Most expats cannot afford to buy condos

According to Ko Ko Htwe, the chairman of Taw Win Construction, most foreigners living in Myanmar cannot afford condominiums, despite the recent law enabling expats to purchase condo properties.

Instead, most expatriates choose to stay in normal apartments and, according to Ko Ko Htwe, the market for condo sales is still cold.

The Condominium Law, enacted on January 22 this year, allows expats to purchase up to 40 per cent of the properties in a condominium complex with an area larger than 20,000 square meters.

Many in the construction industry expected the law to provide a boost to the market by reducing distrust toward construction companies as well as heightening sales to foreign workers.

However, the market has not picked up in the four months since the law was enacted.

“The Condominium Law was passed, but considering how many buildings there are that fall within the law and how many foreigners cannot afford them, it is no surprise that you see many of them living in wards. There are also many who live in our Mu Di Tha affordable housing complex. If we can make things more accessible for them to purchase properties here, it will definitely develop the industry. The government can make it happen,” said Ko Ko Htwe.

Nay Min Thu, managing director for iMyanmarHouse.com, a local property trading website, said one of the reasons why the property sales market is frozen now is that many people have high hopes that the new government will build affordable housing for middle and lower income citizens.

Source: Eleven Myanmar

Comments by Consult-Myanmar: Most “condominium” being developed in Yangon over the last 3 years do not qualify as condominium under the new Condominium Law as it does not meet the criteria of:

  • Must be at least 6 stories built on land measuring at least 20,000 sq ft (1,858 sq meter).
  • Owners of all the housing units must be collective owner of the land and all the common areas.
  • The land must be registered with the relevant authorities as condominium land and is collectively owned by all housing unit owners in that condominium development.

 
Most properties in Yangon are small and have very complicated history – so they will not be able to qualify as “condominium” under the new law.

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