The property landscape in the Philippines this year can be described as rugged, filled with highs and lows, which makes the industry twice as interesting both from observers’ and players’ standpoints. Here are the 12 most notable “features” of this landscape.
1 The Philippines upgraded in the international property investors’ report card. On Jan. 14, Inquirer Property, in an exclusive interview with Simon Treacy (the South Asia head of the Urban Land Institute) reported that the Philippines had been upgraded in the international property investors’ report card. The ULI Emerging Trends 2012 Asia Pacific upgraded Manila from the 20th of the list (out of 21) to 18th in investments. ULI said “a new government and a surge in foreign investment in the business process outsourcing market—back office and call center, for the most part—have helped the commercial real estate market, boosting the city’s 2012 investment prospects.”
2 No effect on foreign investors’ upbeat perception of property sector. Also in January, the entire country’s attention was on the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, which involved a number of the defendant’s high-end properties. Despite initial apprehensions, international and local property experts later assessed that the historic trial did not affect foreign investors’ upbeat perception of the property sector.
3 One condo sold every eight minutes. In February, Inquirer Property reported that a condominium unit was sold every eight minutes, highlighting the increasing popularity and appeal of condo living, especially in the cities.
4 Most livable cities. In March, Inquirer Property revealed the 11 most livable cities for the young generation, preceded by the top criteria for ideal cities to settle into. Some of the most livable cities were Metro Cebu, Taguig (Bonifacio Global City), Makati, Muntinlupa (Alabang Business District), Clark Special Economic Zone, Tagaytay City and Pasay (Bay City).
5 Eton’s credibility as developer boosted. Also in March, Inquirer Property reported that business tycoon Lucio Tan’s inclusion in Forbes Magazine as the 314th richest boosted Eton Properties Philippines Inc.’s credibility as a developer and reinforces clients’ confidence.
6 Downside of owning condos in the country. In the first quarter of 2012, Inquirer Property revealed the downside of owning condos in the Philippines, as some owners began revealing their “woes”: condos with no parking slots; lost deposits; forfeited payments on overseas Filipino workers’ “absence”; multiple ownership of individual condo units; the lack of price regulations on association dues; and many more.
7 Condos on high demand list. Condominiums continue to be on the high-demand list, spurred on by an expatriate population seeking luxury condominiums, as revealed by Inquirer Property in June.
8 Overdevelopment one of the causes of floods. In the wake of Metro-wide flooding in August, property analysts revealed that among the causes of floods has been overdevelopment.
9 Land development trend near cemeteries. On Nov. 2, Inquirer Property revealed the trend of land development near cemeteries, particularly in areas around Manila South Cemetery (in Makati), and the American Memorial (Bonifacio Global City).
10 How overseas Pinoys affect the property market. Inquirer Property weighed in on overseas Filipinos and how this growing group could affect the property sector particularly in the last quarter of 2012. Property experts were split in their opinions of just how significant overseas Pinoys would affect the property market. But one thing is indisputable: The overseas Pinoys’ remittance—which has already exceeded $2 billion as of September—would definitely have an overall impact on the local economy.
11 Introduction of new Filinvest City. The new Filinvest City announced its completion of the majority of the infrastructure works on site. The 244-hectare expanse of land of Filinvest City houses the Northgate Cyberzone (the first BPO IT park in southern Metro Manila, home to international BPOs).
12 Condo prefered in cities. In December, experts told Inquirer Property that overseas Filipinos prefer condo in key cities, especially in the National Capital Region, while housing projects in midscale subdivisions would be more sought after in nearby provinces. Enrique M. Soriano III, Ateneo program director for real estate and senior adviser for Wong+Bernstein Business Advisory, cited research showing that close to 80 percent of condominium developments are concentrated in Mega Manila.