Brokers in Burma are banking big bucks

Land in suburban Rangon has quadrupled in some areas, spurred by speculators snatching up property that could prove valuable in the coming years and months, as Myanmar opens its borders.

“Sometimes the buyers are businessmen from Yangon, but mostly they are [naturalized] Chinese and Shan-Chinese from Mandalay, Tin Moe, a freelance business journalist who has lived in East Dagon for the past eight years, told The Diplomat.

“The locals are selling up and moving somewhere farther out of the city, where prices are still quite low, Moe said.

Similar increases have occurred in other Burma towns, particularly those close to major infrastructure projects, such as Dawei, Kyaukpyu and Sittwe. But it is in Yangon, the country’s commercial capital, where the effect has been most pronounced.

In East Dagon, 2,400 sf plots along a nearby arterial road that’s being upgraded have sold for as much as K130 million (about $162,000) in recent weeks. When Tin Moe moved to East Dagon eight years ago it was freshly reclaimed paddy fields with an irregular electricity supply and only “a handful of residents…it was very quiet.”