Yangon’s maturing market

Yangon’s property market is flourishing attracting international interest.

As Myanmar has been taking strides towards development, the country has been on the receiving end of substantial foreign direct investment. From the period 1988 to 2015, USD 58.2 billion was injected into this once sleeping state. An amount that spiraled to USD 8 billion in 2014 as a result of the country becoming liberalised in 2012. This dipped to USD 4.1 billion in 2015.

What has been particularly interesting is the rising numbers of tourists that Myanmar has welcomed. In 2015, 4.68 million visitor descended upon Myanmar – an increase of 52 percent if compared to the previous year.

This has had a knock on effect to the country’s property market as accommodation is needed to house these numbers. Myanmar’s hospitality and tourism industries received USD 3 billion for the first eight months of this year. The opening on the new international terminal at Yangon’s airport helped to welcome tourists as the capacity was increased by 3.3 million annually.

International hoteliers started making appearances in the Yangon property market that included brands such as Starwood, Lotte and Pan Pacific. As a result of increasing visitor numbers, occupancy rose by 31 percent according to data released by Savills. The serviced apartment sector is starting to make moves too despite been far behind in terms of numbers if compared to neighbouring Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City.

As the market starts to progress Myanmar continues to attract international interest. Names such as Kappel Land, CapitaLand, Somerset and InterContinental Hotel Group all have projects in the pipeline.

Condominium prices are on the up. Increasing 10 percent year-on-year, Yangon is experiencing higher values as demand outstrips supply. As of January 2016 under The Condominium Law, foreigners are now permitted to buy condominium units above the sixth floor. This is limited to 40 percent of a building but gives positive signs to the rest of the world. This has pushed sales and products are striving to improve their quality to satisfy demand.

There is no doubt that the property market is in its infancy but there are clear indicators illustrating its progression. There is a healthy pipe of condominium units in Yangon making this one market to be watched.