Yangon Mayor U Hla Myint told the regional parliament last June that the East North New City had been awarded first priority among the seven new city projects devised by the Strategic Urban Development Plan for Greater Yangon 2040.
He stressed the importance of its location between the future Hantharwaddy Airport and Thilawa Port and between Yangon and Bago regions.
But local residents say not much has happened since.
In 2013, the price of farmland along the Yangon-Mandalay highway was about K20 million per acre, and about K10 million per acre along the Ywarthargyi-Htaukkyant road, according to local estate agents.
Businesspeople who bought plots in the project area have found that their land forms part of the irrigated farmlands of Nga Moe Yeik Dam.
“A Chinese buyer tried to change the designation of use of the land she bought because its value was so low. But she can’t. And nobody is buying farmlands on the Yangon-Mandalay highway between Hlegu and Htaukkyant,” said U Myo Khin, a real estate agent.
“At present sales are cool. It’s still unclear whether the project will really happen, but almost all the land on the main roads has already been acquired by investors,” said U Myo Khin, owner of Lu Gyi Min Estate Agency in Kyunkalay Sanpya village, Hlegu township. He described the current sales environment as “dreary”.
The Strategic Urban Development Plan for Greater Yangon 2040 was drafted by Yangon City Development Committee and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
In total, its seven new projects will cover 118,732 acres, at an estimated cost of K8177.51, in order to accommodate the projected 2040 Yangon population of nearly 10 million people.
The northeast Yangon new town project is costed at K491.13 billion on 17375 acres on the Yangon-Mandalay highway between No 2 and No 3 roads at Hlegu township.
Last year, when the market was brisker, people would often inquire about land prices in the nearby Kyungalay and Dayebo villages and farms, which then would fetch up to K100 million an acre in prime locations. But today, those farmlands are not saleable and some real estate agents have gone out of business, said Hlegu realtor Ko Wunna Tun.
Hlegu township offers good transportation and a large employee population, which have attracted garments, footwear and foodstuffs factories to opened there.
“A lot of farmers sold up and became factory workers or motorcycle taxi drivers,” said local resident Ko Aye Myint, a taxi driver in Hlegu.
Despite the sluggish state of the property market, the long-term prospects still attract workers and potential investors to Hlegu.
“We’ve drawn up plans to extend over 100,000 acres as Yangon’s population increases,” said U Kyaw Latt, a YCDC town planner.
Source: Myanmar Times