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Hlegu Lures Speculators

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Speculators with their eyes on Hlegu township are turning the area into a property price hotspot, according to real estate agents.

The property market in Yangon has been notoriously sluggish in recent years, but speculators are making an exception of Helgu, said Daw Thuzar May, director of Thit Sar property real estate agent.

Real estate agents pointed to the fact that Helgu is the constituency of Yangon Region Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein, and is also one of the areas prioritised for development in the Yangon 2040 master plan.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency intends to publish an amended version of its Yangon 2040 master plan by the end of this year. But the original plan listed Hlegu as location for one of several ‘new city’ projects. Hlegu land prices are up between K1 million and K2 million per acre from the start of this year, after enjoying even bigger jumps last year when the government first started discussing the new city plans in parliament.

In earlier years land was around K3 million an acre in the township, with little differentiation in price between land types, said U Aung Min, director of Myat Min real estate agency. Now Hlegu township grant land is now being sold for over K15 million an acre depending on the location, he said. Garden land sells for over K10 million and farmland around K10 million, he added.

Grant land can be transferred and used for any legal purpose, garden land can be used for a range of agricultural operations but is not transferable, and farmland can only be used only for paddy growing.

Property speculators have targeted constituencies of senior government officials in the past on the frequently mistaken impression that projects and infrastructure will be prioritised for those areas. Real estate prices in the rural Kawhmu township in Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s constituency soared after her party’s win in the November elections in 2016.

Undeveloped townships on the outskirts of downtown are typically more popular because the price is cheaper, and those in the constituencies of political leads are particularly popular, said Daw Thuzar May.

“Some [outskirt townships] have become developed over the last 50 years like Yankin and South Okkalapa,” she said. “Those townships are expensive now so investors aren’t interested. They want land in newer townships where prices are still less than K10 million per acre.”

U Aung Min, said that of the seven townships named in the 2040 plan Helgu remains the most popular.

“The price of housing units is falling slightly because of many new low-cost government housing projects,” he said. “But land prices are still rising”

Hlegu township prices are at their highest near Hmawbi and Front Dagon townships, where the new city project is planned, he said.

 

Source: Myanmar Times

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