Situated on the banks of the scenic Tonle Sap, Riverside is still the beating heart of Phnom Penh’s entertainment industry. Starting on the river banks of the Cambodiana and Himawari hotels and 1.5km northwards to Wat Phnom and the ferry terminals, the Riverside district stretches a few streets back to Norodom Boulevard. As the main entertainment hub, Riverside boasts some of the best restaurants, various markets, parks, bars and rooftop entertainment options. It has become the number one tourist destination and a frequent stomping ground for expats seeking its easy relaxed lifestyle by the waterfront.
Riverside property market insight
Riverside has changed over the years from being the seedy part of Phnom Penh (around the turn of the century) to what it is now: a vibrant, bustling, premier destination for tourists and locals alike. With the growing attraction of foreigners to the Riverside area, it has been going through a gentrification phase of restoring and converting the old buildings and apartments, evidenced by the continual supply of newly renovated apartments and new apartment buildings/hotels to the market.
The traditional French architecture of this area sees many shop-houses (in which owners run their businesses downstairs and live upstairs). These shop-houses are 4 metres wide and 15 to 30 metres in length and typically have 2 or 3 floors above with high ceilings to allow air flow, crucial in this climate. As space is limited in this district, there are not many villas and houses in the Riverside part of Daun Penh.
Renovated apartments/flats in the Riverside district of Phnom Penh start from $35,000 for a studio and $45,000 for a 1 bedroom, though supply of properties in this price range have becoming more scarce. In 2014, rental’s for standard 1 bedrooms range from $300-$350 and in 2015, they start from $350+. 2 bedrooms typically start from $400. Regardless of the type of property chosen, you can expect a return of 6% – 12% on your investment.
Many factors affect the rental yield such as its location, renovation style, access to the apartment, furniture provided and so forth. Needless to say though, the returns are much more attractive than what banks and other property markets offer
With the continual popularity of the Riverside district and growth of Phnom Penh as a city, the demand creates continual growth in the property market. Without any public data available with regards to property prices, it is difficult to pinpoint a number on the capital growth, however, from our experience of what has sold, renovated property prices range from $800-$1,100/m2 in 2013 and in 2015 ranges from $1,000-$1,500/m2 (excluding direct river front properties).
If you are looking for long term fantastic capital growth, the 1.5km riverfront stretch of Sisowath Quay would stand to benefit the most from the coming boom of Phnom Penh. As this stretch is already limited in size, the available properties on this boulevard has been brought by hotel groups and developers over the years, eventually creating a lack of supply and huge demand for the highly sought after river front space any city desires.
Riverfront property prices start from $1,700/m2 up to $3,000/m2 for above ground properties with an expected rental yield of 3-5%.
With the Royal Palace being the most iconic attraction, Riverside hosts most of the cultural activities related to the Kingdom.
From the traditional ploughing ceremony to start the planting season to the most popular of all, the Water Festival to celebrate the turning tide of the Tonle Sap river, Riverside is always full of life and activities.