PROPERTIES in Luzon outside of Metro Manila continue to remain popular as real estate demand continues to be high in the Philippines, according to global real estate firm Colliers.

Research Associate Director Joey Bondoc said that that horizontal developments in Southern and Central Luzon remain a popular option among residential investors and end-users.

"According to results from our second-quarter 2022 residential survey, 32 percent of respondents plan to buy a house-and-lot unit outside Metro Manila in the next 12 to 24 months," Bondoc explained. "We recorded that about 12,500 house-and-lot units sold in these provinces in the first half of 2022, up 15 percent year on year, with affordable to mid-income projects accounting for more than 50 percent of total take-up."

The firm believes that demand for these projects will be supported by remittance-receiving households as well as end-users who plan to locate in less dense locations outside Metro Manila.

An example of this is the Century Properties Group, disclosing that its PHirst brand will now cater to socialized to mid-income residential projects. The recently launched brand, PHirst Editions, will offer mid-income housing units and the pilot project, PHirst Editions Batulao, will be located in Nasugbu, Batangas. It will also be adjacent to the existing PHirst Park Homes Batulao.

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In relation to an increase in real estate demand, the Philippine economy continues to expand despite headwinds such as increasing commodity prices and interest rate hikes.

Bondoc said that the property sector is likely to benefit from this sustained growth trajectory as Colliers saw a rebound in office transactions, recovery in pre-selling condominium launches and take-up and increase in retail space absorption.

"The reopening of borders to more foreign tourists and rising interest from locals to spend also partly lifted hotel occupancies in Metro Manila," Bondoc added. "To capture more opportunities, developers should: proactively promote new office buildings to tenants expanding or relocating for flight-to-value; offer attractive promos for ready-for-occupancy and pre-selling condominium units; and future-proof high-density retail spaces to draw more consumers."

This, supported by data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, which shows that the country's economy grew by a faster-than-expected 7.6 percent in the third quarter of 2022, up from a 7-percent growth in the same period in 2021. As of the first three quarters of 2022, the Philippine economy grew by an average of 7.7 percent.