The Philippine real estate industry will likely be a significant contributor to the country’s economic recovery in the post pandemic era.
While some property subsectors continue to face a challenging environment amid the COVID-19 pandemic, certain segments offer bright prospects that can help boost economic activity.
In a recent webinar guesting, Dr. Bernardo M. Villegas, economist and professor at the University of Asia and the Pacific, said there are property segments that were “not negatively affected” by the pandemic. He cited the residential segment, noting that units priced between P800,000 and P5 million will continue to have a market and will remain in demand, particularly among overseas Filipino workers and business process outsourcing employees.
“I hope real estate developers will continue (to build such units)—the likes of SMDC and so on. Those are the types of units that will continue to be in demand,” Villegas said, referring to practical, attainable units priced up to P5 million.
It also helps if the residential development is located within an integrated community that places its residents near essential shops, key establishments and other institutions—a feature that proved to be a lifeline for many Filipinos during the strict lockdowns.
“I’m impressed with some real estate developers that are focusing on integrated communities, wherein they make sure that the church, the hospital and everything that is needed by the resident there are within walking distance. I’m encouraging especially the young couples to start looking at their future residences in those integrated communities,” he added.
Beyond the opportunities owing to a sustained demand for housing units, the real estate industry also offers significant multiplier effects as its impact spills over to many other sectors that include construction, services, architecture, interior design, furniture and fixtures, steel and cement, among many others.
Earlier government estimates showed that real estate “poses around 1.2 percent output-multiplier effect or impact to the rest of the economy.” This meant that every peso of investment spending in the real estate industry generates P1.20 of additional output into the economy. The resumption of real estate activities (such as private construction and sale of properties by agents) in June alone immediately saw nearly 60,000 workers returning to work. This translates to about 264,000 individuals (given the average household size of 4.4 persons) who may not need government support to cope with the adverse effects of COVID-19, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development Sec. Eduardo del Rosario had said.
There is no doubt that the real estate industry can play a key role in the eventual recovery of the Philippine economy, helping stimulate businesses, provide job opportunities and boost economic activities not only in key urban centers but in many areas across the country. In this respect, Philippine real estate can also be one of the instruments in nation-building amid such perilous times.
Partner in nation-building
Fortunately, there are property developers who continued to have strong confidence in the Philippine economy, pursuing their respective expansion plans even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In particular, SM Development Corp. (SMDC), the wholly owned residential developer of SM Prime Holdings Inc., has boldly pushed through with its projects this year, thus playing its part in helping stimulate the economy and providing much needed jobs amid this health crisis. In pursuing its project launches, SMDC effectively becomes one of the government’s partners in nation-building.
“We believe that we have a responsibility to help prevent the further decline of the economy and to protect jobs and incomes. To downscale at a time when the economy needs support would not only be damaging to the economy’s recovery but would also be disruptive of SMDC’s development schedule,” SMDC president Jose Mari H. Banzon had said.
“We will be launching a number of projects in the last two quarters of the year in major CBDs (central business districts) in Metro Manila, which includes our home base in the Mall of Asia (MOA) complex and in the south of the metro. We are also moving in the eastern part of Metro Manila with a couple of high-rise projects, the first one of which we recently launched: Gem Residences in C-5, Pasig,” Banzon earlier told the Inquirer.
In July, SMDC unveiled its latest project: the 41-story Gem Residences, a modern contemporary themed residential enclave in bustling Pasig City. Rising along C-5 Road, Gem Residences offers right-sized homes that cater to the multi-faceted lifestyle of today’s active young professionals.
Apart from its strategic location which places it near major thoroughfares, transport hubs and key establishments and institutions, Gem Residences will also showcase an impressive amenity deck aptly called The Creators Park, a seamless integration of brilliant amenities that offer residents a healthy, promising and enabling environment.
SMDC’s other existing projects include Charm Residences, a luxurious masterplanned community that offers resort-inspired living spaces in the eastern corridor of the metro.
Rising along Felix Avenue, Charm Residences similarly offers a well-thought-out amenity deck which will have a fitness lap pool, outdoor gym and basketball court to promote health and wellness, as well as a children’s pool and playground and a zen area where one can take a breather after a long, grueling day.
Similar to its previous developments, SMDC will create self-contained integrated communities that will offer utmost comfort, convenience, security and privacy for residents. In both Gem Residences and Charm Residences, future homeowners can expect the same lifestyle fit for the new normal—one wherein they will have easy access to essential shops such as groceries, banks and pharmacies.
As the company continues to demonstrate its staunch commitment to provide quality homes with or without the pandemic, it really comes as no surprise that SMDC projects continue to thrive, remaining a favored investment and the home of choice of many Filipinos from here and abroad.