment properties.
  4. Smaller quantum (Prices start from USD$2xx,000) compared to a 1 bedroom condo in Singapore (Prices start from SGD$7xx,000)
  5.  Guaranteed Rental Returns for 2 years @ 6%.
  6. Freehold tenure.
  7. USD Denominated prices and rental shields from currency risk
  8. Up and coming economy growing at expected 7.1% in 2019

The Peak Shoppes

  1. Retail shop lots probably won’t just be small shops and will be amalgamated to make a larger shop. e.g. combining many lots to form a unit to rent to Uniqlo or Zara.
  2. More international brands entering the market, spearheaded by F&B operators.
  3. Retail shops in the centre of a Capital city, with Shangri-La hotel in the same complex and being near to international schools and embassies would get traffic that is able to spend.
  4. Branding of CapitaLand and their experience in management of malls.
  5. No ABSD for Singaporeans looking for Investment properties.
  6. HDB owners still within 5 years M.O.P are able to purchase as this as The peak Shoppes is a commercial property.
  7. Smaller quantum (Prices start from USD$8x,000) compared to a 1 bedroom condo in Singapore (Prices start from SGD$7xx,000).
  8.  Guaranteed Rental Returns for 5 years @ 5% nett and 6th to 10th Year @ 6% (total 55% over 10 years).
  9. Freehold tenure.
  10. Fuss free management for 10 years.
  11. USD denominated prices and rental shields from currency risk.
  12. Up and coming economy growing at expected 7.1% in 2019.
Cons

Cons

  1. Not in the usual heard of investment choices like Bangkok Thailand, Australia, London United Kingdom or Malaysia.
  2.  After 2 years of guaranteed rental returns, investors would need to find their own tenants which could be a hassle.
  3. Total completed condominium stock to rise by circa 120% and the prospect of oversaturation in high-end and mid-range residential sectors.
  1. Not in the usual heard of investment choices like Bangkok Thailand, Australia, London United Kingdom or Malaysia.
  2. After 10 years if the voting situation changes, characteristics of the shop lot you chose would be important as the better ones will attract better tenants and the not so good ones would not have much of a say.
  3. Community mall stock influx, with 6 new projects set to complete in 2019 might bring more competition to a country with already limited spending power. 
  4. GDP per capita PPP of USD$3870.30 means majority of the locals might not have much spending power for the high-end shops which The Peak Shoppes should attract. 
You can browse my international property guru website for the 200+ unique portfolio of international propertiesSingapore new launches, and resale real estate. Alternatively, you may want to contact me, Shaun Lopez, at +65 82585190 or email shaun@internationalpropertyguru.com.
 
To your Success,
Shaun Lopez

Contact Shaun Lopez for Your Real Estate Enquiries​

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