Compass Real Estate > Cambodia Real Estate Information > Others > Let's understand about some types of properties with their definition and differences

Let's understand about some types of properties with their definition and differences

Summary:Today, Compass will collect some types of properties and explain the definition as well as the differences between them.

Since the real estate sector in Cambodia has grown and become popular until now, we see the presence of many types of  properties with modern design, providing comfortable accommodation for people  living in the 21st century.

However, due to the similarity of the appearance of these types of properties, making a bit of confusion. Therefore, today, Compass will collect some types of properties and explain the definition as well as the differences between them.


1. Apartment, Condominium, Serviced-Apartment, and Penthouse


An apartment is a residential unit that is part of one (or several) residential buildings, or a separate dwelling within a house with its own entrance, bathroom and kitchen. Apartments are generally rented out individually or as a family, with long-term owners. The rental apartment does not need to be fully furnished and the tenant is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the apartment unit.

In Cambodia, Apartments are not very popular with locals or foreigners because they are not as convenient as Serviced Apartments or Condominium. In the opinion of the general local people, they are prefer to live in a link house that is more comfortable and bigger space. Therefore, the number of apartment buildings is very small.




A condominium (or condo for short) is a large property complex comprised of individual units, and each unit is owned separately. Each unit in the complex is owned, not rented. If a unit is rented, it is rented directly from the individual owner of that unit.

 In general, the owner usually owns the interior of their condo and the structural components of exterior walls. Condo owners jointly own shared common areas within the community, such as Gym, steam, sauna, swimming pool, dining area, as well as security system, including security camera, alarm system, 24 hour security guard.  Each unit owner has to pay a management fee that covers the maintenance of facilities and common areas.

condo 1.png

Nowaday, we see that not only foreign investors come to invest in condo projects, but also many locals are buying for their own accommodation and for rent to make a profit. Due to the high rental rate, condos can offer high profits.

condo facilities sample .jpg



A service apartment meaning a fully-functional and furnished lodging that offers hotel-like amenities and services, but with more space and privacy like a traditional apartment. Service apartments include an equipped kitchen, washing machine, separate bedrooms, living rooms, bathrooms.

Service apartments typically offer features like housekeeping, laundry, WiFi, cable TV, parking and other services, which can make your life much easier. Service apartments is more affordable to a hotel room.

serviced apartment.jpg

Service apartments are best suited for tourists and people who travel for work. It usually offer a short-term accommodation in serviced apartments, to those employees who may be relocating for work. In Service apartments , you don’t need to spend time worrying about cleaning or maintaining for your property.  In addition, serviced apartments usually come with basic kitchen appliances, such as a microwave, gas stove, plates and utensils, therefore, you can can also save on cooking or can make your own favorite dishes. Generally, the cost of these services is included in the monthly rent, while the water and electricity are charged differently.



Penthouse is a a dwelling or unit traditionally on the highest floor of an apartment building, condominium, or hotel, with unique and luxurious features. Penthouse units usually have one to four bedrooms or more. The residents can enjoy the full 360-degree panoramic view, while the living space is more spacious and highly private. Some penthouses even have their own private gym, swimming pool, garden or other facilities.

As for the price of penthouse, whether it is rent or purchase, it is more expensive than other standard units in the same project or building.



2. Loft and Duplex

As for the Loft and Duplex units, at first glance, we will easily confuse loft and duplex, because both are understood as apartments with 2 connecting floors and high ceilings design. However, these two types of dwelling have distinct characteristics that set them apart from each other.



A duplex is a type of house that consists of two separate units with separate entrances. The units can be on top of each other or side by side, and each unit can have a different configuration. For example, one unit may be a two-bedroom apartment and the other a studio. The units can be rented separately or combined to form a single residential unit.




A loft, is a unique and spacious apartment with high ceilings, open spaces, and large windows. Lofts usually have a large living area and a single large room that can be divided into several areas, such as a kitchen, living room and bedroom. Nowadays, loft units are mostly designed with a mezzanine upstairs for the bedroom and downstairs for the living area, kitchen and bathroom.



Differences between Loft and Duplex



High ceilings between 3 and 4.5 meters

High ceiling height between 4.5 to 6 meters

No interior walls to separate the upper and lower floor

Can be divided into two separate units

Same size as studio or 1 bedroom

More spacious

can’t be rented separately 

Can be rented separately for upstairs or downstairs


3. Hotel And Hotel Apartments

Tourists normally check into hotels whenever they go visiting a city or any country. However, some of them do not actually know that there are both hotels and hotel apartments they could choose from and that these are not the same. While the names sound awfully similar, there is a significant difference between the two:


What Is a Hotel?

Simply put, a hotel is an establishment that provides a temporary place of accommodation, with facilities such as a bed, TV, table & chair, toiletries, en-suite bathroom, and room service. This depends on the type of hotel, as lower-priced hotels may only provide the basics while more expensive hotels can even provide swimming pools, bar services, basketball courts, a gym, and a restaurant. A hotel is usually for a short period of time, a day or two, perhaps even a week. 


What Is a Hotel Apartment?

A hotel apartment, is basically a hotel with added facilities that make it feel more like a home than a hotel room. This includes a proper kitchen where guests can cook for themselves, a self-service laundry facility and even a closet. 

apartment hotel.jpg

Hotel apartment is suitable for people who plan to stay in an area for a long time, such as 2 weeks to over a month or two, but not long enough to go through the hassle of renting an actual apartment (Generally, the lease term for an apartment must be 3 months or more, especially in Cambodia) and for the price, hotel apartment is much cheaper if you plan on staying for a longer period of time.

Recently, we have also observed that some hotel and apartment owners have converted their products into the above formats in order to meet the needs of customers.

apartment hotel 2.jpg


Differences between Hotel And Hotel Apartments


Hotel Apartments

Provide basic facilities (bed, TV, table & chair...)

Added facilities such as kitchen, washing machine

High cost for long staying

More affordable for long staying

For short period (a day-a week)

For longer period (2 weeks-a month or longer)


4. Flat house, Shophouse and Link villa

At first glance, the appearance of these three types of properties is very similar, however, the parts of the construction and the purpose of use are not the same.


Flat hosue

In Cambodia, flat is a spacious residential building for family living. In Europe it means the same as an apartment, but in Cambodia it is not.

The characteristics of the flats are as follows: The houses are built in a row, with a row of ten or more houses that shares a common wall with its neighbouring home. flats house are often found in a  Borey project and are in the inner part with no front or back yards.


Generally, flat house has a size of 4 to 4.5 meters wide  and the length can range from 12-16 meters with a height of 1.5 to 4 floors. For some houses, the wide roof can be added or used as a garden and seating area. Flat house can have from 2 to 6 bedrooms  with the same number of bathroom or one more. On the other hand,  most of the flat houses do not come with fences.



Shophouse usually located in the front row and on the main road of a Borey  project, which are convenient for the owners to open shops or any business to earn income.

Shophouse has a  height of 4 to 5 floors and the size is similar to flat house, but can leave a spacious front land for parking. This type of property is becoming very popular due to its two benefits of living and doing business at the same time.



Link villa

Link villa is a contemporary type of home created by combining the  form of  flat house with the interior style of a modern villa. This type of property is built in a row like a flat house with a common wall, separated by a fence or without a fence with a height of 2 to 3 floors.

The interior is designed with luxury villas  style according to the different project. Usually there are only 3 to 4 bedrooms, which is less than single villa or twin villa, with living room, kitchen, front yard, etc. This type of villa is only available in Borey communities project.

link villa.jpg

Differences between Flat hosue, Shophouse and Link villa

Flat hosue


Link villa

Sharing common walls

Sharing common walls

Sharing common walls

No fence

No fence

With or without fence

Located on a small road

Located on the front row

Located on a small road

For residence

For Residence and commercial business

For residence


5. Residential Building and Mix-Use Building

Both named the same building, but it doesn’t means the same thing.


Residential building

A residential building is a structure that usually accommodates people in a flat or condo. The term applies to a wide range of structures, from small houses to high-rise building, available in all shapes and sizes, from traditional homes to innovative homes divided into rooms.

The purpose of a residential building is to provide people with a place to live, allowing them to live in a place that is independent and quiet. However, this property  also play an important role in the community and the economy.

Residential building.jpg


Mix-Use Building

Nowadays, market trends are changing, making mixed-use buildings appear to meet market demand. Mixed-use buildings are designed for different purposes in a common building or a single development area. This type of building can include residential, office, shop, medical, entertainment, commercial or industrial facilities, etc. Mixed-use buildings have been under construction in both urban and suburban areas.

In fact, the development of mixed-use buildings are important part of a large number of communities or cities, creating unique places where people can live, work, relax and meet their daily needs such as shopping and lifestyle in a single community.




Residential building

Mixed-use building

For accommodation only

 For Residence and commercial

There are basic facilities such as garden, lounge or gym

There are more facilities such as swimming pool, gym, garden, sky bar, library, shop, etc.




Overall, although there are still confusions about some type of property due to the similarities, after explaining the definitions and differences between each of property types above, Compass hopes that the everyone will understand more clearly and hope it’s helpful when making a real estate purchase for personal living or  investment in the future.

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Disclaimer: The re-forward articles on Compass website are for the purpose of conveying more information, and it does not mean that the Compass website agrees with its views or confirms the authenticity of its content. Article noted as "Source: Compass original", please note that the source from Compass. The content of the article is for reference only and should not consider as investment advice, and it does not mean that Compass agree with its views.


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