Demand for Phnom Penh office space has surged this year thanks to increased investment in the Kingdom, say real estate experts.

VTrust Group president and chief executive Kuy Vat said demand for rental office space increased by between 10 and 20 per cent in the first 10 months of this year.

“I think the jump in demand for office space is due to the flow of foreign investors into Cambodia,” Vat said.

“The office space demand also saw an increase as fewer rental flats or villas were used as offices.”

VTrust’s Parkway Square Office Centre was about 97 per cent leased, mainly to tenants from Japan, Singapore, Korea and Malaysia, he said.

Thab Rithy, general manager of Canadia Tower, said the building’s occupancy rose 15 per cent to 85 per cent this year, with most tenants coming from China and Malaysia and paying $25 per square metre, plus $5 for property management.

“With demand improving, we plan to expand our office space in this building to meet the clients’ demand,” Rithy said. “We are adding an extra five floors of office space, down to the 11th floor.”

He added that three or four foreign companies were currently negotiating to move into the tower.

However, Ann Thida, associate director of CBRE Cambodia, the authorised sales agent for Vattanac Tower, said there was little increase in demand and supply of office space.

She agreed that the use of flats and villas as offices was on the wane as they were expensive compared to purpose-built office space.

But the demand for Grade A office space – priced at between $28 and $38 per square metre plus $5 for property management and primarily sought after by big companies – remained flat.

She said between 20 and 30 per cent of the Vattanac building’s Grade A office space was occupied.