New Condominium Rules allow more flexibility for foreigners

Foreigners will be given more flexibility to invest in the local property sector, according to new rules under the Condominium Law announced Thursday. The Condominium Rules are the final steps of the implementation of the Condominium Law, which was approved last year.

The rules, which were signed by the Union Minister for Construction on December 7, will be published “soon” and comes amid a slowdown in the local construction and property sectors.

Under the new rules, foreigners will now be permitted to develop property, subject to approval from the Myanmar Investment Commission, said Daw Moe Thida, Deputy Director from the Department of Urban and Housing Development (DUHD), in Nay Pyi Taw on Thursday.

The minimum requirements for a condominium project are to build at least 6 floors on 0.5 acres of land area.

In addition, developers will now be allowed to pre-sell new housing units after completing at least one third of the foundation work. The move will reduce the capital burden on construction businesses and real estate developers, enabling them to better manage their cash flows, U Min Htein, Director General of the DUHD, told The Myanmar Times.

Meanwhile, foreigners will also be allowed to buy up to 40pc of completed units on any floor of a condominium block. Under a former draft of the Condominium Rules, foreigners could own 40pc of the floor area in units above the sixth floor only.

“If the area of the building is 10,000 sqm, then 4,000 sqm can be sold to foreigners. Moreover, foreigners now include those from inside and outside Myanmar,” said Daw Moe Thida. “The new rules will make the market fairer for all investors.”

There will be no restrictions on rental, U Min Htein said.

Under the rules, foreigners are not allowed to own land. “Although foreigners are allowed to develop the land, they will have to work together with Myanmar nationals who have the right to own the land.” Daw Moe Thida said.

Legislation for the Condominium Law took 3 years to prepare and was finally enacted after being signed by the President on January 29, 2016. The new Condominium Rules took an additional two years to put in order.

Source: Myanmar Times

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Comment from Consult-Myanmar: Based on our internal source from Department of Urban and Housing Development. Some of the salient points in the new Condominium Rule are listed below:

  • To qualify as a condominium the building must have ≥ 6 floor and a plot size of ≥  20,000 sq feet.
  • Foreigners can own ≤ 40% of the total floor area regardless of which floor.
  • Each individual can own ≤ 25% of the units.
  • Developer of existing buildings can apply to be a condominium as well.
  • Developer can do pre-selling only after the completion of 30% of the foundation
  • 20% of the investment cost must be deposited by the developer before the issuing the unit titles
  • A developer license will be valid for 5 years
  • A unit can be mortgaged, transferred and sub-leased. The titles and the transfers are administered by the DUHD.

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