Home ownership is the new democracy in the Philippines

Despite what is said about the continued poverty still existing in the country, its nice to know there is a new democracy happening with home ownership becoming a trend among locals. Let’s hope the growth in democratic rights in this form continues.


Housing sector undergoing ‘major transformation’

Posted By Michelle Del Gallego-Ngo On June 20, 2012

The country’s residential sector has shown continuous growth based on strong demand from a broader market 2012 and onward, said real estate services and advisory firm CBRE Philippines.

CBRE chairman and CEO Rick Santos said there is a major transformation in the housing sector. “The Philippines is experiencing democratization in the housing sector—from a nation of renters to owners—based on low interest rates and financing schemes,” said Santos during press briefing held Wednesday in Makati City.

Santos said bank-lending rates are still on the downward trend that allowed sustaining the liquidity in the financial system. Furthermore, he said the increasing affordability of funds for housing acquisitions fuels the strong demand in the residential sector “The liquidity in the market enables developers to provide more affordable payment terms to buyers. The low cost of borrowing is likewise spurring development expansions in the residential/housing industry,” he said.

“The single-digit mortgage rate has democratized the housing ownership in the Philippines allowing Filipinos to buy rather than just being renters.  In most cases, monthly rents for a typical household dwelling in Metro Manila are now at par with house and lot or residential condominium products now available to a broader market base,” he added.

He said the modern Filipino household is becoming condominium dwellers to keep pace with the urban living within a live, play work environment. As a result, demand for affordable condominium units continues to grow year on year.

In the same briefing, the property management firm also stressed development of green buildings will support the robust growth of the country’s property market.

Santos stressed the benefits of going green are evident not only for landlords, but also for tenants/occupiers.

“Fortune 500 companies, multinational corporations, and even domestic firms now consider green initiatives as prerequisites in their day-to-day maintenance and operations,” says Santos. “Through our global networks and resources, we have been strengthening the drive towards sustainable development which, as pointed out in several studies, could also benefit not only developers and the environment but also end-users—tenants, employees and residents—in the long run,: said Santos.

To date, there are five buildings in the Philippines which have received certification from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). These are the Asian Development Bank, Nuvali One Evotech, Shell Shared Services Office, and Texas Instruments in both Baguio and Clark. Additionally, 58 projects are currently registered for LEED certification. These include the Zuellig Building in Makati; BTTC Centre in Greenhills, Megaworld 8 Campus Building in Bonifacio Global City and Wells Fargo Headquarters in Bonifacio Global City. CBRE Philippines is the leasing and property management agent for the Zuellig Building and BTTC Centre and the project manager for the interior build-out of the Wells Fargo Headquarters.

Santos added that the sustainability agenda will continue to grow in importance in the real estate sector. “As the outsourcing and offshoring sector gains strength in the country, we see more occupiers and developers prioritizing flight to quality, with green buildings becoming more the norm than the exception.”

LEED, developed by the US Green Building Council, was designed to benchmark building performance and environmental design and covers several categories: new construction, core and shell, existing buildings, commercial interiors, homes, and neighborhood developments. A local rating system also used in the country is BERDE, which is under the Philippine Green Building Council.

CBRE Philippines director global services Joanie Mitchell said in the Asia-Pacific region, the scale, pace and general trend of recent construction has been geared toward efficient commercial real estate that is in compliance with green building codes.

While the development of green buildings is on its pilot stage in the Philippines, Mitchell said proven benefits may be drawn from a study conducted by the CBRE Global Network. “For instance, while development of green spaces may entail additional cost at the onset, this investment in green building is recoverable and is expected in the long run through decreased operating costs, increased return on investment through higher tenant/customer retention and renewal, rental premium, and increased building/asset value,” she said.

Developers are thus becoming much keener in meeting these demands and are seen to be more willing to incorporate Lgreeng features into their buildings, making them cheaper to occupy, according to Mitchell.

Green buildings are therefore increasingly seen as future-proofed investments.  While there is currently no single agreed definition or measure of what constitutes a green building, the tools that exist for assessing the environmental credentials of a building are becoming more widely used and accepted .

In a 2011 update by CBRE on Current Trends in Green Real Estate, it was noted that from an occupier’s perspective today, occupying green buildings is an important step towards achieving corporate sustainability objectives. An energy-efficient building is still believed to offer real economic attractions to a tenant.  Quantifiable benefits include greater productivity of employees, less sick days, higher employee satisfaction rate in work-environment conditions. Additionally, there is an improved level of employee engagement in corporate activities and an enhanced corporate public image.

Article printed from Eco-Business – Asia’s Cleantech & Sustainable Business Community: http://www.eco-business.com

URL to article: http://www.eco-business.com/news/housing-sector-undergoing-major-transformation%e2%80%99/


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