Philippines’ property boom shows no sign of slowdown

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Christine Ong

Channel News Asia.com

28 January 2013

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/economicnews/view/1250702/1/.html

MANILA: A property boom in Metro Manila, described as the best in two decades, has pushed construction in the Philippines to its highest growth in at least six quarters.

The Philippines is experiencing a property boom like no other with developments covering office buildings, housing projects, hotels and new shopping districts.

This is all being fuelled by confidence in the Philippine economy which grew at a notable 7.1 per cent in 2012.

With the Philippine economy growing at an impressive pace, experts said there will be no slowdown in the demand for real property market as the country rides on strong macroeconomic fundamentals and investor confidence.

CBRE Philippines’ chairman Rick Santos said: “We are seeing a very strong government. The Aquino administration is doing a very admirable job. The strong leadership and a strong cabinet have been reflected on the confidence of the foreign investors. A lot of countries around the world now are getting investment downgrades. In the Philippines, we are seeing investment upgrades so that is very positive. The Philippines is becoming this overnight success that took 20 years.”

Property developers are now enjoying brisk sales with vacancy rates falling to its lowest on record.

In some cases, pre-leasing for office spaces are committed for the next two years.

The challenge now experts said is how to cope with the unprecedented success.

Jose Antonio, founder and chairman of Century Properties Group, Inc, said: “The challenge is actually not only for us as a company. The challenge for our country is how to sustain this growth. How do we sustain it? It is really to plough back all the income of both the private sector companies and the government into sustainable projects and relevant projects.

“For example, it is very important for the government to expand our infrastructure. There is a big need and we know it. (The government needs) to hasten the infrastructure program of the government.”

The government has allotted a record budget of over US$9 billion this year to upgrade the country’s roads, ports, bridges and airports.

Industry experts believe the aggressive infrastructure spending will further real estate growth in the country.

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