International property firm forecasts Yangon market growth in 2016

YANGON — Colliers International Group predicted on Wednesday that Yangon’s property market will pick up in the latter part of 2016, after the formation of a new government by National League for Democracy (NLD) on April 1.

“After the formation of the new government and April holiday period we are likely to see significant renewed interest, from both existing businesses looking to expand and new ones entering the market, as confidence returns and new sectors open to more foreign and local activity in 2016,” said Tony Picon, managing director of Colliers’ Myanmar office.

Rental activity in Yangon, Myanmar’s prime commercial city, was subdued in the second half of 2015 mostly due to uncertainties surrounding the November polls, which saw the NLD party of opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi win about 80 percent of the contested seats.

Myanmar was under military junta rule between 1988 to 2010, and thereafter under a nominally elected government led by the military-aligned Union Solidarity and Development Party.

Despite initial skepticism that the military would allow the NLD to assume power, the former opposition party appears set to lead a new government starting on April 1, after a President is selected in March.

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Many have questioned whether the NLD, comprised mainly of pro-democracy political activists, will have sufficient experience to rule efficiently and to guide the economy, which is already expected to grow 6.5 per cent in fiscal 2015-16, ending March 31.

But Picon expressed optimism that the new government would not hinder growth.

“I’m not expecting great government, I just want reasonable government,” Picon told Frontier. “At the moment we all want a really reasonable government that does its business and allows us to do our jobs.”

Yangon experiences a mini-boom in new constructions in 2011 to 2014, that have slowed due to a fall-off in demand because of high prices on offices and condominiums, uncertainties about property ownership and worries about the election outcome.

Currently Yangon boasts some of the highest office and apartment rents in Southeast Asia.

“The price will adjust when there is a surge in new supply, which hasn’t happened yet,” Picon said.

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