Speculators return to Dala as bridge plans firm up

The government first released information about plans to connect Dala township with the rest of the city, across the Yangon River, in 2013.

At the time, this caused a sharp rise in property prices as investors and land price speculators bought land in the hope of making money. When the project ran into difficulties and was put on hold, land prices fell and the new owners were unable to sell their holdings.

But this May, the Yangon Region government confirmed it would take a loan from the South Korean government to build the bridge. As the news spread, people have been returning to Dala and buying land, and prices have returned to their former highs, according to local brokers.

“People started crowding here to make inquiries or to buy land as soon as the information came out. So prices immediately rose and land owners have been asking for very high prices,” said U Hla Chit, a Dala broker.

He added that a month after the news, interest is waning slightly, but remains strong. The price of residential land is the highest and paddy land beside the road is also very expensive, he said.

In terms of residential land, Kyansit Thar ward is the most popular, with prices at an average of K250 million (US$225,000) for a 2500 square foot plot. This compares to the former price of K70 million.

In other wards, the price is now around K60 million to K70 million for 1200 or 2400 square feet. The price of paddy land varies, but an average is around K40 million to K60 million per acre – though it had been as low as K1.8 million an acre before 2013.

“The owners who bought paddy land from farmers in 2013 when the bridge was first announced are asking for extremely high prices, which is why some of the land is so expensive,” said U Hla Chit.

But U Sai Khon Naung, owner of Sai Khon Naung real estate agent, said that many investors don’t want to buy land in Dala due to concerns that the project will be cancelled again.

“I am not interested in buying land in Dala now. The project is only in the process of being discussed; nobody has confirmed that the plan will go ahead yet. We will only know whether it is a good investment or not once the bridge has been built and Dala township is better developed,” he said.

The price of land in Dala is much higher than other townships on the outskirts of Yangon and the area is much less developed, so investors should think before spending money on land there, said real estate experts. Although the township is geographically near to downtown Yangon, it will take a long time to develop, they said.

“There are not good opportunities in Dala township, unlike nearby Thanlyin township, which will benefit from the Thilawa special economic zone (SEZ) project and the petroleum industry. There are no industries in Dala and even the farmland is not so good. This means that real-money buyers are not interested in moving to Dala,” said U Yan Aung, former real estate agent and general manager of Asia Construction.

Daw Khin Thuzar, real estate agent at Thit Sar Property, said; “Many speculators are interested again in Dala and there have been many enquiries following successful negotiations with the residents to build a bridge to downtown. But the market remains cold – there have been very few actual transactions.”

This is also a reflection of the fact that there have been very few transactions this year in the real estate market in Yangon as a whole, according to experts.

Dala township is located on the southern bank of the Yangon River and is made up of 23 wards. It is bordered by the Yangon River to the north and the east, the Twante Canal to the west and Twante township to the south.

Source: Myanmar Times

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