Mystery project spikes ward’s prices

Property prices have soared in Yangon’s Sanpya Phasa Pa La Ward as the appearance of soil testers sparked rumours of an impending large-scale buyout plan by international firms keen to re-develop the area.

Local residents say the appearance of Myanmar and Japanese soil testing crews in the ward located north of Aung San Stadium caused a buying frenzy this year, with prices increasing to several times the costs of last year.

“Since the soil testing teams visited several places in the ward, prices just about quadrupled,” said resident U Aung Din.

The ward consists of some 800 apartment units intended largely for civil servants and those made homeless by disasters, located to the north of Yangon’s Aung San Stadium in Mingalar Taung Nyunt township. Some of the four-storey buildings date back over 50 years, showing their age with cracks in the walls and poor maintenance.

Local residents told The Myanmar Times that flats which previously sold for K20 million fetched as much as K85 million following the arrival of the soil testing teams in the last two months, while monthly rental prices generally tripled from K50,000 to K150,000.

Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development deputy director general U Shwe Win said rules stipulating all residents must be civil servants or other people chosen by the government are often ignored, as many residents sell the right to live in their flats to the general public.

Although he declined to provide a timeframe for the eventual re-development of the ward, he said permission had been granted to interested developers to begin surveys over the last two months.

Ministry of Construction officials also conducted a preliminary survey of residents some two months ago, though not all residents have yet been registered.

Another official from the Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development said there is a large-scale tendering plan in the works, adding employees from five different international companies so far requested permission to conduct soil tests.

“It will be a very big housing project, and will attract a large foreign investment,” said the official, who requested anonymity as the project has not been officially announced to the public, including ward residents.

The redevelopment is one of three large projects slated for eventual tender alongside developments in Thuwanna and Yankin Townships, he added.

Source Myanmar Times

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