Condominium units in Yangon. The number of property deals has declined sharply since 2014.
Repercussions from the slump in the local real estate market have reverberated across the value chain, affecting not just property developers and speculators but businesses involved in facilitating sales and providing brokering services as well.
To ride the property boom in 2010, a large number of real estate agencies had opened for business to get a piece of the pie. The tables have turned since 2014 though, with many agencies now struggling to stay open.
“When real estate prices were sky high during the property boom, many agency and broker firms opened in each ward. But now that the market has slacked, the number of property agents and brokers has declined sharply,” said Daw Thuzar May, one of the few agents who is still in business.
But things aren’t easy for Daw Thuzar May and many other agents who still cling on to the trade. “As there are no deals in the property market these days, agents have had to change jobs or take on additional work to get by,” she said.
With transactions in the property market at a standstill, agents have been forced to lower their commission rates and service fees, said U Aung Khin, another property agent.
"Sales in the real estate market have sharply declined and there are only some rental transactions. To stay competitive, service fees charged on each rental transaction have been reduced from one month to half a month for a six-month rental period. The market is at a trough and thus, our service fees have to be reduced," he said.
But the sharp decline has also forced remaining agencies to sharpen their game and improve their services. “Under the current situation, most real estate agencies function mainly as brokers without offering the full suite of services. Property buyers are looking proficient, competent agents who can provide services such as document checks on ownership and for land grants,” said U Yan Aung, general manager at local developer Asia Construction.
“It is important for agents to be proficient in providing such services to remain in demand in this type of market. For many real estate agents still in business, education and raising the standard of their service is key,” he said.
By Myanmar Times
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