When my parents finally bought our family home in San Andres in 1960, the major influence for selecting it was the accessibility to my Dad’s bank office in Binondo. They had the choice of San Antonio, Bel Air and even San Lorenzo villages in Makati but this consideration ruled them out. At that time, Makati was the bukid not San Andres being easily accessible by public transport or by car in less than 30 minutes. It made a lot of help to my Dad in making his unmatched record of opening the bank vault on time for his entire banking career (save for 3 times but only by several minutes). Little did my Dad knew our area was flood prone compared to the other three. Of course, the property values of the other place now make them the preferred choice. San Andres still floods but interesting enough never to the heights it used to when I was growing up and never to the recent rooftop levels other places get to be.
September 12, 2012
Buyers will be picky — CBRE
THE COUNTRY’S major property players are expected to face discriminating buyers who will be more concerned with how property developments would fare in the face of heavy rains and floods similar to what Metro Manila and surrounding areas endured last month, a property consultant said recently.
“The property market will continue to gain strength. The country’s strong macroeconomic fundamentals will drive the sector forward. However, we see a more focused demand in well-located and well-developed properties that are managed using international standards,” Rick M. Santos, chairman and chief executive of real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) Philippines, Inc., said in a press statement last week.
During the second week of August, most of Metro Manila and adjacent provinces were hit by torrential monsoon rains that resulted into widespread flooding, leaving many structures inundated for several days and raising fresh concerns over developers’ potentially environmentally-negligent construction practices, nearly three years after tropical storm Ondoy caused even worse flooding in the capital and adjacent areas.
“Questions such as ‘is my property on high ground, how are the drainage systems, what plans or mechanisms are in place in times of emergencies and calamities, and who manages the building’ will come to the forefront of purchase decisions,” Mr. Santos added, noting that developers are now likely to be more receptive to clients’ needs in terms of business continuity and disaster preparedness.
In a statement sent via e-mail to BusinessWorld yesterday, listed developer Century Properties Group, Inc. said it is currently implementing various anti-flood systems in its four master-planned communities following the recent floods that hit Metro Manila last month.
“In light of the calamities that hit the country in the last couple of years and the amount of destruction and disorder they have brought, the weight of our responsibility as conscientious developers increased. But this responsibility is one that has always been expected of us to take,” Jose Marco R. Antonio, Century Properties managing director and co-chief operating officer, was quoted as saying in the statement.
“The very goal of urban development is after all to uplift the quality of life of the urban residents,” Mr. Antonio added.
In addition, Ortigas & Co., another leading property firm, said last month that it is aiming to spend P300 million to construct a so-called river wall to halt erosion of the Marikina River’s banks near its ongoing Circulo Verde residential project in Bagumbayan, Quezon City.
The 1.5-kilometer river wall will expand the Marikina River’s banks by containing excess silt brought about by erosion caused by heavy rains, and together with a planned dredging of 25,000 cubic meters of river silt by the company, the river’s flow is expected to deepen by 20 meters, thus improving flow and minimizing flooding.