Office rents in Yangon have begun to fall for the first time in four years as foreign firms adopt a wait-and-see attitude ahead of the election, according to a research company.
New Crossroad Asia (NCRA) quoted Robin Aung Soe Naing, manager of Pronto Services, as saying that in early 2015 office rents fell by 20 per cent from the 2014 level.
The NCRA report, commissioned by the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Yangon rents had skyrocketed since 2011. In 2014, the rents rose by nearly 100 per cent from the previous year.
Aside from the political reason for the slump this year, it attributed the falling rents to the completion of new office buildings over the past few years.
Tony Picon, managing director of Colliers International Myanmar, added that rents also reflected the country’s economy with uncertainty in rules and regulations holding back investors.
Colliers was also waiting for the election result, he said. It expects an influx of foreign businesses if the November 8 poll is proved to be fair.
The house.com.mm predicted that demand for office space would increase when the Asean Economic Community is implemented at the end of the year.
Despite a drop in office rents, prices remain high by regional standards.
Yangon office rents were the highest in the region in August last year at US$8 (Bt287) per square foot per month, 21 per cent higher than top-end offices in Singapore.
Last year, Unicef revealed that it paid $87,000 per month for its compound in Yangon.
Source: The Nation