Jun 8, 2013

Expatriates eagerly await condominium law

Foreigners are waiting for the government to put through a law that allows them to purchase condominiums instead of other types of real estate in Myanmar, according to construction companies in Yangon.

Investors from Japan appear to be most interested.

The population of foreigners living in Myanmar has been increasing as more are arriving to work with multinational firms as the United States and the European Union has eased sanctions to support the country's reforms.

Expatriates prefer purchasing condos instead of other types of houses for several reasons.

"Foreigners prefer not to purchase houses because the sales contract is only signed by the buyer and seller, but not acknowledged by a government agency. In other countries, the government legalises the sales contract and acknowledges the ownership. When the condominium law is passed, foreigners may be able to purchase and have total ownership of condos. That's possibly why they are waiting for the law," an executive from Shine Construction said.

"Foreigners are even interested in condominiums in the suburbs of Yangon, but selling to them is difficult as the law is not out yet," he added. Another reason expats are interested in purchasing condos is the high price of land.

"Several foreigners have been renting flats in my building for several years now. Most of them are interested in purchasing a flat, but they need to wait for the law to be passed. Once the law is passed, condominium prices will rise," Ma Thet Thet Naing, director of Asia Express Co, which built the Pearl Condo in Yangon, said.

So far, the law has been drafted and is awaiting approval in Parliament. The new law will allow foreigners to purchase flats on the six-storey or higher and the sale will also be acknowledged by the government. The bill also allows foreigners to use these flats as collateral for loans.

Source: The Nation