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MMK - Kyats (Lakh)
Myanmar, previously known as Burma, is a country in mainland Southeast Asia. It was under a military junta until 2011. Its first democratic elections in 2015 marked a critical turning point for the country. Since then, the country has experienced rapid economic growth and has reduced its poverty rate from 48% to 25% between 2005 and 2017.
In recent years, Myanmar has been getting international recognition as an excellent travel destination. The country is nicknamed the Land of the Golden Pagodas due to the vast number of pagodas that dot the country’s landscape. Besides its world-famous pagodas, the country also boasts beautiful natural landscapes, from stunning lakes and palm trees-lined beaches to magnificent mountains and waterfalls. In addition to being famous among tourists, Myanmar has also become a popular choice for expats who are looking for new opportunities.
Learn more about the Myanmar condo market through trends and average prices.
Myanmar is home to over 54 million people who live across an area of 676,575 square kilometers. About 5 million people live in Yangon (also known as Rangoon), making it the largest and most populous city in the country. Yangon was Myanmar’s capital until 2006 and today it still serves as the country’s commercial and business hub. It is well-known for its golden pagoda, the Shwedagon Pagoda, which is regarded as one of the most sacred Buddhist places in the country.
Yangon has experienced the most change since Myanmar opened its doors to foreigners. Therefore, besides its cultural attractions and pagodas, the city also boasts rooftop bars, world-class gourmet restaurants, and boutique hotels, which makes it a popular destination for expats to relocate.
Myanmar is also famous for its ancient city, Bagan, which was the capital of the powerful Pagan Kingdom from the 9th to 14th centuries. It was once one of the greatest cities in Southeast Asia that boasts over 10,000 pagodas. Today, only about 2,000 pagodas remain in the UNESCO-listed ancient city due to a number of natural disasters. Visitors can explore the pagodas with bikes, electric motorbikes, or even fly on a hot-air balloon to get a beautiful view of the city from above.
Along with Yangon and Bagan, Mandalay is also popular among international visitors. Some of the most famous attractions are the Mahumuni Buddha Temple, Snake Pagoda, Dat Taw Gyaint waterfall, and Mandalay Hill.
According to the Condominium Law that was enacted in January 2016, a condominium in Myanmar is defined as a building of at least 6 stories that are constructed on collectively owned land and registered under the Condominium Law. The land where a condominium can be developed needs to be a type that is permitted for residential development, have at least 20,000 square feet and transferable into collective ownership.
A number of different condo types are available in Myanmar. In general, they are usually new, modern, and are at the top end of the market. They are mostly available in major cities, such as Yangon. The average condo size in the country is around 118.6 square meters with 2.5 bedrooms, but the largest condo size in the country is 213.2 square meters. Buyers can choose between studio condos and 1 to 3 bedroom condos. Some of the biggest and most luxurious condos offer an extra storage room in addition to the bedrooms to store extra clothes or other items.
In terms of facilities, condos in the country may come with standard amenities such as a designated parking space and 24-hour security, or with more luxurious amenities such as fully equipped gyms, swimming pools, spas, Jacuzzis, gardens, clubhouses, and children’s playgrounds. Some condos also have an array of shops and cafes, and a function hall within the building.
As in many other countries in Southeast Asia, the cost of living is fairly affordable. Although rents and the price of items have increased significantly since the country opened up to foreigners, a minimum of 1,400 USD a month is enough for a single person to live comfortably. A family of four generally need a minimum of around 2,500 USD.
Burmese Kyats (MMK) is the official currency in the country. 1 USD is equivalent to about 1,360 MMK. It is easy to find ATMs that accept international cards in major cities but make sure to bring enough cash when visiting more rural areas. US Dollars are accepted in some tourist areas, such as Yangon, Mandalay, and Bagan, but they only take the most pristine dollar bills.
Around 90% of Myanmar’s population adheres to Theravada Buddhism, making it the largest religion in the country. Buddhism is also deeply rooted in the country’s culture and people, which is reflected in the country’s customs and etiquette. Other religions, including Christianity, Islam, Mahayana Buddhism, Vajrayana Buddhism, and Animism, are freely practiced in the country.
The official language in Myanmar is Burmese, which is spoken by almost all of the population. Many people can speak or understand English to some extent, but it is advisable to learn common Burmese phrases before visiting the country.
A Stay Permit and Multiple Journey Special Re-Entry Visa is needed for foreigners to live in Myanmar long-term. The stay permit can be issued for a period of three months to a year, but it is only valid for one entry. Therefore, foreigners also need to obtain Multiple Journey Special Re-Entry Visa to be able to leave and re-enter Myanmar while they live in the country.