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The best cities in the Philippines for property investment

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Written by Marc Adrian

The Philippine real estate is seen to continuously soar this 2017. According to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, despite landed houses’ decline in supply, condominium units are making up for it with a growth rate of 5.1% this year, compare to last year’s 1.9%. The real estate needs of Filipinos are changing as they have become more meticulous. National Capital Region (NCR)’s condominium supply alone went up to 5.2% this year from 1.3% in 2016, This is also why developers are ensuring that their plans and project concepts are attuned to their customers’ demands, by offering them world-class real estate developments.For instance, every Filipino who works abroad aims to eventually buy a home in the future. To cater to this demand, more middle-income house-and-lot packages are foreseen to be developed especially in the areas of Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Western and Central Visayas, where 48% of our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) come from. As prices continue to increase in and around Metro Manila, other major metropolitan locales are also garnering more interest from the market and similarly increasing in value as development expands outward. In fact, cities from the far south region of the Philippines, are also becoming a sweet spot in real estate today. Whether you’re looking to put down roots with a family home or to rent out your purchase for yield, here are five real estate hotspots cities that promise the benefits necessary for you to buy, maintain, and grow in your property.

City #1: Bonifacio Global City Often called “BGC” for short, the neighborhood is a master-planned financial center built and managed by two of the country’s biggest developers – Ayala Land and Evergreen Holdings.

Strategic location: Bonifacio Global City is a prime business district filled with other offices and commercial establishments. Home to countless opportunities, such as startups with ambition, people with buying power and residential units that are perfect for the family here.

Accessible location

Appreciation: BGC is basically the antithesis to Manila and Makati – it’s a business district that doesn’t attract heavy traffic due to its well-planned streets and blocks that provide access to efficient circulation, pedestrian-friendly streets, an efficient and comfortable public transport system, and above all that is a complete environment where residential properties are just a stone throw away from businesses, offices, schools, and commercial centers. In Fort Bonifacio, land prices rose by 6.7% to an average of ₱445,000 per sq. m. in Q1 2016 from the previous quarter. According to the insights of Leechiu Property Consultations, Bonifacio Global City will produce most of the office supply pipeline by 2020. Eventually, it will be the same size as Makati office stock. The highest concentration of wealth will be in Bonifacio Global City.

This is backed by the high demand for residential and commercial properties in BGC, as it remains to be the undisputed preferred location for tenants, according to the same study.

City #2: Makati

Strategic location:

It’s dubbed as the “Financial Capital of the Philippines,” and the “Wall Street” of Metro Manila. It’s home to many reputable local and international companies. It boasts numerous entertainment and residential centers.

Appreciation: The appeal of Makati’s Central Business District needs no explanation as it is unrivaled in the country. It is home to the headquarters of 40 percent of the top 1,000 multinational corporations and prestigious local companies thus making it one of Asia’s important financial, commercial and economic hubs. Makati also holds the priciest average rental rate (₱910 to ₱1,100 per sqm) and land value (₱280,000 to ₱350,000) in the Philippines which makes it the leading choice for Philippine property market investments. This can be the result of the working population’s preference for condominium living that is near to their workplace for efficiency and lower transportation cost. Due to that, there’s a 90% demand for residential space to address the needs of its growing population – expats and locals.

City #3: Baguio City

Baguio is known as the City of Pines and the country’s summer capital. Millennials will find peace in this clean and well-ordered city, and expect potential returns on investment as it recently has experienced quite a huge dose of commercialization and business refinements. Despite rapid development, it still retains its old yet beautiful charm.

Strategic location:

The city is home to world-class top performing academic institutions including the country’s flagship school, the University of the Philippines. Land and building are also highly valuable investment here as the business scene is dynamic with properties changing hands pretty regularly, and businesses continue to thrive due to tourism and exports.

Appreciation:

With the city booming as a tourism and an education hotspot, real estate investment in Baguio City ticks the criteria of a wise investment. Generally, the economic growth of Baguio City is driven by exports, which consists of electronics, machinery, wearing apparel, textile, plastic production, and service enterprises. Also, a number of Business Processing Outsourcing – Information Technology (BPO-IT) companies are on the rise in Baguio City.

In 2015, Camp John Hay has seen an increase in business enterprises by 51% and jobs generated has also increased by 261%.

City #4: Cebu

Cebu has the nickname “Queen City of the South” for obvious reason. It’s one of the most prosperous localities in the country with a robust economy. Add to the charm of Cebu is that it hasn’t lost its provincial vibe with its beautiful beaches and natural resources. Cebu is considered an investment hub and as developed as Metro Manila according to their local real estate experts.

Strategic location:

Cebu is known as the second most important metropolitan in the country.

Because of the booming IT and BPO sectors in the Queen City of the South, the supply of condominiums also rose through the years. It has the second highest concentration of condominiums in the Philippines and most of these developments are considered high-end. Demand for condominium units is forecasted to grow in Metro Cebu, despite the decline of average housing prices nationwide during the second quarter of 2017.

Appreciation:

The real estate sector in Cebu continues to grow with more available spaces in the office, retail and residential markets as the local economy is fueled by tourism and business process outsourcing. In 2014, the inventory of condominium units in Cebu is around 7,000 to 8,000, today it’s now at 15,000 to 17,000! This is according to Cebu Landmasters Inc CEO Jose Soberano III.

Tourist arrival in the city was forecasted to increase by 15% to 20% over the coming months, according to Colliers Philippines. Cebu’s real estate growth is greatly driven by overseas Filipino workers’ (OFW) remittances, and also the 5.2% increase in population annually brought by local migration.

City #5: Davao

City Davao is the country’s largest city outside of Manila – and also one of its fastest growing. Its economy grew by an impressive 9.4% in 2016, outpacing the 6.9% rate for the Philippines as a whole. This is also the only Philippine city to reach the top 100 in the London-based City Mayors Foundation’s world’s fastest-growing city 2011.

Being the hometown of Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine’s current (16th) President, it has become a hotspot for business and infrastructure projects. Strategic location:

Luxury condos are sprouting across the city. Davao City is well known for its close proximity to the Samal Island, a famous beach destination in the region. The booming BPO sector is relentlessly growing. The region already has 32 Information Communication Technology and BPO firms with more than half operating in the “voice” sector. Being the capital city in the south, Davao is also the education hub in Mindanao. New international airport, Mindanao railway, and more malls to rise soon.

Appreciation:

Davao city has been continuously the center of growth in Mindanao over the past decade. In 2015, its Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) grew by 7.9% compared to the 5.9% national average. Aside from that, since it’s well-known to be one of the country’s safest and cleanest cities, it’s easily a retirement destination for both Filipinos and expats.

According to a real estate consult of Vista Lan Co, Davao City’s upbeat business climate that heightened upon the election of President Duterte, real estate in the City has become in Demand. It saw an increase of 7.3% based on a survey conducted by a national realtor research firm earlier this year (January to July 2017).