Confidence missing in Yangon New City

However, land speculators have been slow to express a renewed interest in the controversial project, as they fear it may be suspended again, according to real estate agents.

The project will be located on an 11,716 acre site, bordered by the Pun Hlaing River, the Twante-Yangon Canal, the Hlaing River and the Hlaing Tharyar-Twante Road in western Yangon, according to an announcement in state media on July13.

Only Myanmar citizens are eligible to apply for the project and the Yangon Region government will sell tender forms until July 21 for K50,000 each, according to the tender, which said that applicants should pay a deposit of K5 billion and that submitted forms will be opened at the government offices on August 18.

The new town project is located on the site of a controversial development that was cancelled last year. It was halted due to criticism over the Yangon government’s lack of transparency in awarding a multi-billion US dollar contract to a little known company called Myanma Satanar Myothit Public Company – without a public tender process.

However, although a tender has now been issued, land prices in the area have not risen to levels seen last year, say real estate agents.

Following last year’s announcement that a new town would be built, land prices in the area rose to at least K50 million per acre, according to estate agents.

U Moe Win, a real estate agent from Twantay township said that the price of land in the area is falling and land owners are selling plots for K20 million an acre. “Land prices can reach K80 million near to the main road, but elsewhere the price is around K20 million. In 2014, prices reached as high as K100 million an acre,” he said.

Real estate agent U Aye Win said that some buyers have lost confidence in government projects, and don’t like to buy land following a government tender for fear the project will not go ahead. “Buyers are scared of government projects. Many have lost out in the past, so they have no trust in this project,” he said.

Daw Nyo Nyo Thin, the Yangon parliamentary representative for Bahan township, said that this is the wrong time for the government to tender this project now. “I don’t understand why the government wants to implement this immediately. They shouldn’t – the next government will face many difficult if the current government goes ahead with this,” she said.

The new town plan is one of seven housing projects to be built as part of the Greater Yangon Development Strategic Plan for 2040, designed by the regional government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), according to the July 13 tender announcement.

“The seven modern housing projects will be established on more than 100,000 acres of land on the outskirts of Yangon and accommodate more than 10 million people,” it said.

Source: Myanmar Times

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