The changing tide of Yangon's real estate market

By STUART DEED | FRONTIER

FOR SEVERAL years it seemed like the only way was up for Yangon’s property sector. But like any market, real estate goes through cycles of boom and bust that are normally based on supply and demand.

In most regards Yangon’s property market is now in a period of oversupply. Low-cost housing is a possible exception, while there is still a shortage of high-quality warehousing.

Prime office rents are less than half what they were only two years ago. Condo prices (both rental and sale) are coming down; all indications suggest rents will fall further. House and land sale prices in mid-to-outer suburbs are falling with plenty of stock on the market and few sales; rents here are also declining.

n some market segments, prices haven’t changed. While there are plenty of houses for rent in expat-popular neighbourhoods like Golden Valley, many are relatively old and accordingly feature dated kitchens, bathrooms and fittings. Modern residences with neat bathrooms and kitchens are shifting fast and as a result prices are holding steady.

Similarly, sale prices of prime land – such as in Bahan, Yankin and Kamaryut townships – have changed little. Supply shortages mean they are unlikely to fall anytime soon, particularly while traffic congestion makes outer suburbs unattractive.

The biggest change in recent years, though, is choice: renters now have much of it, which was not always the case a few years ago. Supply has caught up to demand and there are now a variety of rental types across a range of prices. This trend is likely to continue – just look at the skyline and consider how many high-rise projects are sprouting up.

Where a few years ago high-quality housing in the city’s north – from Parami Road up to 9-mile, as well as Pun Hlaing – was in high demand, tenants’ focus seems to have shifted further south, with a renewed focus on Golden Valley. Anecdotally, this seems to be because Myanmar Plaza has attracted several big tenants away from MICT Park.

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