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New index puts Yangon property prices up 39 pct this year

Oct 9 (Reuters) - As Myanmar opens up, speculators haveraced into its property market, real estate prices have soaredand foreign investors are hunting for office and factory space.Now, for the first time, an index shows just how much prices areclimbing.

The Silk Road Yangon Property Index (SYPIX), which measuresthe average price per square foot of residential property inYangon, the commercial capital, rose 39 percent in the firstnine months of the year. One square foot now costs $85.

The index is compiled by a unit of Silk Road Finance, aninvestment bank operating in frontier markets.

Foreign interest in Myanmar has soared since the end ofmilitary rule in 2011, with a period of rapid economic andpolitical reform under President Thein Sein.

Residential property prices are not alone in their surge.

Silk Road said hotel rates in Yangon had risen 65 percentthis year, the biggest increase in the global hospitalityindustry and a trend that prompted the government to introduce acap on room rates in foreign-owned hotels in June.

Office rental rates have also increased, rising 50 percentthis year. Prices in downtown Yangon are now in excess of $50per square metre a month.

According to Silk Road, the total office space available inYangon -- 63,000 square metres -- represents less than 1 percentof that available in the Thai capital of Bangkok.

(Reporting By Paul Carsten; Editing by Alan Raybould & KimCoghill)

((Paul.Carsten@thomsonreuters.com)(+66 2 648 9735)(ReutersMessaging: Paul.Carsten.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MYANMAR PROPERTY/