Expats in newly awakened Myanmar find buying condos too expensive

Published:  13 May at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
As Myanmar continues to loosen its military’s grip and expats begin to arrive, construction companies are noting that newbuild condos are too expensive for most expat arrivals.

After decades of military rule, Myanmar, formerly Burma, is opening up to the West and hoping to follow Thailand’s original intent as a hub for tourism, expat businesses and possibly an expat retirement hub. However, progress to date has been slow, with most new expat arrivals unable to afford new-build condos.

A ground-breaking new law, enacted in January this year, allows expatriates taking up residence in the country to buy condo units. The law, loosely based on a similar law in Thailand, states that foreign residents may hold up to 40 per cent of apartments in condo buildings of no less than 20,00 square metres in total.

Myanmar’s construction industry hoped the law would open up the market for condos by sidelining distrust of construction firms, thus encouraging sales of condo units to expatriate workers. Unfortunately, it seems that, at present, the prices asked for the units are too high for the majority of expats.

In the four months since the law was enacted, demand for the units has remained static, much to the disappointment of the builders and backers. The vast majority of new expat arrivals in the country are living in affordable housing complexes around Yangon city, with few professional Western incomers arriving as yet.

Another problem seems to be that most of the new-build condo blocks constructed during and since 2013 are not able to qualify as condos under the new law. Blocks must be at least six stories high, set on land of not less than 1,858 square metres and the land itself must be legally registered as condominium land. In addition, condo unit purchases must include collective ownership of the land and common areas.

The majority of Yangon’s properties are small in size and have extremely complicated legal histories as regards land and actual property ownership, another reason why they cannot qualify under the new regulations as condos. According to local real estate websites, buyers are also holding back in the hope that the recently elected government will agree to construct affordable new homes for lower and middle-income Burmese citizens.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive