Cost of Living in Cambodia
Money in Cambodia
Cambodia is known to be one of the Southeast Asian countries that have a relatively low cost of living, with a per capita income of $2,395 per person as of 2012. Among 214 cities and countries, Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh was ranked at 183th for cost of living.
Buying a property
Due to the passing of a law in Cambodia in May 2010 allowing foreign nationals to buy properties in the country, Cambodia’s property market soared to new heights. Tax revenues from property-related arrangements are said to have grown 60%, from KHR47.7 billion ($12.2 million) in 2009 to KHR76.21 billion ($19.5 million) in 2010 – thanks to increasing demands for property ownership by foreign investors.
While foreign nationals are allowed to buy real estate in Cambodia, they are restricted to apartments and condominium units only because foreign ownership of land is strictly prohibited and against the Constitution of Cambodia. However, expats can hold land through locally-owned companies incorporated in Cambodia on long, renewable leases.
The price of property in Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh has experienced a recent climb. Such price increase is attributed to the growing number of businesses in the area. According to the reports of local real estate experts in Cambodia, land prices in Phnom Penh now start at about $2,350 per square meter, which is 15% higher than its previous price range. Meanwhile, in the Boeung Keng Kang 1 area (BKK1), prices of land range from $3,500 to $4,000 pre square meter during the middle of 2013. Condominium units, on the other hand, range from $8,000 to $60,000.
Expats who want to buy a flat in Phnom Penh will have to pay around $3,000 per square meter, while prices of villas range from $3,500 to $4,500 per square meter.
The process of renting an accommodation in Cambodia is pretty easy and straightforward – not to mention negotiable agreements with landlords. There are also several options for types of accommodations, from furnished apartments with extensive facilities to inexpensive flats in central locations. Rooms and apartments in Phnom Penh can be rented for as low as $200 a month. Meanwhile, flat rents cost more – for example, a 65 sq. m. flat costs around $600 per month, while a 120 sq. m. flat costs around $1,500 a month. The rent for a one-bedroom apartment outside the city center ranges from $100 to $300 per month, while a three-bedroom apartment costs around $250 to $800.
Lease agreements are flexible and negotiable, though most of the time landlords prefer to rent a property for a minimum period of six months. Advance payments and deposits also depend on the negotiation of the tenant and the landlord.
The cost of power and other utilities are inexpensive in Cambodia. Prices for basic utilities like electricity, heating, water and garbage range from $50 to $95, while huge rooms and high-end condominium buildings that need extensive air conditioning might generate a bill of about $100 a month. Prepaid mobile prices are relatively cheap as well, with local calls ranging from $0.06 to $0.20 per minute. Cable or ADSL internet connections with speed of 6Mbps and unlimited data costs about $30 to $85.
A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Cambodia will cost about $2 to $5, while a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost from $10 to $25. One liter of regular milk costs $1.65, 1.5 liters of water costs $0.64, 1 kg of white rice costs $1.08, a loaf of fresh white bread costs $0.94, a dozen eggs cost $1.48 and 1 kg of local cheese costs $18.57. Meanwhile, a pack of cigarette in Cambodia costs about $1, domestic beer costs $0.79, imported beer costs $1.45 and a bottle of mid-range wine costs about $8.
For foreign nationals driving their own vehicles in Cambodia, a liter of gasoline costs about $1.26. A one-way ticket for local transports such as buses, trains and trams cost $1.11, while a monthly pass costs about $45. The rate of a taxi ride in Cambodia starts at $2, with an additional $1 for every kilometer.
The standard rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) in Cambodia is 10%, while income tax for all workers (resident and non-resident) in the country is set at 20%. Dividends and royalties, which include rent and other payments in connection to the use of a property, and interest paid to a non-Cambodia resident, are subject to withholding tax of 14%. Since Cambodia is not part of any tax treaty between other countries, there is no tax treaty relief from withholding tax. The Cambodian tax authority that handles and implements all taxation rules is the General Department of Taxation.
Expat Services in Cambodia
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