The year 2012 will be recorded as a sluggish one for property agents in Mandalay and Pyin Oo Lwin, local property agents said. With just two months left of 2012, there is still no sign of positive change in a market that fell into a slump since the beginning of the year.
Apartment blocks stand against Yangon’s skyline like cigarette packets of uneven lengths. As more and more complexes are built to save precious space and multiply rent revenues, an increasing number of people are adjusting to life in an apartment, whether it be out of financial necessity or opting for the certain conveniences it brings.
Few can deny Bagan’s breathtaking beauty. The ancient city was described by National Geographic as “one of Southeast Asia’s greatest archaeological heritage sites”, while Japan’s permanent delegation to UNESCO describes it as one of Asia’s “major historical landmarks”.
Scaffolding and blue tarpaulin cover the entire front wall of a nine-storey building in Yangon’s central south, where shirtless construction workers shout and laugh while they work. Some wear hats to shield themselves from the sun: their flimsy cotton trousers have holes and are smeared with paint and cement.