RANGOON — Land prices have skyrocketed in Pegu Division, northeast of Rangoon, following the recent awarding of a contract to build a major new international airport there.
After an announcement last weekend that South Korea’s Incheon International Airport Corp. had been selected to build the Hanthawaddy International Airport, which is expected to be Burma’s biggest international airport, the price of land near the town of Pegu rose overnight.
“Within a week of the announcement of the airport project, the buying and selling of land here has become brisk,” a real estate agent in Pegu’s Shin Saw Pu Quarter told The Irrawaddy. “Despite the soaring prices, a lot of people are ready to buy land here.”
Before the announcement, an acre of farmland near Pegu sold for about 500,000 kyat (US$510). Now, one acre is going for between 20 million and 50 million kyat, while plots near the airport project area—which currently comprises an industrial zone, an agricultural zone and some orchards—are selling for about 80 million kyat per acre.
The land plots are being eyed by businesspeople seeking to invest near the airport or those in the estate industry.
“Before, only farmers from Nyaung Yin villages owned the farmland surrounding the airport project area,” said Myint Soe, owner of the Pegu-based Zarchi Real Estate. “With news of the project, giants from the real estate industry are offering high prices to buy the land from farmers, and now they are selling the land back for lucrative prices.”
“A plot from Phaya Gyi, which is near Pegu, with the length and width being 200 and 100 feet, respectively, was sold recently at the price of 470 million kyat,” he added. “The price of plots beside Phaya Gyi Street are above 1.8 billion kyats now. That is all because of the airport project. Before it wasn’t like this.”
The Hanthawaddy project is expected to cover 9,000 acres, and the government is reportedly relocating residents in the area to housing in other locations.
Win Swe Tun, deputy director general of Burma’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), told The Irrawaddy that negotiations were still under way but he believed Incheon International Airport Corp. would sign a contract by the end of the month.
The new transport hub is expected to handle 12 million passengers annually after it is finished in 2018, according to South Korea’s transport ministry.