Filipino property buyers now go for mixed-use development

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Siegfrid O. Alegado

www.gmanetwork.com

11 February 2013

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/294437/economy/companies/filipino-property-buyers-now-go-for-mixed-use-development

More Filipinos equipped with newly-found spending power want a more dynamic living and working environment offered by mixed-use developments like Eastwood and Bonifacio Global City.

As real estate buyers go for “live-work-play” lifestyle, property developers are now focused on mixed-use developments in key cities and surrounding areas.

“Master planned communities are on the rise and are poised to become a standard,” Jose E.B. Antonio, Century Properties Group Inc. chairman, noted in an e-mail to GMA News Online.

“In recent years, the country saw the rise of urban clusters where residence, office and commerce are set close to each other,” he said.

Ayala Land Inc. president Antonino Aquino shared the same view, saying in a briefing that the company “pioneered” in mixed-use developments and “would always be pursuing for those things.”

Real estate analysts noted that the focus on clustered or mixed-use environments stemmed from rising demand for such lifestyle-driven developments.

Take-up of newly launched condominium projects is at 60 percent, with those situated in mixed-use developments taking the chunk, Rick Santos, chairman and chief executive officer of property consultancy CBRE Philippines, said in an ambush interview with reporters.

Santos said office space demand in clustered developments remains high and backed by the influx of business process outsourcing companies in the country.

“There are really plans by property developers for mixed-use developments, because of the success of previous mixed-use developments,” Jet Ilaga, executive director for real estate services at property consultancy firm Colliers International, said in a separate ambush interview.

“There is really demand for this for the next five years or so,” he added, noting that developers anticipate sustained demand for office spaces and premium condominiums.

Real estate consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle’s head of research, consulting and valuation, Claro Cordero, Jr., said the real property market has “shifted its preference” to master planned communities versus one-off projects amid preference of investors and buyers for the “live-work-play” concept.

Coleen Luminarias, a 22-year-old living in Rockwell in Mandaluyong City, imbibes this attitude.

Luminarias said she enjoys living in a mixed-use development because “life is never too dull while here, because the place is always alive.

“Aside from the fact that I don’t have to worry about time or traffic, almost everything I need is just a few steps away,” she said in an Internet chat.

Cordero noted such concept was originally borne out of necessity—lack of viable and alternative transportation system and heavy traffic in urban centers.

“The master planned communities are meant to improve the quality of life of the urban dweller,” he said.

Neck-and-neck competition

With many like Luminarias eyeing spaces within mixed-use developments, property developers are neck-and-neck in creating the best mixed-used concepts in the market as they scour for areas to build more.

“People have shown that they value the advantages offered by living in master planned communities, such as modern conveniences that are integrated in order for them to achieve a work and play balance,” said Century Property’s Antonio.

This year, the property developer will launch Century City on Kalayaan Avenue in Makati that showcases a sustainable synergy of elements—luxury residences, retail and lifestyle spaces, commercial offices and even a medical arts building.

Ayala Land, likewise, is developing the 21-hectare Circuit Makati—in the former Sta. Ana Race Track— complete with malls, open-air concert arena, theater and even a football turf.

Competition revved up a notch, as property developers search for more ways to get ahead of the competition by rolling-out so-called branded developments to offer clients highly stylized homes and amenities.

Century Properties has Paris Hilton for the Azure Urban Resort Residences and Versace Home for the Milano Residences, Missoni Home for Acqua Livingstone and most recently, John Hitchcock and Philippe Starck for Acqua Iguazu yoo inspired by Starck.

“With a growing economy and the increased purchasing power of Filipinos, real estate developers are now competing to get their share of the end-user market,” Antonio said.

“The buyer is the winner, because properties these days offer beyond good location and present compelling lifestyle upgrades,” he added.

Ayala Land’s Aquino shared that view, saying “there is protection in the values of estates within mixed-used developments due to its innate vibrancy.”

Beyond Metro Manila

Property consultants said there is more space in Metro Manila for mixed-used developments, and such areas will mushroom in other key cities and fringe areas sooner than later.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s Cordero said there are still potential areas for mixed-used developments in “old manufacturing sites and idle lands that are strategically located along or near the major modes of transport” in Metro Manila.

But Cordero noted, “The result of the decision of the property developers to focus on master planned/mixed-use developments is the proliferation of emerging urban districts, not just in Metro Manila but in other key urban areas in the country.”

There are 25 emerging urban districts including Ayala Land’s Nuvali and Eton Properties Philippines Inc.’s Eton City in Laguna province, south of the capital, he added.

Colliers’ Ilaga said most of the up and coming centers are “in the CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) area.”

CBRE’s Santos said areas like Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, Angeles City, Clark, and Zamboanga show potential for mixed-use developments.

“These are favorite areas for inquiry for potential investors,” Santos added.

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