The growing number of expats in Yangon is putting strain on existing residential property, providing a market opportunity for higher-end housing.
ZAO Property is conducting renovations on 34 homes in Yangon’s Thaketa township, aiming to cater to the expat crowd.
Sales director Chris Oram said he has been in Myanmar since 1998, and over 16 years has seen all kinds of houses, all with a different problem.
“Sometimes it could be the landlord problem, sometimes the water and sometimes electricity and sometime just the house is the problem. So what we are trying to do with this is remember every single problem we have had and make sure every tenant never has to suffer any of those problems,” he said.
The firm is renovating 34 homes on Shwe Tha Pyay housing estate for a primarily expat clientele.
Mr Oram said the homes come with different levels of furnishings. Some expats arrive without furniture and are looking for homes that are all put together, while others simply need to rent furniture for a while, until their items are shipped from home.
“It’s all international standard, with great electricity, a great water supply and all the fully furnished [units] are up to the level of serviced apartments,” he said.
ZAO managing director Ma Phyo Zar Twin said the firm spent two-and-a-half years looking for the right project to manage.
“Myanmar real estate prices are going up all the time, and it’s hard to find the right place to live,” she said. “After looking around for two-and-a-half years, we finally found this place.”
The renovated estate will include a club house with a swimming pool, a gymnasium, a child’s play area, a coffee shop, a mini mart and a barbeque area.
Current tenants say that many local projects are not geared toward expats, but rather toward Myanmar people, who often have different tastes.
“In the past Myanmar developers often build for Myanmar families,” said Tony, a resident at Shwe Tha Pyay housing. “Local people are usually looking for large properties and condos with four or five bedrooms, with limited facilities.
“Expats are also looking for good quality facilities such as swimming pools, gyms and club houses, and they’re in very short supply – some expats even live in Thailand and just fly to Myanmar every week,” he added.
Rent at Shwe Tha Pyay costs US$5000 a month for a fully furnished house, $4500 for semi-furnished, and $4000 for unfurnished homes. Two-bedroom apartments cost $950 to $1150 a month furnished and $750 to $950 a month unfurnished.
Mr Oram said the firm also strives to provide a high level of service.
“Another good point is that we live here ourselves,” he said. “If anyone has a problem they can just knock on our door.”
The office also has its own staff available from morning to evening, including an electrician, gardener and maid service.
Source: Myanmar Times