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MMK - Kyats (Lakh)
Myanmar, also known as Burma, is the largest of the mainland Southeast Asian states by area, with a size of 676,578 square kilometers. It was long considered as a pariah state while it was under the rule of an oppressive military regime for 49 years, from 1962 to 2011. Today, however, the nation is improving and experiencing a transition. Transferring from a military junta into a democracy. Its first democratic elections in 2015 marked a critical turning point for the nation, creating a wave of optimism for a brighter future.
Since 2011, Myanmar has been experiencing rapid economic growth (more than 7% each year). Its economic growth, location, and amazing natural resources have created great enthusiasm among foreign investors.
Learn more about the Myanmar property market through trends and average prices.
Myanmar is home to over 54 million people, making it the 5th most populous country in Southeast Asia. Yangon, also known as Rangoon, is the most populous city in the country, with over 5 million of the country’s population live within its area. This city served as the country’s capital until 2006. This city has experienced a lot of changes since the country opened its doors to foreigners. It is now filled with boutique hotels, gourmet restaurants, and rooftop bars. The most famous attraction in the city is Shwedagon Pagoda, which is considered as the most sacred Buddhist place in Myanmar. Its 100m gilded stupa lies atop Singuttara Hill, dominating the city’s skyline. As the hub for commercial business and home to the largest international airport in Myanmar, Yangon is the most popular spot for expats as well.
The most popular tourist destination in Myanmar is the ancient city of Bagan, which served as the capital of the Pagan Kingdom from the 9th to 13th centuries and was once one of the greatest cities in Southeast Asia. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site still has 2,000 temples remaining, with Shwezigon Temple, Htilominlo Temple, Ananda Temple, Dhammayangyi Temple, Manuha Temple, and Shwesandaw are the most popular. Besides exploring the temples, visitors can also fly in a hot air balloon to see the temples from above or see Bagan’s beautiful sunset over the Irrawaddy River.
Another popular city in Myanmar is the city of Mandalay, which is located in the same region as Bagan. Visitors can go to the Mahumuni Buddha Temple, check out the Snake Pagoda, watch the sunset from the top of Mandalay Hill, or take a two-hour drive to Dat Taw Gyaint waterfall.
A number of different property types are available; the most popular for foreigners are condos, apartments, and houses.
Condos and apartments in Myanmar typically offer modern amenities, they may come with standard amenities like parking spaces and 24-hour security systems, or with more upscale amenities, such as a fitness center, swimming pools, gardens, and apartments. Some condos and apartments also have restaurants and shops on the ground floor.
Both condos and apartments can be built in a high-rise or mid-rise buildings, though most of them are built within mid-rise buildings. The unit size ranges from studio room to one- to three-bedroom.
Detached houses and standalone houses are available in the country as well. Both usually offer lots of space and privacy for their owners, but standalone houses are usually much more luxurious and larger than detached houses.
Most properties in the country are furnished, but some furnishings may not be modern. Also, standard appliances are usually not provided for buyers.
The cost of living in Myanmar is lower than in the US and Europe. However, foreigners should not expect the cost of living to be super cheap since rents have skyrocketed and the price of items can be different for locals and foreigners. In general, a single person needs a minimum of 1,900,000 MMK (around 1,400 USD) a month to live comfortably, while a family of four needs a minimum of 3,300,000 MMK (about 2,500 USD).
The official currency in the country is Burmese Kyats (MMK), and the exchange rate from 1 USD is approx. 1,360 MMK. ATMs that accept international cards are becoming more and more widespread, though they may still be hard to find in more rural areas. In many tourist areas such as Yangon, Bagan, and Mandalay, US dollars are accepted, but they only take crisp, pristine dollar bills.
There are numerous indigenous languages spoken in Myanmar, but most of the population can speak the country’s national language, Burmese. Many people may be able to understand and speak English to some extent and most people have at least an elementary knowledge of English.
Theravada Buddhism is the biggest religion of Myanmar, with around 90% of its population adhere to this religion. Christianity (4%) and Islam (4%) are both the largest minor regions in the country. The rest of the population adhere to Mahayana Buddhism, Vajrayana Buddhism, and Animism.
Foreigners who want to live and work in Myanmar for an extended period of time will need to obtain a Stay Permit and Multiple Journey Special Re-Entry Visa. The stay permit can be issued for a period of three months to a year. Since it is valid for only one entry, foreigners also need to apply for a Multiple Journey Special Re-entry Visa, which will allow them to leave and re-enter the country.