Co-working spaces in Yangon are expanding rapidly to meet the growing demand for serviced office and hot desks in the city. In Myanmar’s unpredictable market, these services give ‘freelancers, solopreneurs, start-ups and mini-companies’ (CBRE) access to premium locations with short lease terms and low deposits. This flexibility is appealing, especially when considered against the rigid lease and deposit options posited by typical landlords in Yangon.
CBRE state that South-East Asia and India will be the main focus for companies’ future real-estate portfolio expansion in Asia-Pacific. Yet even for larger organisations, economic uncertainties mean real estate costs are a top priority in the region, and they are informing a more cautious approach to property acquisition. This is one reason that co-working spaces are making substantial inroads into the traditional office market. Advances in communication technology, increasing emphasis on community, collaboration and increased desire for flexible spaces and working hours are also contributing factors. Worldwide, the number of co-working spaces ‘surged from just 75 in 2007 to more than 7800 in 2015’ (CBRE), and are predicted to rise to more than 12,700 by 2017. While most of the co-working spaces in Asia are in gateway cities like Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo, they are increasing in number across the region, including Yangon.
Yangon’s office market is changing swiftly, with 2016’s total leasable stock amounting to over 280,000 m2, having more than doubled since 2013. Compared to other major Asian cities this figure is still small although 400,000 m2 of office space is predicted to be available by 2017. Occupancy rates in offices in the city remain reasonably low, primarily due to recent major expansions in the inner city area. Occupancy rates have nonetheless increased 15% year-on-year, as these figures reflect the opening of large developments that disproportionately affect the relatively limited market. Serviced offices and hot desks currently represent a small section of this market, but they are increasing in both quality and quantity.
Hintha Business Centres remains an important presence in the Yangon serviced office market, supplying a healthy 29% of the city’s overall demand. Hintha offers flexibility and premium service to companies that are looking for a premium flexible workspace. Hintha’s rates are also more affordable than comparable serviced offices in cities such as Mumbai and Shanghai. Available this Autumn, the new Hintha@Sule development in Sule Square will expand on this formula, offering a premium business space in central Yangon and increasing downtown’s available office stock by 45%. With over 80 workstations, 25 offices and exceptional meeting room facilities Hintha@Sule will be the hotspot in Yangon for conducting your business.
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