Bago property market quiet as investors eye airport’s fate

Prices for Bago Region property near the border with Yangon Region have cooled as no new developer for Hanthawaddy Airport has been announced.

Property in Bago was snapped up as momentum behind the new international air hub for Myanmar appeared to grow last year, with speculators anticipating economic spillover from the US$1 billion project, but Bago land prices have since quieted down as a contractor has still not been finalised for the project, said U Yan Aung, a Bago-area realtor.

“Land prices will get higher when construction of the airport actually starts and a contractor is signed on,” said U Aung Swe, a Bago real estate agent. “But since there is no new contractor, land prices are a little cold.”

Although property varies widely based on exact location, some land near the Hanthawaddy site is fetching K80 million an acre, up on K60 million this time last year, said one realtor. However, some prices rose even further earlier this year before settling down.

South Korea’s Incheon Airport consortium won the tender as preferred builder for airport the project in August 2013, but talks on a formal contract with the Department of Civil Aviation fell apart by the beginning of 2014. The four consortiums that had initially bid were then re-invited to submit bids for the US$1 billion project, though there has not yet been a formal announcement of a winner or a signed contract.

The airport has been criticised as being too far from Yangon city centre, though the existing Yangon International Airport is said to be quickly reaching capacity.

U Aung Swe said it was not only land near the proposed site that reached new heights last year, but also land on nearby roadways such as the Yangon-Mandalay highway.

“It is a great property market for speculators,” he said. “Many businessmen bought the Bago land.”

U Myint, manager of Mahar Bago real estate agency, said in some cases land on the Yangon-Mandalay road is sitting at K80 million an acre for a property that had been at K5 million two years ago. The further from Yangon, though, generally the less expensive the land.

Bago Region land located further from major roads and Yangon has seen less demand, added U Myint.

“Speculators aren’t really buying land near Bago city, though there are many people buying on the border with Yangon,” he said.


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