Myanmar is full of opportunities as every global brand is trying to enter the market. Myanmar’s commercial center, Yangon, has seen a boom in the property market. Commercial space here has become even more expensive than a comparable space in Manhattan.
Before you invest in the city, it is necessary to understand that the property market in Myanmar is likely not the same as other property markets of the world. Here are a few important things that you need to know before investing in Myanmar property.
• Have a lot of money ready in cash
A newly announced law is in place to allow foreign buyers to buy condominiums, but before the law which is still circulating in the
Parliament becomes effective, foreigners are prohibited from buying or owning property, therefore the only choice is to lease the desired property. Lease conditions are set by the landlord and there is no regulation over it. With opaque laws and a little guidance or support for foreigners along the way, it becomes difficult to invest without proper guidance.
• Find a broker you can rely on
Myanmar had a military rule until 2011. Under the current government of Myanmar, issues like property rights and ownership might be questionable. Individuals generally own the land and how some landowners acquired their properties is sometimes murky. Foreign investors should always look around before signing a lease and make sure that there is no uncertainty regarding the legitimacy of the property.
A good property broker can help you get a legitimate property that is free of disputes. Additionally, many Myanmar landowners only use tenants who’ve already been examined through the broker.
• Be ready to meet the astronomical prices
Prices in Myanmar haven’t stagnated in the last two years.
While developers are rushing to fulfill the demand, supply for commercial and residential property is still outpaced by the demand, especially in Yangon.
Prices have also jumped due to buyer being less informed on the property rates.
Lack of transparency is also a contributing factor. This causes some new and uninformed tenants to pay astronomical rents for unsuitable properties. This also leads to further increased expectations on ROI by property owners. A skilled real estate advisor can make a crucial difference.
Yangon is quickly becoming saturated like other East Asian capitals, and when you take into consideration the underdeveloped roads of the region, a drive that should take twenty minutes might take up to 2 hours in the narrowest parts of city. For both residential and commercial properties, you should take into consideration the distance from the airport and other important locations.
• How secure is a rental space?
Crime in Yangon is comparatively low nowadays, but the wealth gap between foreigners and locals is making foreigners prone to being affected by the crime. This is particularly true for doing business in Burma where considerable amounts of cash needs to be carried all the time. A rental space, whether commercial or residential, should have some safeguards in place.
Regardless of a few drawbacks, the potential of making money in Myanmar is undeniable. As with all emerging markets, considerable risks bring in significant rewards.