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MMK - Kyats (Lakh)
Learn more about the Yangon apartment market through trends and average prices.
Myanmar’s government may have moved to the new capital, Nay Pyi Taw in 2005, but Yangon (also known as Rangoon) remains the cultural, economic, and commercial heart of the country. It is a huge city; in fact, it is the largest and most populous city in the country, with over 5 million people living across its area.
Since Myanmar reopened to foreigners in 2011, the country has experienced significant transformation, and Yangon is possibly the one that has undergone most change. Today, visitors can see ultra-modern skyscrapers sit side by side with centuries-old monuments. The city also boasts stunning lakes, verdant tropical trees, and shady parks, which is why it is dubbed “The Garden City of the East.”
In Yangon, the term “apartment” is used in developments that have no elevator, but some of the newer apartments in the country do come with elevators. The apartment types range from standard apartments, high-end apartments, to serviced apartments. The most popular apartments for foreigners are mostly new and modern, but there are also old apartment buildings in the country, many of which are in a poor state of repair.
Standard apartments usually offer studio rooms or rooms with slim partitions that imitate walls instead of actual concrete walls. They may also offer standard amenities like parking spaces, but may not have an elevator. High-end apartments are built by a reputable construction company and have a well-structured room with concrete walls, usually with 3 bedrooms. This type of apartment usually provide elevators, security guards, and parking spaces.
Serviced apartments are the most luxurious of all. They are usually fully furnished and offer top-end amenities, such as gyms, swimming pools, children’s playgrounds, 24-hour security systems, parking spaces, and even cable TV.
The magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda is a massive 100-meter high gold pagoda with a diamond-studded spire that is set on top of a small hill. This impressive pagoda is the most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in Myanmar and is visible from much of the city.
Yangon is also home to the biggest colonial-era buildings in Southeast Asia. Many of them are crumbling, hidden down the side streets, but visitors can find the biggest concentration of these buildings on the riverfront Strand Road.
Another popular attraction in the city is the Bogyoke Aung San Market, which is packed with countless small shops and stalls, where visitors can find handicrafts, arts, antiques, jewelry, and precious stones.
Although prices and rents in Yangon have increased significantly in the last decade, the cost of living in it is still relatively affordable for most foreigners. The overall cost of living is approximately 40% lower than in the United States. Burmese Kyats (MMK) is the official currency and the exchange rate from 1 USD is about 1,360 MMK. In some tourist areas in the country, US dollars are accepted. Cash is king in the city, but make sure that your bills are pristine and look new.
The official language in Yangon is Burmese. English is not widely spoken, but most people, especially in tourist areas, have at least a basic understanding of the language. The culture in Yangon is deeply rooted in Buddhism since the largest religion in the country is Theravada Buddhism.
To stay in Yangon for an extended period of time, foreigners need to obtain a Stay Permit and Multiple Journey Special Re-Entry Visa.