Buddhist Lent is coming to an end at the end of October but real estate agents say the rental market is already running strong, with incoming foreigners seeking accommodation and offices.
Ko Thant Sin, from New Moon real estate agency, said high property prices and tax increases in August had muted sales interest. “But residential and office rentals are picking up fast as the end of Lent approaches,” he said last week.
“The demand for condominiums is particularly strong because hotels are clearing out spaces they used to rent as offices and the companies are looking for new premises,” he added.
Ko Thant Sin said the recent influx of foreigners is also affecting the market because people who might otherwise stay in hotels or serviced apartments are unable to do so – and are looking for apartments instead.
“Most people are looking for condominiums in the downtown area, especially at Sakura Tower and Seikkanthar Condo, as well as at Shwe Hin Thar Condo on Pyay Road and Pearl Condo corner on Kabar Aye Pagoda Road.
“House and apartments along Pyay Road are in demand,” Ko Thant Sin said. However, he would not reveal rental prices.
He added that it’s a difficult time for Myanmar people looking to find new rental accommodation.
“Rental prices are up by more than one-third against the same time last year. In October or November you could find a nice apartment for a middle-class family relatively easily for K1 million but this year it’s closer to K1.3 million and it’s not easy to find a nice place,” he added.
“And if people cannot afford the rents being asked they have no choice but to move further away from downtown, to townships such as Hlaing,” he added.
Ko Thant Sin said apartment and condo rentals in Kyauktada, Pabedan, Latha, Botahtaung, Pazundaung, Lanmadaw and Dagon township, as well as houses along Pyay Road had increased significantly this year.
Ko Min Min Soe of Mya Pan Thakhin real estate agency said rental prices are up by an average of 20 percent year-on-year. However, he said there has not been a discernible increase in the number of rental deals.
“Rental prices of houses and apartments in central places are up about 20pc since last year. It’s difficult to find a decent apartment for less than K500,000,” he said.
He picked Ahlone and Sanchaung townships as the hottest neighbourhooods in Yangon.
“But a lot of people can’t afford the increased rental fees and have had no choice but to move further out or in other areas such as Hlaing or Kyeemyindaing townships,” he said.
However, he said some downtown residents were cashing in on the increased value of their condos and apartments and moving elsewhere.
Ko Min Min Soe said office rentals and incoming foreigners amounted to about a third of the company’s business.
“It’s unusual for people to move house during the Lenten months but there’s usually a rush at the end. But this year a lot of people are just trying to stay where they are because prices are higher,” he said.