In the past years, Myanmar has shown great economic reform. The country has undergone changes that benefit Myanmar’s property market like never before. As a result, more investors want to buy property in Myanmar as a foreigner.
Previously known as Burma, Myanmar was under an oppressive dictatorship until 2007. The Saffron Revolution allowed the country to have its first election after a long time, which was closely monitored by a number of international observers. Since the mid-2000s, Myanmar had made good use of their newfound freedom. From 2007, the country posted an annual GDP growth of 12%, increasing by 6% since then, unaffected by the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.
As a frontier market, Myanmar grew quickly thanks to its strategic location bordering Asia’s superpowers, China and India. As the two countries economy surged, Myanmar benefitted largely through increased trade, transportation, and economic influence.
Property Developers Banking on Foreign Participation
Since the enactment of the Condominium Law in 2016, property developers and investors are expecting more overseas investors to fund the local real estate sector. Many are hoping that clearer homeownership laws will attract a higher volume of foreign investments. Before the law came into existence, foreigners who do long-term investments in the country often choose to rent properties which were highly volatile and have higher rates.
According to the Condominium Law, foreigners can now own up to 40% of the units in a condominium project, with each individual allowed to purchase as much as 25% of the units.
Foreigners, even without a National Registration Card, can buy condos in Myanmar, except for individuals blacklisted from the country. Those who want to purchase can do so by official foreign currency remittance from abroad. Aside from purchasing rights, foreigners can also have construction rights and joint venture investments in the country as well.
Should a foreigner wish to sell their property, either to a local or foreigner, they can do so until foreign ownership hits the 40% threshold. Do note, however, that structure built on a minimum of a 0.5-acre lot, with more than six storeys can be classified as condominium projects. In the same law, it is noted that all buyers, will have the land title of the condo in accordance with the number of owned shares or units. The duration of property ownership for foreigners is limited to the building’s life duration.
Property Hotspots in Myanmar
Note that the above law for foreign property ownership in Myanmar covers condominium projects only. However, there aren’t many choices in Myanmar just yet. Those who want to buy property in Myanmar as a foreigner must consider the following cities:
Yangon seems to be the best candidate for foreign investments since it is the country’s largest and busiest city. It is only the city in Myanmar which will see a rise in foreign property ownership soon. Property prices in Yangon are incredibly high, with rental rates of up to $80 per square metre.
Dagon Township is the political centre and is the most popular among tourists. It is a top choice for expats and well-to-do locals for its proximity and easy access to the downtown area.
Bahan Township is more popular among wealthy locals. Many people love the area’s rural feel despite its closeness to downtown. The township will draw in more expats in the future for its secluded, western lifestyle.