Can foreigners buy real estate in Cambodia?

In an effort to stimulate the economy and encourage overseas investment, the Cambodian government unveiled its law on foreign ownership of private units in co-owned buildings in 2010. The main conditions are that:

  • Foreigners cannot own ground floor properties, the sub-soil or any common areas in co-owned buildings (e.g. gardens, stairways, access points and maintenance areas).
  • Total foreign ownership of private units must not exceed 70%, so that in a block of 100 units, only 70 units can be sold to foreigners.
  • For security reasons, the law does not apply to property within 30km of Cambodia’s national land borders, with the exception of Special Economic Zones or important urban areas.

There are essentially five options for buying properties in the Kingdom of Cambodia:

Option 1: Forming a Company with a Cambodian Citizen
Properties for investment can be registered in the name of a company. However, the company must have a minimum of 51% Cambodian shareholding.

Option 2: Getting honorary Cambodian citizenship
A foreign national can obtain honorary Cambodian citizenship if s/he donates a ‘significant’ sum amount of money to the Cambodian government for the purposes of benefiting to the people in Cambodia. Those granted honorary Cambodian citizenship can acquire a 100% right of ownership over property purchased in Cambodia.

Option 3: Buy property with a Cambodian citizen’s name
A foreigner can purchase and register a property in the name of a Cambodian citizen. However, to avoid this individual from selling the property without informing the owner, the foreigner is advised to hold the title deed.

Option 4: Long term Rental
Foreigners can purchase a property as per Option 3 above and then enter into a long-term rental agreement with the Cambodian citizen lasting up to 99 years.

Option 5: Getting married to a Cambodian National
A foreigner married to a Cambodian National can register a property using their spouse’s name on the Title Deed.