|Bahan apartment building under development
by Thiri Family Construction Company.
ELITE location, peaceful surroundings and guaranteed electricity
and water supplies have helped prevent the property market in
the area near the famous Shwedagon Pagoda in Bahan township from
plummeting, say real estate agents in Yangon.
Because the pagoda is a symbol of Myanmar, visitors and Yangonites
alike jump at the chance to stay or live within view of the magnificent
Much of the real estate close to the pagoda is taken up by donation
halls, monasteries, and flower and donation material shops, but
it is also the location of large numbers of single- and double-storey
houses with gardens, many of them occupied by senior members of
the public and private sectors.
Daw Mya has lived in Bahan her whole life.
“The thing I enjoy about living here is that this is downtown
Yangon, but it is still secluded and elite,” she said.
As the city expands day by day, Bahan is becoming increasingly
upscale, a primary reason being its nearness to Shwedagon, she
The Thiri Family Construction Company has built several apartment
buildings within a five-minute walk of the pagoda.
“I have developed 10 buildings in Bahan township since
1999 and the sales have been good since then,” said U Kyaw
Myint, the managing director of the company.
“Although the property market in general is cool, we are
doing well by selling apartments in the area near the pagoda at
reasonable prices,” he said.
“Good location, good reputation and great quality are
the main reasons our company attracts buyers,” he said.
One veteran real estate agent said that most people planning
to move into the area look for a house within walking distance
“People like houses that are not too close to the pagoda,
but that are close enough so they can walk there early in the
morning,” he said.
U Kyaw Thura, the landlord of a house in the area, said because
of the good location he never has difficulty finding tenants willing
to pay a good price for rent.
“Although the property market, especially the sales market,
is cool, the rental market for detached houses in good locations
is very active,” he said.
However Ma Thara Phu, from the Moe Myint Thaw Tar real estate
agency, said that the sales market for houses near Shwedagon Pagoda
was quite slow.
“The property prices in this area are higher than those
in other areas of the city, and right now people are only interested
in low-cost property,” she said.
“Apartments costing more than K10 million are difficult
to sell, and nothing in Bahan township is priced lower than that,
which is why only the rental market is active in the area,”
said Ma Thara Phu.
She said apartment building developers have asked real estate
agents to help them sell the apartments, as it is hard for them
to find buyers by themselves.
“When I first entered the construction business in 1997,
it was easy to find buyers so we did not have to ask real estate
agents for marketing help,” said one developer.
“But now I am developing two projects in Bahan and I have
found that not many people are interested in buying,” said
“But I don’t think the downturn will last long because
locations like this will always be popular with people in a Buddhist
country like Myanmar.”
Ground-floor apartments on main roads in Bahan township sell
for about K35 million to K40 million, while those on smaller lanes
are priced from K20 million to K25 million. The rent on a ground-floor
apartment varies from K250,000 to K350,000 a month depending on
Hotels in the area also benefit from the proximity of Shwedagon.
“Most of our customers make reservations before they arrive
at the hotel so they can get a room with a good view of the pagoda,”
said a spokesperson from the 11-floor Yuzana Hotel on Shwegondaing
“Two-thirds of our customers prefer rooms with a pagoda
view,” said Ma Thaung Thaung Aye, a member of the hotel’s
reservation staff, adding that the price of these rooms is slightly
higher than those that face away from the famous landmark.
“Guests can also hear the tinkling sounds of the pagoda’s
bells from the open area on the roof of our hotel,” she