Real Estate Tech in Laos is hinging on the the growth of real estate market of Laos. The real esate growth is mainly due to the arrival of entrepreneurs from its neighboring countries like Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. These entrepreneurs have invested money in realty projects, among other sectors, and expect a good return as the realty market shows a slight rise in demand and have positive projections in the near future.
As the property market is not at the boom like many other Asian countries, the use of technology in realty sector is quite moderate. A handful of entrepreneurs has developed some property websites targeting mainly the foreigners and emerging startups in the country for rent, lease or sale.
While natives prefer investing in lands and build standalone houses, foreigners go for apartments, well-constructed villas, and retiring homes.
The use of online portal ensures the presence and visibility of Laos’ real estate agency in other countries to attract foreign buyers. Though foreigners can’t own land in the country, a lot of property owners in Laos have sold the property by a 30-year lease agreement with the condition that if the law allows in future, the contract holders are entitled the legal title of the property.
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The natural beauty of Laos provides a relaxed environment, and this attracts wealthy businessman from the US and many European countries such as France, Switzerland. The low property prices and cheap cost of living drive them to set up retirement homes in Laos’ scenic locations.
Real Estate Scene in Laos:
With 7% GDP growth, Laos is among the fastest developing economies in the world. A mountainous country with its two-third area covered with hills and rivers, Laos thrives on hydro-power, mines, forestry, and agriculture.
In the past couple of years, the tourism industry in Laos has increased. The data suggest that in ten years from 2005 to 2015, tourist influx has gone up by 15.6%.
The growth of realty market has taken place primarily due to continued economic development as well as the flow of foreign tourists in the country. As far as the residential market is concerned, the apartment culture is not very prevalent due to land laws.
There is no law which allows various property rights on one large parcel of land, hence as an exception to the rule, a few of the apartments have been developed, and this segment faces a severe lack of supply.
Experts believe that if the government amends this law to encourage apartment culture, this will provide a fresh momentum to the property market. It will increase supply in the market.
The Laos property market attracts foreign investors from China and other ASEAN countries due to low property prices. Reports say that Vientiane, the capital city of Laos, is quite cheaper than cities like Yangon, Ho Chi Minh, and Ha Noi.
The country’s retail sector is in the emerging stage with a low density even in the capital city of Vientiane. The office space area commands higher rent due to which it faces low occupancy.
According to Savills plc, a London-based global real estate services provider, “In Q4/2016, the total office stock was 52,000 m² net lettable area (NLA) from 11 projects. Vientiane stock is smaller than that of other cities in Southeast Asia at only 0.6% of Bangkok, 1% of Jakarta, 3% of Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City, 17% of Yangon and 28% of Phnom Penh.”
“In 2017, one project will launch in Chanthabouly district. From 2018 onwards, eight projects will come online; however, the scale of these projects is unconfirmed,” the report adds.
Real Estate Tech in Laos
Property websites have come up in Vietnam to help local population search property for end use as well as for investment purposes. A majority of them target foreigners. Besides searching for a right property for foreigners, these sites also provide a lot of consultancies to make them understand the legal laws of the country and how they can own a property despite these challenges. These brokerage firms negotiate on behalf of buyers for a commission.
In most of the developing countries, land revenue records are not digitized, and this makes a property purchase a complicated process. Same is the case in Laos hence to make the property purchase an easy and less cumbersome affair; brokerage firms offer to do due diligence exercise on behalf of buyers.
Some property portals are running as online to offline mode in which, they attract customers through their sites, and once the client contacts the brokerage firm, it takes them for a real property trip to each area.
Some of them have specially hired staff who can speak and understand foreign languages such as French, German, etc. to cater to the requirement of international buyers.
A couple of significant acquisitions have also taken place in realty tech space. The recent one is the purchase of the Laos-based general classifieds site www.Yula.la by Southeast Asia’s Digital Classifieds Group (DCG). The www.Yula.la is leading classified portal for real estate, automotive, electronics, and general product listings.
Real Estate Tech in Laos – Top Realty Tech Companies in Laos:
Some of the well-known property websites are Immolaos, Realestatelao, dotproperty.la, rentsbuy, J&C Services, Wegofa, Realestateinlao etc. While some of them offer online advertising space to other companies, some are the extension of offline brokerage business of real estate agents or developers.
For instance, IMMOLAOS claims to be, “a leading Professional Real Estate Agency, Property broker, and Specialist for Vientiane real estate market”, Realestatelao says that it is a licensed professional real estate agency based in Savannakhet, Savannakhet Province, Laos.
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Another online property portal, Dot Property says, “Dot Property Laos is complete with some of the latest projects from the country’s top developers and agents such as Temple Tree Development, Marimo, Gooi and Krittaphong – find your perfect home to rent or buy, whether it be in the bustling city centre of Vientiane or out in the suburbs. Get started today by listing your property for free.”
J&C Services is an initiative by two expats in 2008 with a purpose to create, “a modern, client-focused service agency using the perspective of foreigners as its biggest asset.”
Opportunities in Real Estate Tech In Laos:
If Laos leverages the latest technology in the realty sector, it will certainly result in property market growth and overall economic development, feel realty consultants.
Laos has some fabulous realty destination which it needs to showcase to the western world to attract more and more tourists as potential clients. If people can take a walk into these destinations through virtual reality sitting at home, it will encourage and attract them. At present, realty portals haven’t converted into the full-fledged marketplace where people can buy and purchase the property.
Of late, Laos has started using the VR technology with the help of foreign companies in other sectors. For instance, Australian archeologists will use drones and multi-space cameras to take 3D images of the Plains of Jars, an archeological and mysterious site in Xieng Khouang province where thousands of stone vessels have found. Archeologists haven’t been able to find out the reason and purpose of these vessels.
After making pictures and videos, the VR technology helps create a museum where people can wear a headset and roam around the site as if they are visiting the site in reality. If the same technology can be implemented in real estate, foreign tourists can visit the picturesque locations and luxurious property locations with the help of technology without actually visiting the site.
Real Estate Tech in Laos – Conclusion
Laos is a country which is small but huge in opportunity for the realty sector. The property market has shown a growth trajectory due to rise in internal consumption and demand from foreign consumers. There is tremendous potential for growth if the government amends the land laws in the country and realty players adopt the innovative technology to market their product.
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