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Expat population spurs demand for posh condos

/ 10:47 PM June 15, 2012

ROCKWELL Center is expats’ haven.

Not every story behind luxury condominiums is about a controversial, high-ranking government official. Amid all the drama the past few months brought about by the impeachment of the Chief Justice, the luxury residential market has been brought to public attention.

But the overlooked fact is that this market has become the sunshine sector of the real estate industry for some time now. Looking at the robust growth more closely, one can see that the expatriate population in the Philippines has spurred the demand for luxury condominium units.

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According to property consultant CB Richard Ellis’ First Quarter 2012 MarketView Metro Manila, the expatriate population is still growing, as there has been no letup in the entry and expansion of outsourcing and offshoring companies.

“The expansion of multinational companies due to the favorable macroeconomic situation is likewise contributing to the inflow of expatriates. Because of the consistent growth in the expatriate population, the demand for housing remains strong,” the report said.

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UPSCALE Pacific Plaza Towers

The Bureau of Immigration’s alien registration division’s statement in March indicates that more than 65,155 foreign nationals residing in the Philippines filed their annual reports this year (higher by 5,123, or 8.53 percent, than the number that filed last year; the government earned more than P19.5 million in fees paid by aliens who filed their reports this year).

The report added that while investor demand has been increasing, transactions continue to be concentrated on leases as supply of luxury condominiums remains tight.

“In addition, luxury condominiums are facing strong competition from newer Grade A condominiums. Demand for units at the Pacific Plaza Towers was also affected by the adjacent construction, which is blocking the view of several of its units. Capital values of luxury condominiums, however, were maintained in the first quarter of the year.”

Newer Grade A buildings and newly renovated houses are seen by expatriates as an alternative to luxury condominiums. Because of leasing competition, rents were maintained in the first quarter of 2012. Unit owners have also been wary of increasing rents as they are aware of the limits on expatriate housing budgets.

Luxury residential condominium statistics disclosed in the report showed that the monthly rental rates of the Makati CBD range from P240,000 to P250,000; the Rockwell Center P210,000 to P230,000 and Bonifacio Global City P230,000 to P250,000.

BONIFACIO Global City is where expats thrive. Photo by TRSalazar

Luxury residential houses statistics showed Forbes Park with rental rates of P350,000 to P500,000; Dasmariñas Village with P300,000 to P400,000; Urdaneta Village with P250,000 to P300,000; and Bel Air Village with P150,000 to P250,000. CBRE added that recent developments have prompted the organization to defer the use of size as a criterion in measuring lease rates for houses in these upscale communities. Extensive renovations done on a number of smaller houses in these communities have resulted in some of them fetching higher lease rates compared to their bigger but older counterparts.

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The chart on upscale condominium statistics showed 40-sq-m to 250-sq-m units (ranging from one to three bedrooms) in Legaspi Village fetching monthly lease rates of P60,000 to P220,000; Salcedo Village’s 110-sq-m to 250-sq-m units (two to three bedrooms) have lease ranges of P115,000 to P160,000.

The Apartment Ridge ranging from 77-sq-m to 285-sq-m units (one to three bedrooms) have lease ranges of P40,000 to P150,000; Rockwell Center with 75-sq-m to 247-sq-m units (one to three bedrooms) are leased for P70,000 to P250,000. Bonifacio Global City’s 50-sq-m to 306-sq-m units (one to three bedrooms) have lease ranges of P70,000 to P220,000.

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