Finding an apartment in Yangon

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Newly arrived? Find your home with these simple tips. 

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Most of us don’t appreciate the place we lovingly call ‘Home’ until we face the hassle of finding a new one. Double that hassle and you get what expats experience abroad. Triple it and that’s what awaits you in the Golden Land, because as our mothers told us: not everything that shines is gold.

Yet there is no need to worry. Follow these five simple tips and conquer Yangon’s concrete jungle:


There is a big chance your first contact with Myanmar is online. Extend your search beyond daily evening plans and take full advantage of the online offers.

Myanmar has not only one of the fastest growing internet penetration rates worldwide (300%) but also offers professional online realtor services catering to both local and international interests, an example being The website connects house hunters and suppliers by providing a wide range of properties listings ranging from rental condominiums to commercial spaces for sale, within virtually all price categories. The dual language real estate portal offers the biggest selection of listings suitable for expats in Myanmar and is therefore most often recommended by fellow foreigners.


Real Estate Agencies are plentiful in Yangon, yet selecting the right one or better: finding one that understands English and the desires of expats isn’t easily done.

There are no official laws regulating an agents commission, a useful rule of thumb is that one month’s rent should cover the cost for a year-long contract. Payment has to be in cash as soon as the rental agreement is signed. This comes in addition to rent, which also has to be paid in cash to the landlord in full for an absolute minimum of six months (1 year is more common).

For qualitative services, recommends these agencies: Pronto Services specializes in relocating services, YPF has international experience, Estate Myanmar offers valuable consultations, and Asia Land knows the local market best.

When choosing to work with local agencies, keep in mind to be very specific about your requirements. Be as detailed as you can be. Go through all the little luxuries you need to be happy and check, double check, them with your agent: seating toilets instead of a squatting toilet, sink in the bathroom and the kitchen, one colored walls, water heater and so forth.


Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Facebook is by far the most popular means of communication among Myanmar citizens. It is therefore not surprising that plenty of deals start with a like. Youngsters looking for an easy buck but also well established Real Estate agents advertise properties online. Simply type a few key words and start the selection process, because there really isn’t much more to it.

Become a member in the most known expat groups (Yangon connection and Yangon Housing Expat) and wait for that dream home to appear, follow broker’s pages and be quick. Newly arrived foreigners desperate to leave their hotel rooms and abandon their suitcase wrinkled suits are lingering. The time period from seeing an apartment on Facebook and moving in can be as short as a day.


Sub-renting, or moving in a recently vacated flat of a fellow expat has its benefits. Rentals are often at least partly furnished, expat friendly, and belong to an owner willing to rent to foreigners in the first place.

Like most countries, Myanmar has an active expat community, meeting a soon to be ex-expat therefore isn’t difficult. Compare your family dynamics and lifestyle preferences to choose an apartment in the right neighborhood. While the famous Golden Valley for example makes for a great and quiet family home with individual one-family houses and the International School of Yangon close by, it might not be the best location for a bachelor without his own mode of transportation as taxis are hard to come by. Downtown offers plenty of restaurants and cafes but apartments often lack the most basic luxuries. Sanchaung, Kamayut, and Mayangone are increasing in popularity as infrastructure improves and still offers affordable apartments. Farther from downtown are Yankin, Thingangyun, and Dagon, which cater to families that either don’t mind wasting away in their daily commute to downtown or have their offices located close by.


While tiresome and exhausting, knocking at a stranger’s door might be the last chance of the very picky and/or stingy house hunter. Whether you are penny-pinching and trying to avoid an agents commission or had a very long line of bad luck and simply couldn’t find a suitable flat, this option is actually not as far-fetched as it may sound. House owners often live in their own properties on the ground floor, as it is the most desired space. Who knows better than a house owner if the building has vacant apartments?

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