Last year saw unprecedented rental demand for condominiums in Yangon and real estate agents say they are expecting an even better result in 2013.
U Sai Khung Noung, the managing director of Sai Khung Noung Real Estate and Law Firm in Tarmwe township, said the huge influx of foreigners during 2012 was the key factor driving condo demand.
“The condo rental in the past year has been hot, mostly as a result of demand from foreign clients, and prices have also been rising,” he said.
“Prices in 2012 rose sharply over the previous year, and demand was at least 50 percent higher too,” he said.
He added that rooms at popular condominiums, such as Pearl Condominium on Kabar Aye Pagoda Road in Bahan township, were renting for up to US$3000 a month.
Apartments at Shwe Hintha Condominium, which has a swimming pool, are renting for upwards of $3500 a month.
He said condominiums with shopping and dining options nearby are proving to be strong draws for clients.
“I’ve had many clients from China, Japan and Europe using my agency to rent apartments and condominiums in the past year. And these clients are typically interested in housing that has shopping nearby, although the structural condition of the building and security are also important,” he said.
U Sai Khung Noung said he had learned that first impressions mattered for foreign clients.
“Many foreign firms are looking for accommodation for employees but there are many condominiums that are in poor shape, especially from the outside,” he said.
U Sai Khung Noung added that the city has a shortage of high-end condominiums, which has seen prices double in less than 12 months.
“But I hope demand will continue to grow as more foreign investors come. Everybody knows that there’s a serious shortage of high quality apartments, serviced apartments and even hotel rooms,” he said.
Ko Min Naing, the operations manager of Shining Star real estate agency in Ahlone township, said the bumper demand experienced during 2012 had highlighted the importance that foreigners place on layout and interior decoration.
“During the past year, our agency has been busy helping to find accommodation for a lot of foreigners, particularly in Dagon township where there are many blocks built by Naing Group and Shine Construction,” he said.
“And Shwe Hintha Condo on Pyay Road has also been popular with foreigners. The common features of the popular developments are good facilities, security, good layout and attractive interiors,” he said.
“We completed 60 percent more leases in 2012 than the previous year,” he said.
He added that Dagon township, especially the streets behind Park Royal Hotel, is the most sought-after destination for foreign clients.
“It’s true that condos in the downtown area, or close by, are seeing better demand than those in Thingangyun, Tarmwe and Yankin townships, which I attribute to the amount of time they save the occupants on travel,” Ko Min Naing said.
He added that a condominium law must be passed in the near future to protect the industry and raise standards.
“All of the developers and owners should prepare themselves for a condominium law, which will set minimum standards and stop the building of condominiums that do not have adequate parking or facilities.
“This will be an important issue this year,” he said.