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January 30, 2018

Anchor Land debuts into BPO dorm business

Property developer Anchor Land is debuting into the dormitory development business with a commitment to invest at least P5 billion to make available around 10,000 beds to business process outsourcing (BPO) workers in urban areas in three years’ time.
The first of this urban bed-spacing project is P1.5-billion Cosmo Suites which will rise in Pasay City, near the Bay City which is seen as the next hub for BPOs, the company said in a recent press statement. The twin-tower property, which will have 3,000 beds, is envisioned to offer “affordable, yet high- quality bed spaces to young employees who are looking for ways to outsmart the challenging commute in Metro Manila.” The project is composed of two 16-storey buildings with over 800 units. Each unit is composed of at least four beds. “Cosmo Suites aims to help improve the quality of life of employees. It becomes their halfway home near their workplace, allowing them to spend their time on more productive activities instead of being stuck in traffic for around three to four hours,” said Anchor Land chief executive officer Steve Li. “We help them achieve work-life balance.” Investing in dormitories catering to young professionals in the central business districts, especially BPOs who work in shifts that are much different from regular office workers, is seen as a new growth area for property developers. Even the Ayala and SM groups have forayed into this segment.
(Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer, 15 January 2018)

In Metro Manila, the continued expansion of BPOs as well as traditional firms should result in increased employment opportunities. This, in turn, should boost demand for more worker-accommodation units in the country's capital. Colliers encourages developers to look into worker accommodation projects that cater to young urban professionals who can’t afford to own their own apartment yet or rent a condominium unit within the established business districts such as Makati, Fort Bonifacio, and Ortigas Center. These halfway residential units are for professionals who want to live near their place of work. The worker-accommodation units are also more practical for employees working in CBDs as the worsening traffic in Metro Manila only makes their commute to and from work more unbearable. Aside from Anchor Land, SM is tapping opportunities in the affordable condo market for BPO employees and other young urban professionals thru its acquisition of a 61.2% share in Philippines Urban Living Solutions Inc. (PULS), the operator of a chain of dormitory buildings under the “MyTown” brand while Ayala Land is building five dormitory buildings in Makati and Bonifacio Global City. 

Cebu real estate firm sees sales rising 52%

Cebu Landmasters Inc. said it expects reservation sales to grow 52 percent in 2018 to P7 billion from P4.58 billion in 2017 with the launching of more projects in Visayas and Mindanao. CLI said in a disclosure to the stock exchange it planned to launch 10 new projects in Cebu—two residential subdivisions, three residential condominiums, three offices, one hotel and one industrial park. The property company also plans to expand in new areas, especially in the cities of Bacolod, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro and Davao. CLI will build two residential condominiums and a hotel in Bacolod while a residential condonminium is planned for neighboring Iloilo. In Mindanao, CLI is launching two residential subdivisions and one residential condominium in Cagayan de Oro and unveiling a central business district and two residential condominiums in Davao. “In 2018, we will continue to expand our footprint in the Visayas and Mindanao, and develop projects that respond to the growing market in these areas,” CLI chief executive officer Jose Soberano III said.
(Source: The Standard, 16 January 2018)

Business and employment opportunities generated within Cebu and its environs propel the demand for both vertical and horizontal residential developments. These are complemented by the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) remittances-receiving households. The continued demand for condominium units is also fueled by the influx of high-spending foreign tourists. The presence of direct flights from Japan, Korea, and China to Mactan-Cebu International Airport has catapulted Cebu to become one of the Philippines’ most preferred tourist destinations. Some of the foreign visitors who initially stay in Cebu for short vacations eventually decide to retire and invest in the city and its neighboring areas due to the comforts of an urban landscape balanced with natural attractions. These foreign retirees and investors contribute to higher take up of residential condominium units in Cebu. Condominium living is gaining traction in Cebu due to the following: significant increase in land values making single detached or even low-rise formats financially less viable with prime sites within the city becoming harder to obtain; expansion of the BPO sector resulting in employees choosing to stay close to areas of employment; sustained increase in OFW remittance fueling end-user demand; and low interest rates making monthly amortizations more affordable.

Dennis Uy eyes dev’t of another Cebu resort

Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy is developing another integrated resort in Cebu, which may also have a gaming component. Uy will lease a four-hectare property near the Mactan Cebu International Airport from Megawide, which he plans to develop as a world class hotel with a casino. Uy, a known supporter of President Duterte, has been on an aggressive expansion mode with his acquisition of several companies in different sectors. The two parties are expected to sign the long-erm lease agreement this week, industry sources said. It is expected to compete with Waterfront Hotel & Casino, the hotel and casino near the Cebu airport. Uy’s latest plan is on top of his $341-million Emerald Resort and Casino, which Uy’s Udenna will build on a prime beachfront property in Mactan Island in Lapu-Lapu City, also in Cebu. But Emerald Resort will be bigger in scale as it will rise on a 12.5-hectare property. Emerald is designed by American designer and architect Paul Steelman, whose works include The Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and The Sands in Macau. Here at home, Steelman designed Solaire Resort & Casino. Furthermore, Emerald Resort will be bigger because it will have grand suites, five-story aquariums, retail malls that will rival the best in Asia, among others.
(Source: The Philippine Star, 15 January 2018)

The completion of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) expansion project should further boost Cebu’s attractiveness as a tourist destination. Latest available data show that from January to November of 2016, Cebu attracted some 3.46 million domestic and foreign tourists, making it the most visited destination in the Philippines. The 2016 figure is 12% higher YoY. The continued surge of tourists in the city should provide impetus for developers to ramp up construction of hotels and resort-oriented condominium projects. With the increase in tourist arrivals, overall occupancy rate for 2016 improved to 68% from 65% in 2015. Robust occupancy rates of Deluxe and First-Class hotels indicate the continued influx of high-spending tourists. Cebu’s rising attractiveness as a tourist spot and growing competitiveness as an investment destination should support a 15% to 20% growth in tourist arrivals over the next 12 months. This should sustain hotel occupancy of between 65% and 70% across Metro Cebu over the next 12 months. 



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