Young women drive demand for Philippines property

Research from Lamudi and Colliers shows most of those interested in buying homes are in the 25-34 age bracket

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - MAY 08:  A general view of the financial district of Makati City on May 8, 2013 in Manila, Philippines. The Philippines is in the throes of a property boom that is unprecedented in Southeast Asia. Hundreds of construction cranes are seen across Manila's skyline as property developments including office buildings, housing projects, hotels and new shopping districts are changing the face of the metropolis. The country's credit rating has been upgraded once again from a grade of BBB- to BBB by rating agency Standard & Poor's and the economy is expected to post a GDP growth rate of 6%, 1% higher than initially forecast.  (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)
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Demand for property in the Philippines is being driven mainly by young people, with women more active in the market than men, according to a new survey.

The majority (43.95 per cent) of those seeking homes in the country were in the 25-34 year-old age bracket, according to the 2020 outlook by real estate portal Lamudi and consultancy Colliers International. Most of those making enquiries about properties (61.4 per cent) and those searching on the site (55.62 per cent) were female.

Condominiums were the most popular property type searched for by renters, but for those looking to buy, houses were the most popular search item.

"Overseas Filipino Workers continue to play a major role in fuelling the growth of the country’s property market," Lamudi's report said, adding that in the first five months of 2019 the total amount of cash remittances from overseas workers increased by 4.1 per cent, to $13.7bn (Dh50.3bn).

"About 78 per cent of remittances during the period [were] from the United States, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Singapore, Japan, UK, Qatar and Canada," the report said.

OFWs tend to favour high-end and mid-end condominiums, with population growth and the migration from rural to urban areas continues to fuel demand for both residential and commercial real estate, it added.

Colliers projects that 15,610 new homes will be built in 2020, outpacing the annual average of 10,700 between 2016-18, although it flags challenges in terms of a shortage in construction workers, as well as uncertainty brought about by proposed tax reforms.

Spending on infrastructure is forecast to increase to 5.7 per cent of GDP this year, and the increased spend will also see more urban townships being created, driving up residential and office supply.

"All the construction underway, however, has posed a problem in Metro Manila in the form of unbearable traffic jams. Until train lines, expressways, and subways are completed within 2022 to 2025, the major business districts Makati CBD, Ortigas Center, Fort Bonifacio, and the Bay Area will experience heavy traffic, which has spurred the decision of developers to build co-living residential places near business hubs," the report said.

Developers are also building building co-living spaces near universities.

Office space is also set to grow by about one million square metres, with net take-up of 960,000 square metres forecast, meaning vacancy rates will edge up to 6.2 per cent by the end of the year.

Increased property demand is also driving up land prices, which Colliers estimates will reach 950,000 Philippine pesos (Dh68,634) per square metre in the Makati central business district this year - a 22 per cent year-on-year increase.