The Relationship between Economic Growth and Real Estate Market in Cambodia

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Cambodia’s economy is one of the fastest-growing economies in Southeast Asia. According to a report by World Bank on Economic Update in Cambodia, the country recorded economic growth of 4.8% in 2022 from the benefits of new trade agreements, accelerating exports and inward investment. 

One sector that has particularly benefited from this growth is the real estate market, which has seen a significant increase in foreign investment and a growing middle class seeking property ownership. Investment Analysis of the Cambodian Real Estate Market reveals that the housing market has enjoyed unprecedented demand and price rise from 2004 to 2007 and peaked in 2022. As a result, the market has become increasingly competitive. 

As Cambodia’s leading real estate agency, our experts at IPS Cambodia have been actively involved in the market’s development, providing services to local and international investors seeking to capitalise on its growth potential. We are a trusted and rewarded partner in the market, committed to helping our clients navigate the market’s complexities and providing the guidance and support needed to achieve their investment goals.

Therefore, this blog aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the relationship between Cambodia’s economic growth and its real estate market, including the drivers behind both, and to offer valuable insights into the future outlook for the market.

Overview of Theoretical Framework

Economic growth and the real estate market are two interdependent and complex concepts. 

Economic growth refers to the increase in production and consumption of goods and services in an economy, while the real estate market includes buying, selling, and renting properties. Economic growth drives the demand for real estate by increasing income levels and leading to a growing middle class with higher purchasing power, increasing demand and property prices. 

It can also stimulate construction activity and create new properties in response to growing demand, thus increasing real estate supply.

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However, the real estate market can also impact economic growth. A sudden downturn in the real estate market can adversely affect the economy, leading to a decrease in consumer spending, decreased employment opportunities, and a slowdown in economic growth. 

Thus, understanding the factors driving both economic growth and the real estate market is crucial to gain valuable insights into the future outlook for the market.

Economic Growth in Cambodia

Historical Overview of Cambodia’s Economy

Cambodia has seen significant transformations in its economy in recent decades. After facing civil war and political instability in the 1970s and 1980s, Cambodia shifted towards a market-oriented economy in the 1990s. Since then, the country has experienced a steady growth rate, averaging 6% annually over the past decade.

Key Sectors Contributing To Cambodia’s Economic Growth

Cambodia’s economic growth has been primarily driven by several key sectors, including:

  • Garment manufacturing accounts for over 80% of the country’s total exports.
  • Tourism has grown significantly due to Cambodia’s cultural heritage and natural attractions.
  • Agriculture, with rice being the country’s most important agricultural product.
  • Construction has recently experienced a boom fueled by increased foreign investment and a growing middle class.

These sectors have played a critical role in the country’s economic development, contributing to steady growth over the past decade.

Factors Driving Cambodia’s Economic Growth

Factors, including political stability, favourable demographics, and an improving business environment, have driven Cambodia’s economic growth.

  • Political Stability: Cambodia’s transition to a stable political environment in the 1990s helped lay the foundation for economic growth, as it provided a stable environment for investment and business operations.
  • Favourable Demographics: Cambodia’s young and growing population and low labour cost have made it an attractive destination for foreign investors seeking to set up operations.
  • Improving Business Environment: The Cambodian government has implemented policies to attract foreign investment, such as tax incentives and streamlined regulations, to improve the ease of business in the country.
  • Preferential Trade Agreements: Cambodia has benefited from preferential trade agreements with several countries, such as the European Union and the United States, which have helped to boost exports and drive economic growth.

These factors have contributed to Cambodia’s steady economic growth over the past decade, and the country continues to attract foreign investment and expand its key industries.

Real Estate Market in Cambodia

Overview Of Cambodia’s Real Estate Market

The real estate market in Cambodia has been witnessing rapid growth in recent years, primarily due to a stable political environment, increased foreign investment, and a growing middle class

Furthermore, the country’s strong economic growth and booming tourism industry have also contributed to the market’s growth. The market comprises residential and commercial real estate sectors, with demand for both types of properties rising.

Factors Driving Cambodia’s Real Estate Market

  • Increased foreign investment: Leading to a rise in demand for commercial and residential properties
  • Stable political environment: Attracting foreign investors to invest in the market
  • Favourable business climate: Improving infrastructure and supporting foreign investment
  • Growing middle class: Increased demand for housing and commercial properties
  • Strong tourism industry: Driving demand for real estate, especially in popular tourist destinations like Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.

Relationship between Economic Growth and Real Estate Market in Cambodia

Positive Impact Of Economic Growth On the Real Estate Market

Economic growth has a positive impact on the real estate market in Cambodia.

  • A growing economy leads to an increase in demand for real estate, especially in urban areas.
  • This increase in demand leads to higher property prices and rental rates, which benefits property developers and investors.
  • Economic growth can also attract more foreign investment, further driving demand for real estate and boosting growth in the sector.

Negative Impact Of Economic Growth On the Real Estate Market

The negative impact of economic growth on the real estate market in Cambodia includes:

  • Rapid economic growth can lead to overdevelopment and oversupply of properties
  • Oversupply can cause a decline in property values and rental rates
  • Rising property prices can lead to housing affordability issues for low-income individuals and families
  • Affordability issues can result in social inequality

Feedback Loop Between Economic Growth And Real Estate Market In Cambodia

There exists a feedback loop between economic growth and the real estate market in Cambodia.

  • Economic growth leads to increased demand for real estate, which drives growth in the sector.
  • The real estate market can contribute to economic growth by attracting foreign investment and generating revenue through property transactions.
  • Conversely, an overinflated or declining real estate market can negatively impact the economy.

Therefore, a balanced and sustainable approach to development is important to ensure the positive impacts of economic growth on the real estate market and the wider economy.


In conclusion, the real estate market in Cambodia is closely tied to the country’s economic growth, with both sectors influencing each other in a feedback loop. While economic growth drives demand real estate, an overinflated market can have negative consequences. 

Policymakers and investors should therefore aim for a balanced and sustainable approach to development to ensure long-term success in both sectors. Future research should explore the impact of specific economic factors on the real estate market and the social and environmental impacts of rapid development in the industry.

As a leading real estate company in Cambodia, IPS Cambodia is well-equipped to provide guidance and insights on the relationship between economic growth and the real estate market to investors and policymakers alike.

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