Background of the research 研究背景
The result of the 2010 general election led to the easing of economic sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States in 2011. With Myanmar’s rapidly growing tourism industry and the combination of strong economic reforms attract investment opportunities for the country’s hotel industry. The demands for standard accommodations are more than what the current supply can provide. More investors from abroad are now submitting business proposals and partnerships among foreign companies are being formed to provide for the increasing business and tourist requirements. Foreign direct investment in the real estate and property sector for Myanmar as of October 2014 has reached $1.3 billion with Singapore and Hong Kong leading the list, stated by the Myanmar Investment Commission.
In 1974, Yagon city had a total of 80 square miles of area and currently it has expanded its boundary to 306 square miles. The population in Yangon city has reached more than 5.5 million people and most of the people are dealing with housing shortages which has been worsened by rising rent. In 2011, renting a house of 800 square foot area in a suburb would cost K25, 000. Currently the rent fees would range from K80, 000 to almost K100, 000. The ripple effect starts at the very heart of the city, in downtown area the price of land is valued between at K 250, 000 to K400, 000 per square foot. In Latha, a downtown area the price of a flat for a 25 by 50 foot on the first floor would cost K2.3 billion (approximately $2.3 million). The rent of a flat of 12.5 by 50 foot in downtown varies by floor, the rate decreases depending on how many staircases one have to climb; K300, 000 on the first floor, K280, 000 on the fourth floor, and K250, 000 on the fifth floor. An observation that could be made is that the price of per square foot in downtown area of Yangon is the highest and spreads out at a lower rate to the edge of the city. This is due to the fact that some people living in downtown area sell their apartments for millions of dollars and then buy a plot of land 40 by 60 foot with a house that has a price range of $50, 000 to $ 80, 000 in the suburbs. The price peak downtown is spreading over to the rest of the city. Increasing international investment and rising business confidence has contributed to the rapid economic expansion and the construction sector has been reaping the benefits. The construction industry is expected to grow at an annual rate of 8 percent the next five years.#p#分页标题#e#
Currently when people discuss the situation of Myanmar one of the hot topic that would come across is the skyrocketing prices in the property and real estate market, with the prices being higher than in most European or American cities. The present situation sees the market struggling to meet the high demand by foreigners seeking to find accommodations for short and medium contracts. Foreign investors and local people need suitable and affordable land especially when plenty of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are needed for a stable economy. The Enterprise Survey which was carried out by the World Bank indicated that more than a fifth pointed out that access to land was the main problem.
Rising property prices in cities is one of the factors contributing to inflation and the Asian Development Bank reported inflation for 2014 at 6.6 percent and rising in 2015 to 6.9 percent. Escalating properties prices could result build pressures for domestic earnings, deterrence of foreign investors who might adopt a wait and see approach, social inequality gap widening and a market bubble. Myanmar has opened up to the global economy and external factors along with government measures to tackle inflation could have a negative effect on the local economy and the real estate market.
Literature Review 文献综述
Three major areas of research will focus on the role the government plays on trying to meet the demands of property, the private sector’s role and the transaction of properties with an outlook of the future.
There are 8 types of land in Myanmar and the state owns all the land in the country. The lands are dispersed as holding to individuals, companies and government departments under different categories. The 8 different land types are freehold land, grant land, farmland, agriculture land, permit/ licensed land, government leased land, fallow land, and religious land. Foreign holdings depend on the land type and detailed information can be read in a 2104 report called “Investing in the Myanmar Real Estate Sector” produced by VDB Loi Myanmar Ltd. The Land Acquisition Act 1894 states that the government may occupy the land for public purposes. In most cases the President can grant a company the same power for public use and “the LAA would compensate to the original landholder.” The Transfer of Immovable Property Restriction Act of 1987 prohibits the transaction of immovable property from locals to foreigners. But it doesn’t apply to organizations that have an agreement with the government. The introduction of an increase in real estate tax by the government in October 8th, 2014 was one way of controlling the skyrocketing prices and the Appraisal Board, from the department of Internal Revenue, in 2013 assessed land values for calculating land tax due to the complaints that people were undervaluing their properties when registering the deed. The property market in 2014 has slowed but prices still remain high.#p#分页标题#e#
In order to counterbalance this effect the government has planned to develop affordable housing in Yangon’s outskirt townships. The project is jointly conducted with private companies an each room would cost $10, 000 with an area range from 490 to 680 square feet. As the price of land is high the only solution for profitability and pushing down land prices is to build high rise buildings. Vertical planning will provide growth for residential and office buildings in Yangon. Under the Foreign Investment Law (FIL) a company could request a long-term lease from the government as well as from private individuals. The leasing period is approved by the Myanmar Investment Commission for up to 50 years depending on the type of business and a further extension of 10 years, with 10 more years renewable. Under the condominium official draft law foreigners have the right to buy up to 40 percent of rooms above the sixth floor in condominiums. An increasing number of foreign firms have entered the real estate market usually in collaboration with a local company in building international standard buildings. In two years’ time the completion of high end project by 68-Residences, the Vietnamese HAGL, GEMS, Crystal Residences and other projects in prime locations will be probably be available by late 2015, which could later lower the renting prices. Supply cannot keep up with the demand for at least the next five years. Between 2013 and 2014 the price of rents increased by 60%. Colliers International, a research company for real estate forecasts a further increase of rents by 25% for offices in Yangon in the next two years. The lowest rental rate is $2,300 per month in Espace Avenir Executive Residences and the highest is $15,000 per month for a four-bedroom unit in Shangri-La Residences. Foreign invested high standard projects will deliver significant supply in the medium term; Hilton Hotel (300 rooms), Pullman Yangon Myat Min (300 rooms), Novotel Yangon Max (366 rooms) and Daewoo Amara Hotel (346 rooms). More than 10,000 high end apartments will be added to Yangon market before the end of 2017. The launch prices of condo sales average between $250- $300 per square feet in the third quarter of 2014. By 2017, Grade A office space would reach 800,000 square meter, a twelvefold increase from the levels of the third quarter of 2014.
Research problem 研究问题
The importance of the property market during the transition phase that prepares the country for long-term and sustainable economy, that doesn’t deter SMEs and other international investors. Currently the present policies and regulations are not enough to control the sky rocketing property prices. There is a need for implementation of efficient policies that deals with the short term and medium requirements of the demand in property which will benefit many stakeholders.
Research Questions 研究问题#p#分页标题#e#
What is the current impact the real estate boom has on the economic sectors?
Which sector benefits the most? Is there a win-win opportunity for other sectors? Does the service sector benefit more than the material sector?
Which sector loses out that would have a negative adverse impact on the local economy in the long run?
What kind of policy and regulations could the government put in place in order to control the prices?
Does the benefit of not controlling the prices and letting it be a free market would have more benefit?
What role could the local company play in bringing down the prices of land?
How could the international investors help out to maintain price stability in the property market?
What role could the bank play in order to maintain the cash flow needed to maintain this growth?
The research will primarily focus on Yangon city, as it is rapidly developing its building and the most populated city in Myanmar as it is going through a transition period.
Steps in the research consist of:
Data collection from government as well as private sectors on the situation of the real estate market.
Using records, reports and interview with experts regarding the property sector.
Identifying 2 to 3 different sectors that have a direct impact on the prices of land and interviewing government officials, local businesses and market leaders.
Analysis of collected data and identifying qualitative data that is relevant to the main topic of the research which addresses the research questions.
Arriving at conclusions and recommendations.
Potential outcomes and limitations to the research
The main limitation of the research depends upon the data that are collected and analysis of that data. Though the research has limited itself to Yangon city, the scope of the work that can be covered will be limited as the time period allotted will not be enough. The study will take place in main districts such as the downtown area and places where high grade condominiums are being built. The importance of the research even though the location is limited involves a practical approach and surveys conducted on local companies and officials, the experts interviews and opinions would lead to a conclusion of the property market situation in the future and recommendations that would be efficiently effective for dealing with the short and medium term solution and at the same time with the long term sustainability in mind.