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Market Intelligence | Philippines July 26, 2021

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Arthaland builds new high-rise condo in Cebu
NEWS

Arthaland Corp. has launched a 37-story residential condominium, Lucima, at the Cebu Business Park in Cebu City. The project is also set to be the first quadruple-certified residential condominium development in the country. Lucima is also pre-certified for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental) Gold by the US Green Building Council. The company disclosed that Lucima will have its own Potager Garden to provide residents with “fresh, organic, and nutritious produce.” Arthaland’s subsidiary, Emera Property Management, will handle the residential project’s upkeep.

RESEARCH VIEW

Colliers recommends that developers monitor pivotal infrastructure projects such as the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) and the Metro Cebu Expressway as these are likely to stoke residential condominium demand in Cebu. Colliers believes that recovery in take-up is likely to be supported by a rebound in office leasing. Colliers believes that Cebu will likely remain an attractive residential investment hub post-pandemic. Aside from competitive mortgage rates, residential demand in Cebu is likely to be buoyed by macroeconomic rebound and the success of the COVID-19 vaccination. In our view, Improvement in residential launches and completions will likely send a positive signal especially for a supply-driven condominium market like the Philippines.

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May remittances rose 13%, fastest in nearly five years
   

NEWS

Data from the Bangko Sentral ng PIlipinas (BSP) or the central bank show that remittances in May 2021 reached USD2.4 billion (PHP121 billion), a 13.1% increase from the USD2.1 billion (PHP106 billion) in May 2020. This is the fastest growth since the 18.5% growth recorded in November 2016. As of 5M 2021, total cash remittances reached USD12.3 billion (PHP619 billion), 6.3% higher than the USD11.5 billion (PHP578 billion) in the same period of last year. Top source markets of remittances during the period were the United States, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, and Canada. The central bank expects cash remittances to grow by about 4% this year as more economies reopen.

RESEARCH VIEW

Colliers has noted that overseas Filipino worker (OFW) remittances continue to drive the demand for affordable to mid-income (PHP1.7 million to PHP5.9 million) residential projects within and outside of the capital region. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we have observed a sustained take-up of horizontal units in Cebu, Iloilo, Pampanga, Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas. Colliers encourages developers to continue implementing strategic land banking to take advantage of public projects recently completed by the national government. In our view, horizontal projects will likely remain attractive especially among OFWs that continue to propel residential demand across the country. We encourage OFWs to continue looking for house-and-lot and lot-only projects in key urban areas outside Metro Manila and take advantage of flexible payment packages being offered by developers.

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57% progress rate cited for LRT-1 Cavite Extension

NEWS

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said that the overall progress rate of the PHP64.9 billion LRT-1 Cavite Extension project is at 57% as of the end of June 2021. Once operational, the railway project will reduce travel time between Baclaran and Bacoor, Cavite from 1 hour and 10 minutes to 25 minutes. The extension project also aims to increase daily ridership to 800,000 from 500,000.

RESEARCH VIEW

The LRT-1 Cavite Extension project is vital to the government’s decentralization program. In our view, developers should consider acquiring parcels of land around the train stations given the potential for land value and property price appreciation. We also see the boosting the province’s viability as a business hub south of Metro Manila. We recommend that developers constantly monitor the progress of other railway projects such as the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR), MRT-4, MRT-7, and the Metro Manila Subway, which are likely to influence firms’ land-banking activities.

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Joey Bondoc

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Prior to joining Colliers in March 2016, Joey worked as a Research Manager for a research and consutancy firm where he handled business, political, and macroeconomic analysis. He took part in a number of consultancy projects with multilateral agencies and provided research support and policy recommendations to key government officials and top executives of MNCs in the Philippines.

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