Lo­cal in­vestors look to buy for­eign prop­erty

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - TIN YADA­NAR TUN tinyada­nar­tun@mm­times.com

Wealthy Myan­mar in­vestors search­ing for real es­tate op­por­tu­ni­ties are in­creas­ingly putting money to work in re­gional mar­kets, say es­tate agents.

WEALTHY Myan­mar prop­erty in­vestors are show­ing more ap­petite for for­eign pur­chases, ac­cord­ing to KAE Al­liance real es­tate, which has sold 20 for­eign prop­er­ties to lo­cal buy­ers this year.

U Kyaw Min Zin, di­rec­tor of KAE Al­liance, said that his firm had sold two Sin­ga­porean and 18 Malaysian prop­er­ties so far this year, with in­vestors clearly pre­fer­ring in­ter­na­tional real es­tate to lo­cal lux­ury hous­ing.

The most re­cent sales came from the For­est City devel­op­ment in Malaysia, which KAE Al­liance started of­fer­ing two weeks ago.

“We’ve al­ready sold three units in the first few weeks after launch­ing sales in Myan­mar,” he said. “Some cus­tomers also want to go and look at the con­struc­tion site be­fore buy­ing units, so we plan to visit Malaysia with two po­ten­tial buy­ers in De­cem­ber and an­other three in 2017.”

For­est City is a mixed-use project on 1386 hectares of land across four man-made is­lands in Malaysia’s Iskan­dar re­gion. Hong Kong-listed prop­erty de­vel­oper Coun­try Gar­den Hold­ings and Jo­hor-based firm Es­planade Danga 88 are the de­vel­op­ers.

Caleb Loh, busi­ness devel­op­ment di­rec­tor of For­est City, said con­struc­tion had be­gun in 2015 and units in the first phase of the first is­land will be fin­ished late next year. The first is­land is due for com­ple­tion in the next five to eight years, he added.

The first is­land will have de­tached prop­er­ties as well as apart­ments in 30 to 35 storey build­ings. The apart­ments, in­clud­ing the ones KAE Al­liance sold to Myan­mar buy­ers, are priced at K200 mil­lion per 550 square feet, he said.

KAE Al­liance has sold 15 apart­ments across two other Malaysian de­vel­op­ments – Par­adiso Me­dini and Grand Me­dini – this year, and two apart­ments in the Sin­ga­porean devel­op­ment Sims Ur­ban Oa­sis, said U Kyaw Min Zin.

He said that in­ter­est in in­ter­na­tional prop­erty among wealthy Myan­mar ci­ti­zens had started to pick up in late 2015. In­vest­ing in prop­erty abroad – par­tic­u­larly in Thai­land, Malaysia and Sin­ga­pore – had been com­mon be­fore the first civil­ian govern­ment took power in 2011, he added.

The end of mil­i­tary rule sparked a re­newed in­ter­est in the do­mes­tic real es­tate mar­ket, but the lo­cal prop­erty mar­ket started to fal­ter in 2014. That down­turn, com­bined with start of the ASEAN Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity at the end of 2015 and im­proved trans­port links, has prompted in­vestors to look over­seas again, U Kyaw Min Zin said.

“Trans­porta­tion is very good now. We can take daily di­rect flights from Myan­mar to Malaysia and Sin­ga­pore,” he said. “There’s also visa-free agree­ment with some coun­tries. There’s more and more links with other na­tions, so I hope sales con­tinue to rise. We are plan­ning to start sell the units from EU coun­tries and Aus­tralia in the first quar­ter of 2017.”

Photo: EPA

Con­struc­tion crane-topped build­ings dom­i­nate the Sin­ga­pore sky­line.

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