Policy changes could trigger a new era for Myanmar real estate

Myanmar’s Yangon Regional Government readies a raft of real estate policy changes, including the setting of a benchmark price for properties, set to take effect in the 2018-19 fiscal year.

Leading market observers and other industry stakeholders have expressed mixed reactions to the new measure.

“With the exception of the affordable housing segment, real estate markets should be allowed to operate freely in order to be sustainable,” said top analyst Richard Emerson, managing director of Emerson Real Estate.

Emerson, who chairs the judging panel of the PropertyGuru Myanmar Property Awards, described the sector as “still in its infancy” and that “the concept of set standard pricing here is misunderstood.”

Government officials contend that standard property prices will ease the payment of stamp duties and other levies.

U Myint Thaung, the country’s Regional Minister for Planning and Finance, is leading the property valuations review that was set to begin in later May 2018, according to the Myanmar Times.

The planned policy changes come as China pushes through its Belt and Road initiative, incentivising Chinese foreign direct investment in Myanmar realty. AP reported that seven out of the top 10 entrepreneurs in Mandalay alone, Myanmar’s second-largest city, are now Chinese, citing data from the Mandalay Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Some developers have welcomed efforts to create a more transparent sector. The Condominium Law, enacted in 2016, is expected to herald more positive sentiment from foreign property seekers in Myanmar when clearer bylaws are introduced this year.

“With the aim of increasing tax revenues and transparency in the market, these initiatives will boost consumer confidence and lead to better practices,” said James Smith, senior manager at Marga Landmark, winner of Best Developer at the 2017 PropertyGuru Myanmar Property Awards.

Marga Landmark is the developer of the mixed-use complex The Central, which comprises retail and condominium components. The award-winning project is intended to attract foreign businesses and investors to Yangon.

“We hope that the changes to the legal and regulatory environment will enable this and provide the necessary protections for foreigners to invest as they may in other more developed regional markets,” Emerson said.

He added that developers must feel “encouraged to continue to provide high quality products to meet this new market.”

Myanmar’s real estate industry leaders will gather once again at the upcoming 4th PropertyGuru Myanmar Property Awards gala dinner on 10 August 2018 at the Sedona Hotel Yangon.

Source : Property Report

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