The Cambodian Land Market: Development, Aberrations, and Perspectives

  • Dirk Löhr (Autor/in)


In its Land Administration, Management and Distribution Program, the Royal Government of Cambodia proclaimed measures to strengthen the Cambodian land markets and tenure security. However, in the past, the country's land markets suffered severe aberrations caused by price hikes. This affected both urban and rural areas, mainly due to a rollout of urban capital. In particular, these aberrations included the purchase of land purely for speculative reasons, unused and underused plots, which effectively caused a land shortage, as well as the careless sale of land by smallholders on the one hand and land-grabbing on the other. The consequence of this has been an increase in involuntary landlessness, land-poorness, and a rising land concentration. At present, there is still some breathing space - land prices are no longer rising, or are even falling. The price level of land has slipped back to the level of 2007. However, land prices are expected to rise again from 2011 onwards. As in the past, price bubbles in rural areas are mainly expected to arise at locations with a moderate price level, good-quality land, and development expectations, particularly regarding tourism. Experts largely expect future prices to rise in the regions of Krong Preah Sihanouk/Kampot, Battambang/Siem Reap, Kampong Cham/Kratie, and Ratanankiri. Although decelerating forces are also at work now, aberrations on the land market will continue to be possible in the future.