Real estate market slowing down, investors eye safe-haven assets

car park
The panoramic view of some high-rise buildings in Yangon city.

The property market is sluggish ‌at present as the investors have keen interests in the best safe haven assets like gold and dollars that can convert into cash quickly. Only the rental market is booming, said real estate agents.
“The rental market is better than the sales. Many houses are put up for sale. However, the owners set the exorbitant housing price. The market price peaked at K100 million even for an apartment on the fourth floor. This way, some eye the plot of land in the suburban areas rather than the apartments in the downtown areas,” U Htut Win, a real estate agent, told the Global New Light of Myanmar (GNLM).
Amid the current financial problems, some investors pointed out that gold and dollars that can make money quickly are better than bank savings and real estate purchases.
“The plots of land and apartments can be bought anytime. The prices are rising at a slow pace year over year.

Three years ago, the 12.5×55-foot apartment on the first floor was worth K55 million. The price has remained unchanged up to now. Therefore, the investors can only make a low profit. The dollar value and gold price are rocketing with the passage of time. The buyers can see the profits vividly on the basis of their buying price. It is hard to make cash quickly for housing. As a result of this, people do not turn to the real estate sector for investment,” U Tun Thein, a businessman from Latha Township, told the GNLM.
Earlier, the investors from the regions outside Yangon came to purchase the property. This year, they rarely do so.
“The investment for the real estate and automobile market has cooled. Those investors from regions outside Yangon do not buy them amid the political changes and financial problems. The housing and land purchased by Yangonites are lower than those of investors from regions other than Yangon. As some people want to make money, they sell their plots of land and houses, shaking the property market temporarily, said Daw Than Than Aye, a real estate agent.
Furthermore, fraudulent cases are arising in the real estate market with counterfeit documents. It is of vital importance for the buyers to verify the documents with the legal experts and check them at the respective offices before they make transactions, the GNLM quoted U Htut Win, a real estate agent, as saying.
The depreciation of Kyat and mounting inflation forced some people to make investments in safe-haven assets. Consequently, some eye the real estate market, pushing the price to rise and causing the swindling.
“The fake document can be identified only at the official department yet there is no service available for that. So, it sparks concerns of the investors over swindling,” said a real estate agent.
“There are plots of land with slip permits in four townships of Dagon Myothit. They are put up for sale online. When the buyers went to check the land or documents, the unscrupulous dealers asked for a deposit of K1 million. After some made deposits into that, they have fled already. There are many scammers working in groups,” U Khin Maung Wan from North Okkalapa Township shared his experience.
Nonetheless, investors find real estate hard to turn into cash rather than gold and dollars. It afflicted the sales of the real estate market. Only the rental market is going well, said Daw Than Than Aye, a real estate agent. — TWA/GNLM

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