Reason foreigners cannot own ground floor: Naïveté

IMG_4689

Visitors evinced keen interest in new developments at the Cambodia Real Estate Show.

Foreigners in Cambodia are barred from owning the ground floor of any building in the Kingdom of Wonder.

I finally found out the origins of the prohibition early this month when I attended one of 16 presentations at the Cambodia Real Estate Show, a well organized two-day event that attracted numerous potential developers along with buyers of luxury apartments and buildings.  (Hey, you can take the broker out of real estate, but you can’t take real estate. . .)

It was not until 1989 and then in 2001 that government decrees defined the possession and subsequently, in 2001, full ownership rights of residential property.

Like most other countries in the region, Cambodia does not want foreigners to own a piece of the nation, no matter how small, as codified in Article 8 of the Land Law.

According to presenter Matthew Rendall — a lawyer who holds a Cambodian passport and is managing partner at SokSiphana & Associates in Phnom Penh — the stricture resulted from Continue reading

Advertisements

Moral dilemma inescapable if investing in microfinance

a_person_uses_a_prasac_microfinance_institution_atm_at_a_kampong_speu_branch_in_2014_23_12_2014_hong_menea

An ATM owned by Prasac Microfinance Institution in use at a branch in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province.  Source: Phnom Penh Post

Imagine that you could earn 4.75% interest for a term deposit of only one month.  Might you prefer a one-year term?  That would get you 9.75% per annum, and shorter or longer terms also are available at commensurate rates.

Do those rates sound too good to be true?  They are not.

With such returns offered by Prasac, one of Cambodia’s leading microfinance institutions (MFIs), the wise investor can Continue reading

So you want to be a landlord. Think twice.

I take no responsibility for my tenant's interior design choices.

I take no responsibility for my tenant’s interior design choices.

When I lived in Washington, D.C., I was fortunate to have owned a townhouse for a virtual song.  The apartment downstairs basically covered my mortgage and other costs.

The one-bedroom unit with access to a patio that my tenants shared with me rented quickly during my ten years of ownership.

Each of my tenants but one was great, not making too many demands, too much noise or really any problems at all.  It was the last one that, had I the choice, I probably would have Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: New NYC stats, land paradox, easing rates, Fair Housing, search tool. . . more

All-cash dream can become all-consuming nightmare

WNYC investigation: System of appointing foreclosure referees operated with little oversight, rife with irregularities, dominated by political insiders

Signed contracts for $10 million-plus residential properties in Manhattan double the same time last year

Narrowest house, where Edna St. Vincent Millay lived, finds buyer at last

Rent board approves maximum increases  roughly double last year’s for stabilized apartments

Finding Hollywood home addresses of celebrities fast and easy

Grammy-winning saxophonist tries again to sell UWS townhouse, this time for $12 million

Comedic former TV talker sells Miami hacienda way below original ask of $20 million

Couple could be sleepless Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: March of rents in May, skyscraper wars, all-cash offers, inventory, continued rate increases, £2 million trailer

Manhattan rents gain substantially over year ago, two reports show, but Brooklyn’s median drops

Another report details continued upward march of rents in Manhattan and Brooklyn

Columbia think tank cites need for small city of new housing to accommodate population growth by 2040

Mayor outlines $20 billion storm protection plan one day after FEMA releases new flood maps

Then Bloomberg proposes major change in building code to enforce additional safeguards

Skyscraper wars dominate new developments

O’, the heartbreak of broken relationships among leaseholding couples

Borrowers rarely can utilize VA loan program in NYC

Outdoor flea, food market begins in Long Island City

He aces sale of of beachfront Malibu home for Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Brooklyn, inventory, bidding strategy, prices, Airbnb, interest rates, owning vs. renting, inspired renovating and much more

Brooklyn’s fast-climbing home prices make it nearly as expensive as Manhattan

Transaction volume strongest in years, even with diminished supply

Graphic demonstrates depth of Manhattan inventory

Bicycles becoming new amenity in some buildings

Permits for new residential buildings skyrocket in first quarter

In this seller’s market, every minute counts

So does the right strategy in a bidding war

‘Hybrid’ home-seekers on the hunt

Prices in the Hamptons Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Skinny condominiums, celeb comings and goings, nation’s price and sales increases, continuing rate rise, investments

This has been year of pricing audaciously

City’s property records site gets update with more information

Developers specifically catering to families in West Chelsea and farther downtown

New graduates returning to New York City learning that life just isn’t fair

Zillow says it takes up to 11.9 years, depending on neighborhood, to match cost of buying with renting

Boom in luxury towers Continue reading