Secured investments in serviced residences
Serviced apartments might surprise investors as the Philippines begins to recover from the pandemic.
Adding serviced apartments to one’s property investment portfolio can be rewarding, experts said during the Nov. 11 edition of the INQlusive webinar series titled, “Secured Investments in Serviced Residences Fueled by PH Tourism Recovery,” presented by Inquirer Business and Property sections in partnership with Aruga Apartments by Rockwell Land.
Aruga Apartments are fully furnished serviced apartments in Rockwell Center, Makati, providing housekeeping, amenities and services that exemplify the fabled Rockwell lifestyle.
In recent years, serviced apartments grew popular because, beyond convenience, they also provide more space, privacy and options, at costs cheaper than hotels. Demand has come from discerning consumers, the busy set and, finally, staycationers. Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the staycation culture as it did the whole tourism sector. With destinations deserted, a profitable industry suffered.
In 2019, tourism contributed a 12.8-percent share in the GDP, said Warner Andrada, OIC Director of the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) Development Planning, Research and Information Management. It “became one of the most critically impacted in terms of jobs and income losses” in 2020. The DOT is now hoping for a comeback.
David T. Leechiu, CEO of Leechiu Property Consultants, was also optimistic about the industry despite the downturn: “I’m very excited about the prospects… Tourism will be the largest industry within 10 years—larger than BPO (business process outsourcing) and overseas remittances.”
“I’d like to agree,” added Randell Tiongson, director at the Registered Financial Planner Institute Philippines. “I think [tourism] is one of the most underrated parts of the economy … As somebody who has traveled all over the world, the Philippines is so beautiful but it’s sad to see it so underappreciated and underutilized.”
The recovery could change that sorry state. Ramped up vaccination drives, emerging medications and easier travel requirements now encourage more Filipinos to travel, Andrada noted. Citing findings from “The Evolving Landscape of Domestic Travel in the Philippines: A study of travelers and tourism enterprises amidst the pandemic,” the DOT found that citizens have wanted to travel domestically. The department wants to ride the tide.
To do this, Andrada explained, the DOT has been looking to develop new sites and to meet a preference for open spaces like farms and ecotourism zones. Digital nomads and staycations are also areas for growth.
Combining the resilience of real estate, the big demand for travel and staycations, and hassle-free property management, the advantages of serviced residences become obvious. And Aruga is already benefitting.
Rockwell Land sales head Klaudine Yapyuco-Co revealed better occupancy, higher yields for unit owner-investors and even repeat buyers.
“With this significant growth, we are very, very positive that it will only get better,” she added.
“To a great degree,” said Andrada, “if you want to grow your wealth and secure your financial future, [tourism] is an industry that you need to look at.”
Aruga Apartments could very well be your first foray.
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