Jun 1, 2017

Delays Issuing Condominium Bylaws Hindering ‘Much Needed’ Foreign Investment"

Delays in formulat­ing bylaws for the new Condomini­um Law is stifling much needed foreign invest­ment in the property sec­tor, according to industry experts.

Despite the Condomin­ium Law being passed in January 2016 policy mak­ers have still yet to issue bylaws aimed at finalising the terms and conditions in which foreigners can own and loan money for condos in Myanmar.

“The bylaws have been pending approval for a long time. I know the par­liament was reviewing the law to fix its weaknesses but it’s taking a very long time to legislate,” said U Aung Than, a real estate agent in downtown Yan­gon.

The Condominium Law enables foreign investors to own up to 40 percent of units in developments with a footprint of at least 20,000 square feet and no less than six storeys in height.

Under the law, foreign­ers can buy units on the sixth storey or above but are forbidden in taking management roles in new condominiums.

Until the bylaws have been issued, local banks will not offer loans to for­signers for condominiums built under the build-oper­ate-transfer (BOT) system.

The law, which began being drafted in 2013, was aimed at stimulating the country’s flagging prop­erty market and while in­dustry experts predicted foreign investors would wait for further reforms before taking the plunge, almost a year and a half after the outgoing USDPgovernment approved the law, little progress has been made.

“The Condominium Law could have a posi­tive impact on both the real estate market and the banking sector in terms of the dollar exchange rate if the government could leg­islates the bylaws,” said U Than Lwin, senior con­sultant to KBZ Bank.

“If these bylaws were there, foreign investment would flow into Myanmar which help stabilize the dollar exchange rate and the increased demand would help develop the market.”

Source: Myanmar Business Today