The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - YEE YWAL MYINT yeey­walmyint@mm­

PROP­ERTY-mar­ket watch­ers say the in­creas­ing avail­abil­ity of home loans, the in­tro­duc­tion of the Con­do­minium Law 2016, and sta­ble mar­ket makes now a good time for those look­ing homes to start shop­ping.

At present, man­age­ment bod­ies that will en­force con­do­minium rules and reg­u­la­tions are start­ing to emerge and as soon as they are for­malised, big hous­ing projects can be legally regis­tered.

“Af­ter reg­is­tra­tion, a project will be able to sell 40 per­cent of the apart­ments to for­eign­ers ac­cord­ing to the Con­do­minium Law 2016. This will sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of the prop­erty mar­ket and at­tract for­eign in­vestors, said U Kyaw Sithu, the owner of a con­struc­tion com­pany.

“It is a buyer’s mar­ket now and de­vel­op­ers are most will­ing to sell at this time,” he said.

“At the same time there are a lot of sales pro­mo­tions and if buy­ers can choose good lo­ca­tions and good projects, it will be a good in­vest­ment,” he added.

Loan op­tions Mean­while, hous­ing loans re­payable in monthly in­stal­ments have be­gun to flour­ish in the real es­tate mar­ket since the be­gin­ning of this year, as more con­struc­tion com­pa­nies and real es­tate de­vel­op­ers col­lab­o­rate with banks to make home own­er­ship more ac­ces­si­ble.

“Be­ing able to take out prop­erty loans is con­ve­nient for buy­ers, but the high in­ter­est rate is still some­thing that must be con­sid­ered,” U Kyaw Sithu pointed out.

Many of the buy­ers look­ing around in prop­erty ex­pos are those who want to pur­chase units be­tween K60 mil­lion to K100 mil­lion with bank loans, said U Kaung Thu Win, direc­tor of prop­erty web­site Sh­weProp­

“Even pen­sion­ers and young peo­ple are look­ing to buy and the ma­jor­ity of the buy­ers are not look­ing at in­vest­ments but be­cause they ac­tu­ally need a home to live in,” he added.

U Kaung Thu Win said prop­erty loans, and strong for­eignown­er­ship laws will boost the prop­erty mar­ket.

“Over the past six months, some 200 peo­ple be­came home­own­ers with prop­erty loans Sh­weProp­,” said U Kaung Thu Win.

Since home loans are still rel­a­tively new, in­dus­try in­sid­ers say there have been cases of de­lays due to in­com­plete doc­u­men­ta­tion and un­fa­mil­iar­ity with the process of ap­ply­ing for a loan.

It is ex­pected that this will smooth it­self out once banks and ap­pli­cants be­come more fa­mil­iar with the process.

Bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment An­other rea­son to start tak­ing a closer look at the prop­erty mar­ket is the im­prov­ing qual­ity of new build­ings. “Nowa­days, buy­ers do not buy if the qual­ity of the build­ing is poor. I fore­see modern build­ings will be pri­ori­tised for the next five years. Buy­ers will only be in­ter­ested the build­ings with good ser­vices and qual­ity,” said U Kyaw Si Thu.

The other fac­tor that can sup­port growth of the Yan­gon prop­erty mar­ket is bet­ter in­fra­struc­ture such as roads and bridges in the city.

Mean­while, the de­vel­op­ment of shop­ping cen­ters, of­fice tow­ers, ser­viced apart­ments and goods ho­tels are ex­pected to be­come part of a vir­tu­ous cir­cle that can only boost Yan­gon’s ap­peal as a city to live in.

Time to in­vest It could also be a good time for prop­erty in­vestors to en­ter the mar­ket. “For­eign in­vestors look at ba­sic in­fra­struc­ture like land, roads, wa­ter and elec­tric­ity. If th­ese are looked af­ter then even more for­eign money will en­ter the econ­omy,” said U Nay Min Thu.

“Un­der the coun­try’s present eco­nomic con­di­tions, there is po­ten­tial for an in­flux of for­eign in­vest­ment, there­fore it is a right time for those who want to in­vest in lo­cal real es­tate to start con­sid­er­ing the mar­ket,” said U Kyaw Sithu.

U Nay Min Thu, man­ag­ing direc­tor of iMyan­mar­ also pointed out that “due to the cur­rent state of the econ­omy, some peo­ple are look­ing at prop­erty as an in­vest­ment as they are wor­ried that money kept in banks will di­min­ish in value if the kyat weak­ens fur­ther.”

“In the present con­di­tions, lo­cal in­vestors should still con­sider in­vest­ing in apart­ments and con­dos rather than land,” said U Kyaw Sithu.

“The un­sta­ble ex­change rate will lead in­vest­ments to the real es­tate sec­tor. I think the land prices will still go down for at least two or three years,” he added.

Land prices in Myan­mar hit a peak in 2013 and have now dropped by about 25pc, said U Nay Min Thu.

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