2020 PROPERTY OUTLOOK



Manila, 23 December 2019
 - The Philippine property sector remained robust in 2019 but Colliers has observed key adjustments in the strategies of property players in the past 12 months, including –

• Development of more co-living projects as developers and commuters adjust to the worsening traffic in Metro Manila; 
• Ramped up launch of mid-income condominium units in the fringes of major business districts to cash in on investors’ preference; 
• Aggressive landbanking and office construction outside the capital region as developers follow the government’s infrastructure plan and identify alternative expansion sites for occupants including offshore gaming and outsourcing firms amid the government’s ecozone moratorium in Metro Manila and pending approval of a tax reform bill that purges tax perks to investors; and 
• Exploration of the possibility of housing of non-traditional mall tenants such as flexible workspace operators to avert the threat of increasing vacancy and sustain footfall. 

Overall, we see the Philippine economy’s upward growth trajectory being sustained by massive public infrastructure spending. The government spending-backed economic growth should further stoke the property sector.  

But Colliers sees a number of headwinds that might constrict the property segment’s growth moving forward. These include the following –  

• Acute shortage of skilled construction workers threatening the launch of more residential projects in Metro Manila;  
• Lingering concerns on final version of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program to be approved by Congress. The delays in the approval of the measure that proposes to reduce corporate income tax rates and rationalize tax incentives granted to foreign investors has been compelling occupants to take a wait-and-see stance; and 
• Government’s inability to fully spend its infrastructure budget which is likely to result in delayed construction of vital public projects that provide direction to property developers’ expansion strategies. 

Colliers believes that over the next 12 months, developers should continue to adapt to the evolving preferences of investors and tenants to survive in a fiercely competitive Philippine property market. 

In our opinion, property firms should actively engage in discussion with the government and other stakeholders regarding policies and programs that are likely to further redefine the Philippine property landscape.

In our opinion, developers should continuously look for opportunities to capture demand from foreign retailers in light of the lower capital requirements for foreign retailers and capitalize on opportunities for transit-oriented development in urban areas outside Metro Manila, following the infrastructure development of the national government. 
 
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