Jul 10, 2015

Property website calls for foreign condo ownership.

The draft of the condominium bill should keep the foreigners’ rights to buy condominium flats with some restrictions, according to house.com.mm.
The real estate website was responding to concerns that allowing foreigners to buy condominiums would lead to soaring prices.

The bill has been in the drafting stage for more than a year and has sparked debate since August 2012. It would allow foreigners to own flats on the sixth floor or above and up to 40 per cent of a development’s total apartments.

Meanwhile, there is the Transfer of Immovable Property Restrictions Act forbidding foreign ownership of land and property.

Foreign access to property has played a key role in investments, and Jan Sommerfeld, the managing director of house.com.mm, said that the condominium bill could bring good opportunities and there should be flexible limitations.

The specific definitions of the condominium bill and information are not widely discussed among the people, and the condo developers may want foreign purchase, the statement continued.

Khin Maung Than, chairperson of Myanmar Real Estate Services Association, said: “Some restrictions of the condominium bill should be reconsidered. For instance, requiring one acre of land to build a condominium. There are some condo apartments which are built on less than an acre. The foreign ownership should be included. We see in other countries that foreigners can own condos.”

However, Dr Kyaw Latt, an urban planner from the Yangon City Development Committee, said allowing foreigners to purchase flats would drive up property prices and that only those with permanent resident status should have condo ownership rights.

He argued that the provision of the draft, allowing foreigners to own 40 per cent of a condo’s total homes, contravened the Immovable Property Act (1947).
“If the foreigners were allowed to own condo flats, property prices will rise. For example, a condo in Singapore costs US$6 million because it allows foreign ownership. In Myanmar, the price is Ks500 million (US$500,000). I’m sure the current price will double after foreigners have the right to buy. But I think the draft is going to make it through,” said Kyaw Latt.

“When the rumours came out that the condominium draft would pass, the condo prices rose around 30 per cent, and the prices haven’t dropped since then. The bill should give ownership rights only to those with permanent resident status.”

Source: Eleven Weekly Media