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Alabang, Bay City, Pasig, QC also good investment hubs

December 27, 2015 9:17 pm  [ ]

The country’s central business districts may seem to be good venues for parking money for both property end-users and investors, but other locations may just be as promising, according to online agent

The local property website listed down several neighborhoods in Metro Manila aside from the top business districts such as Makati and Bonifacio Global City that investors and house hunters should keep an eye on in 2016.

On the list is the Bay City in Pasay, a previously unnoticed part of the city, but which came to life when SM Mall of Asia began operating in 2006.

The country’s biggest retail firm has driven the rise of numerous condominiums in the area, followed by the establishment of gaming place Entertainment City.

“With all this activity, another recreational center soon rose to cater to visitors with a more grown-up idea of fun: the Entertainment City, which houses the City of Dreams Manila and Solaire Resort and Casino [and two more integrated resorts will open until 2018],” said

It also noted that the Bay City’s proximity to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport makes it a frequent and favorite stop of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and first-timers in the country.

Also on the list is Alabang in Muntinlupa City, also at the south of Metro Manila. Aside from being known as a business district, Alabang is also becoming one of the most thriving commercial centers in Metro Manila, especially with the construction of Filinvest City and the Alabang Commercial Center.

“An ideal place for young professionals, Alabang is close to the offices located at Madrigal Business Park and Filinvest City, while up-and-coming townships, such as Alabang West and South Park District, will establish the area as a legitimate real estate hotspot,” said

Peppered with eating establishments, gastronomical hubs BF Homes in Parañaque City and Kapitolyo in Pasig City also made it on the list of MyProperty’s good investment locations for 2016.

Aside from the restaurants BF Homes has to offer, it is also a residential area that caters to mostly upper middle class Filipino families. It also has a large population of South Korean expatriates.

Meanwhile, MyProperty noted that Kapitolyo is seen growing in terms of real estate, with upcoming developments like Alveo’s Portico and Ortigas & Co.’s Capitol Commons.

Also on the list is Poblacion in Makati City, which MyProperty dubbed as Makati’s most significant neighborhood next to the Makati CBD.

“After the Makati Business District, Poblacion would be the city’s most significant neighborhood, housing several commercial centers, various businesses, government offices, and even a historical area,” said

It noted that Poblacion is also home to the Rockwell Center and Century City, which both have residential, retail and commercial elements.

Quezon City’s New Manila and Sikatuna area were also mentioned as good investment locations. Both are good areas for families to live in because of nearby schools and hospitals.

MyProperty noted that Sikatuna is also close to some of the country’s established hospitals, such as the Lung Center of the Philippines, Philippine Heart Center, and National Kidney and Transplant Institute. So is New Manila, with the private hospital St. Luke’s Medical Center.

MyProperty said townhouses could go as low as P5 million each unit in New Manila and P8.9 million in Sikatuna.

Remittance growth target lowered to 4 % this year

By Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 21, 2015 - 12:00am

The BSP was earlier looking at a five-percent growth target for cash remittances from Filipinos abroad to $25.6 billion this year. The amount of money sent home by Filipinos abroad grew 5.9 percent to $24.35 billion in 2014 from $22.98 billion in 2013.

MANILA, Philippines - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has lowered the projected growth of cash remittances from overseas Filipinos due to the global economic slowdown as well as the weakening of other currencies against the US dollar.

BSP deputy governor Diwa Guinigundo said the growth of cash sent home by Filipinos to their loved ones in the Philippines is slightly lower at four percent, instead of the earlier projection of five percent.

The BSP was earlier looking at a five-percent growth target for cash remittances from Filipinos abroad to $25.6 billion this year. The amount of money sent home by Filipinos abroad grew 5.9 percent to $24.35 billion in 2014 from $22.98 billion in 2013.

However, cash remittances grew only by 3.7 percent to $20.64 billion from January to October this year compared to $19.91 billion in the same period last year.

“I think we need to recall that the major markets for our overseas Filipino workers have also been affected by the general slowdown in the global economy. So their propensity to employ overseas workers, including Filipinos, would also be moderated by such softness in the economic performance,” he said.

Guinigundo also said the de-risking by global banks by enforcing stricter regulatory measures on remittance business in compliance with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) guidance has affected the growth of cash remittances.

He pointed out some of the domestic bank accounts in global banks have been closed due to money laundering concerns such as terrorist financing and others.

“So you see some migration of remittance from the banks to remittance or money transfer operators. Perhaps there could be some or less data capture on that front so it is very difficult to say that we are seeing a more permanent or a new normal in terms of remittances,” he explained.

However, he assured there is continued strength in terms of consumption expenditures that have been supported by remittances.

Likewise, he noted steady investments especially in the real estate business that is supported by cash remittances from Filipinos abroad.

“So I think at this point it is difficult to say that we are seeing a more permanent shift to a lower normal remittances which we should see some recovery moving forward,” Guinigundo said.

For his part, BSP managing director Francis Dakila Jr. said some Filipinos abroad could be holding on to their earnings overseas instead of sending them to their loved ones to the Philippines due to the strong US dollar.

 “To some extent the reduction in remittances may also be the result of a feedback process. As the peso weakens and as you see the budgetary requirements of the families are stated in pesos, then you actually need less dollars in order to support these requirements. We don’t actually have all the information as to how much of the compensation is being retained in banks abroad,” he said.

For 2016, Guinigundo said remittances are expected to increase four percent to $26.3 billion on account of the steady deployment of Filipino workers, greater diversification of country destinations, and shift to higher-skilled types of work.

“Looking at the rate of deployment, we continue to see sustained resiliency in the deployment of our workers abroad,” he added.

Cash remittances serve as a major source of foreign exchange that serves as buffer against external shocks.

Real estate boom to continue next year

By Richmond S. Mercurio (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 15, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine real estate market will remain an attractive sector for investments next year with several growth opportunities seen for both investors and homebuyers, online property portal Lamudi said.

In its latest report, Lamudi Philippines lined up the top real estate investment opportunities for the coming year as it expects another robust period for the country’s property sector.

“Two of the most searched property types by Filipinos are apartments and townhouses, especially in suburban areas like Quezon City, Parañaque and Las Piñas. These properties are very much in demand among renters, especially starting families as they provide much larger spaces than condos yet they are more affordable than stand-alone houses,” Lamudi Philippines said.

Aside from apartments and townhouses, the report showed high-end condominiums are also expected to perform well both in capital appreciation and rental rates.

“Metro Manila’s condo boom is far from over, but developers are holding back on their new launches due to massive supply especially in the mid-market segment. This does not mean, however, that no opportunities are available in the condo market,” Lamudi Philippines said.

But unlike condominiums where a huge number of units can be built within a relatively small parcel of land, Lamudi Philippines said there is only a few land developers developing subdivisions.

This is the reason why residential lots in these projects are highly sought after and their values appreciate quickly, it said.

For the office segment, Lamudi Philippines said strata-titled offices should be the next best thing in terms of investments.

“Unlike the business process outsourcing (BPO) office towers built and owned by real estate developers and rented to BPO companies, strata-titled offices can be bought by individual investors and buyers and have them rented out to companies,” Lamudi Philippines said.

“For property buyers looking to diversify their investment portfolios, this property type makes sense as there is currently a shortage of office space in Metro Manila, especially in the major CBDs, placing an upward pressure on rental rates,” it added.

Among strata-titled developments currently on the market include Alveo Financial Center along Ayala Avenue, The Stiles in Circuit Makati, Century Spire in Century City, Capital House and One World Place in Bonifacio Global City, and Parkway Corporate Center in Alabang.

Megaworld sees no slowdown in office, retail space demand

Posted on December 08, 2015 11:03:00 PM []
By Krista A. M. Montealegre, Senior Reporter
MEGAWORLD Corp., owned by billionaire Andrew L. Tan, remains bullish on the real estate sector, particularly office leasing, next year, although it is keeping a close eye on the possible impact of negative external events and higher interest rates on its residential business.

Megaworld Senior Vice-President Jericho P. Go told reporters on Monday night that the property firm sees no slowdown in demand for office spaces, with plans to launch at least 100,000 square meters (sqm.) of new inventory next year -- consistent with a plan to bring in an average of 100,000 sqms. of new office space to the market until 2019.

Bulk or 60,000 sqm. of the new supply will come from its P45-billion McKinley West township in Fort Bonifacio, while the rest will come from its projects in Iloilo, Cebu and other parts of Luzon. Megaworld is adding 112,000 sqm. of new office space to its portfolio in 2015, pushing the year-end total to 712,000 sqm.

“The way we analyze it, because we have 130 tenants, we know their requirements and we know their demand. I can categorically say for Megaworld --office and retail -- no slowdown. We are even accelerating,” Mr. Go said.

Megaworld is turning over half of the new supply in McKinley West by mid-2016, earlier than the original target of end 2016 or early 2017, he added.

Megaworld, which accounts for a third of the office leasing business among listed companies, is leveraging on its stable of high-profile tenants which include Accenture, IBM, Hewlett Packard, Wells Fargo and Concentrix, among others, to drive the growth of this business.

“The biggest portion of leases comes from expansion, not new ones…

If new, they will lease by the floor. The existing ones lease by the building,” Mr. Go said.

Rental income accounts for 20% of revenues, but its contribution increases to 40% at the net income level, he said.

“As we continue to drive hard in improving our office and retail portfolio, this will continue to drive demand for residential,” Mr. Go said.

While Megaworld is bullish on the office and retail sectors, the real estate firm is “cautiously optimistic” on the residential side of the business.

“For residential, we’re studying the market trends. There are a lot of factors: the devaluation of the Chinese yuan, impending interest rate hike in the United States, what happened to Paris, what happened to Greece and the Middle East with the rout in fuel prices,” Mr. Go said.

The company is assessing how these external events will impact on its unit Megaworld International, which historically accounts for 20% residential sales, comprising of units sold to foreigners and migrant Filipinos.

Megaworld is still upbeat on its prospects despite uncertainty with the national elections to be held in May next year.

“Even the analysts we’re talking to are confident that whoever wins the election, we will continue to enjoy the growth we are experiencing.

In terms of overseas Filipino remittances, we’re doing okay, we believe any presidentiable (presidential candidate) will not rock the boat,” Mr. Go said.

Megaworld is part of Alliance Global Group, Inc. -- the holding firm for Mr. Tan’s liquor, gaming and quick-service restaurant businesses.

Shares in Megaworld lost eight centavos or 1.74% to close at P4.51 each on Tuesday.

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