Hlaing Tharyar set to shine after bridge opens

After several years of painful traffic jams, the owners of properties in Hlaing Tharyar, across the Yangon River to the north-west, could be poised to reap higher returns on their investments, say real estate agents.

The completion of a four-lane bridge across the river in October has slashed travel times to Hlaing Tharyar.

“Hlaing Tharyar has good potential,” said U Khin Maung Aye, an estate agent for Asia Myae agency. “In recent years there has been traffic jams and people have not been interested in living or investing in Hlaing Tharyar. But the new bridge, as well as the flyover and overpass at Bayintnaung Junction, means it is easy and quick to reach Hlaing Tharyar.”

A spokesperson for Aung Khaing Khant real estate, which focuses on Hlaing Tharyar, said rents on properties in the township at FMI Housing and Pun Hlaing Golf Estate have risen quickly since the bridge was opened.

“We hope that the market here will continue to move quickly,” he said. “The market was very slow in recent months because the traffic was terrible – nobody wanted to move to Hlaing Tharyar or live here.”

However, U Khin Maung Aye said several factors still hold the area back. He said high land prices might deter potential buyers, adding that a 2400-square-foot plot of land in Hlaing Tharyar costs between K250 million and K380 million (US$250,000-380,000), while larger 10,000-square-foot plots sell for up to K1 billion ($1 million).

He added that large populations of migratory workers and squatters from Ayeyarwady Region were deterring some high-end buyers.

A resident of the township’s Shan Chaung ward said Hlaing Tharyar offered good returns, even at the lowest price point because workers from factories in the nearby industrial zones needed housing.

“Many of the people in Shan Chaung ward are from other areas. They come here to work but still need to rent a place to live. Even simple 400-square-foot rooms can rent for K30,000 a month, compared with only K10,000 two years ago,” she said.

Agents said that transactions for industrial zone land plots are slow because potential buyers remain wary of government threats to confiscate undeveloped plots.

“Land at the Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zone is expensive, in part because people have bought a lot of it to speculate on it but have never done anything with it. But now that the government has stated that owners must do something with the land it is far more risky to speculate, which has slowed sales,” said U Khin Maung Aye.

Industrial land sells for between K1500 and K2500 million (US$1.5-2.5 million) an acre, he added.

Hlaing Tharyar is a satellite town founded in the late 1980s and the Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zone is one of the largest industrial parks in the country.


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