Be wary of rise in land spec­u­la­tion: ex­perts

The Myanmar Times - - Business - ZAY YAR LINN za­yarlinn@mm­

ONE of Myan­mar’s lead­ing real es­tate in­dus­try bod­ies has warned that spec­u­la­tion is driv­ing up land prices in some cor­ners of the mar­ket, as buy­ers turn to prop­erty to make a quick buck.

Ac­cord­ing to U Than Oo, deputy chair of the Myan­mar Real Es­tate Ser­vices As­so­ci­a­tion (MRESA), the high price of gold, a volatile cur­rency mar­ket and a fledg­ing stock ex­change has some lo­cal in­vestors look­ing to­ward prop­erty as on op­tion to park their cash. This has seen spec­u­la­tors, with no in­ten­tion of oc­cu­py­ing the prop­erty, push up the price of land through sales in­tended to soon turn a profit, he said.

“Peo­ple are spec­u­lat­ing on prop­erty now, in my opin­ion, be­cause they want peo­ple to spark the real es­tate mar­ket,” he said.

U Than Oo said he had heard of cases where land price was be­ing in­flated by the traders spec­u­lat­ing on the im­pact of de­vel­op­ment projects that had been slated in the past but were still yet to ma­te­ri­alise.

Spec­u­la­tion is emerg­ing in the outer Dagon town­ships, for ex­am­ple, where agents were bet­ting on the new city de­vel­op­ment projects – an am­bi­tious plan to build seven new cities around the out­skirts of Yan­gon – that the gov­ern­ment has not yet con­firmed will come to fruition, he said.

“Frankly, it seems like peo­ple from the me­dia are also be­ing ex­ploited by th­ese peo­ple,” he said.

Peo­ple had more money to in­vest in prop­erty at the mo­ment as they were cash­ing in on their gold hold­ings while the price of the pre­cious metal was at its peak, said U Than Oo. While bet­ting on a volatile cur­rency was too risky, peo­ple were look­ing to turn a profit on land.

Buy­ers were cur­rently look­ing at small plots un­der K10 mil­lion, U Than Oo said.

“And they as­sume that the prices in real es­tate will not fall lower than they are now,” he said. “But the in­flu­en­tial busi­ness­peo­ple, they are not par­tic­i­pat­ing in this spec­u­la­tion.”

Sai Khon Naung, chair of the Yan­gon Real Es­tate En­trepreneurs As­so­ci­a­tion (YREEA), agreed that in­vestors were ey­ing the prop­erty mar­ket again, but said there had not been a huge amount of spec­u­la­tive trad­ing thus far.

“Cur­rently, the mar­ket is ac­tive but only for prop­erty un­der K10 mil­lion,” he said.

Dis­cus­sion at the Yan­gon Re­gion Hlut­taw about de­vel­op­ment projects may also be con­tribut­ing to in­creased in­ter­est, he added.

“I think it takes at least six months or a year for the mar­ket to be nor­mal,” Sai Khon Naung said.

But Daw Ni­lar Kyaw, the owner of Aye Yeik San Real Es­tate Ser­vice busi­ness, said small-prop­erty trad­ing over the past two weeks had been boom­ing in some ar­eas, as peo­ple started tak­ing bets on the fu­ture price of small-plots.

“Plots of land from the North and East Dagon myothit town­ships are be­ing traded so much,” she said. “Dur­ing the past two weeks, we have not been able to take rest even on Sun­days.”

– Trans­la­tion by Win Thaw Tar

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