This Digital Property Seeker Series focuses on the supply and demand in the residential market during the fourth quarter of 2018, covering the following residential categories in the Philippines:
This study will dive deep into these categories, identifying the top locations that experienced the most supply or demand increase, along with the reasons behind them based on data gathered independently by Lamudi and ColIiers Philippines covering the given period.
The Demand section was based on three indicators: Leads, Sessions, and Pageviews.
Page views are the total number of page visits. However, they are not unique views but an aggregate of all visits. Sessions are the number of times spent by a user in searching for a property. There can be multiple page views within each session. A Lead, on the other hand, refers to a property seeker that has made a query, which, may later on be converted into a sale.
October registered as the best performing month across all categories measured by the three indicators. Overall numbers in all categories, however, declined in December.
The Apartment category had the highest percentage of pageviews, sessions and leads for the fourth quarter. In last place was the House category. It is a shift worth noting as the house category generated the most interest in all three indicators in the prior quarter.
The study’s Supply section, on the other hand, will give a brief overview of the residential real estate trends for the fourth quarter of 2018. It will also discuss the general outlook of the residential sector for the entire year and a few points on the condominiums market in particular.
Data on the estimated number of condominium units currently available in the country will also be provided. This could give an insight on how difficult it is to meet the housing shortage despite the earnest efforts of private developers and the government, as well as show the current concentration of condominium projects in Metro Manila.
According to Lamudi’s exclusive data, from October to December 2018, the country saw the overall supply of its residential real estate properties take a slight dip to 7.45 percent. It was on a steady rise all throughout the year, beginning from a low of 1.72 percent in the first quarter. This jumped to 9.80 percent from April to June before peaking at 10.92 percent from July to September.
Despite its upward trajectory being cut short on the fourth quarter, 2018 still managed to provide a respectable number of options for interested buyers. While these availabilities can be easily snapped up in the next quarter, it remains to be seen how quick developers can react.
Demand continues to surge, and it is no longer confined within the usual locations in metropolitan areas. Fringe areas are also getting significant amount of attention and it is only a matter of time before more developments start sprouting from there.
Available residential properties are also being featured more prominently in the provinces. This is a great opportunity for investors to buy in while prices are still low as compared to other parts of the country. Furthermore, there is a higher appreciation rate that the properties will enjoy as more developments take place.
Residential condominiums remain to be one of the most accessible types of properties for interested investors to get into. Not only will they profit as the value of their investment grows higher, but they could also earn lease income in the process as well.
According to Colliers Philippines, 5,100 new residential condominium units were completed during the fourth quarter of 2018. As a result, the total inventory for 2018 reached 11,800 units, helping satisfy the growing demand for such properties. It came in about 26 percent less than 2017’s total however, which was at about 15,900 units. Metro Manila now has an estimated 118,900 condominium units in its supply.
Developments coming from the Bay Area and Fort Bonifacio district represented the bulk of the fourth quarter inventory. This was mainly buoyed by requirements coming from the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) and other foreign investors. In the same report by Colliers, such areas took up to 75 percent of supply for Metro Manila, while the rest came from different parts of the country.
The Lamudi platform yielded encouraging figures for residential property listings. Leads during the fourth quarter surpassed that of the third quarter for all four categories. It was, however, different when it came to sessions and page views. The Apartment category was the only one ahead for sessions while House was the only one behind for page views.
There were more users visiting the site in the last quarter of 2018 but less were performing searches as compared to the third quarter. In spite of this, it still generated more inquiries, providing listing owners with more chances to unload their properties to interested buyers.
The Apartment category garnered the highest numbers across all three indicators. This appears to signify a move towards downsizing or quite possibly influenced by the growing POGO industry. There has been an increase in requirements for staff houses in the past months, mainly from POGO employers looking to house their employees in affordable accommodations.
Not all residential developments, however, allow such arrangements. Subdivisions, for example only allow one family per dwelling. Condominium associations on the other hand, set limits on how many persons may occupy a unit. Staff house requirements try to fill as much people in one lodging to reduce costs. Apartment owners could be more tolerant since such occupant types for these residential properties are more common.
In spite of this, condominiums are still very popular across various segments in the market.
Colliers Philippines reported that there was healthy demand for residential condominiums around Metro Manila, which can be seen especially for properties near central business districts. There is also a steady requirement for ready for occupancy units coming from local and foreign buyers wanting to be located near their workplace.
Pre-selling projects, however, are not to be left behind. Colliers disclosed that there was up to 4,800 pre selling residential condominium units sold in the fourth quarter of 2018. This number bolstered the year’s tally to 54,000 units, beating 2017’s total by 1,000 units. Developers were advised by Colliers to look into areas surrounding business hubs where they may potentially set up new projects. Much emphasis was given to Quezon City, particularly those locations near the stations of the planned Mega Manila Subway.
Meanwhile, based on Lamudi’s exclusive data, when it came to the monthly overall figures, October led November and December across all three indicators. The same was true for the four categories as well.
This might be possibly attributed to the holiday rush as more people allocated their time preparing for the Christmas season as the year drew to a close. The month of December scored the least pageviews, sessions and leads for the fourth quarter monthly figures. It also consistently generated the smallest share of interest in all the four categories.
Top 20 cities/municipalities with most page visits, searches, and leads for Residential Lot
Iloilo, Lucena, Cainta, Subic, and Panobo were the top five locations for leads during the months of October to November. This order, however, was replaced during the months of November to December. Maragondon took the lead this time, followed by Legaspi, Tacloban, Tabaco, and Marilao. Overall, leads for lots had Tacloban up front with Iloilo, Subic, Legazpi and Trece Martires in succession.
None of the top five locations that garnered the highest overall leads had a month where they led in sessions. For example, third place Subic might have had a 61 percent session rate in November but was topped by the 70 percent of Panobo. While, Subic only registered a mere 6 percent in October. The 33 percent in sessions it had in December was not even part of the top 5 for that month.
It was the same when it came to page views. The top five converting locations did not lead in any month for this indicator, with the exception of Legazpi having 97 percent in December. The low percentage of sessions and page views revealed that the top five in leads are high converting locations.
Top 20 cities/municipalities with most page visits, searches and leads for Residential Houses
The top five for this category were Jagna, Mexico, Iloilo, Bay, and Bongabon, respectively. Despite having zero percent leads between October to November, Jagna still managed to jump to a first-place finish. This is attributable to a 153 percent thrust in leads for its November to December tally. Mexico exhibited a steadier increase that allowed it to come in second at 118 percent. Iloilo, Bay, and Bongabon all had a 100 percent boost to their leads total.
Note that Iloilo once again appeared in the top five, signifying that a great number of property seekers want to know more about residential lots or house and lots in this city. Poised as one of the newest emerging cities due to its impressive economic activity, it is no surprise that this beautiful province in the Western Visayan region is getting so much attention.
The top placements of Jagna and Mexico were unaffected by the gradual dip in sessions throughout the three months of the fourth quarter. Perhaps the slightly increasing page views helped with the conversions. Regardless, both locations finished strongly at the close of the year.
Top 20 cities/municipalities with most page visits, searches and leads for Apartment
It is worth mentioning that the top eleven locations in this category received over 100 percent in leads. Even twelfth placed Bacoor came quite close at 94 percent. What is more noteworthy, however, is that the top five all received over 200 percent leads. This underscores the interest of property seekers in apartments.
Top placer Tarlac came in with 897 percent in leads. It could be attributed to the planned development of New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac. Those helping to develop its 9,450 hectare expanse would certainly need housing for the duration of the project.
Olongapo and Minglanilla both came in with 600 percent leads. It is a statistical tie that is likely to represent future developments in these locations.
Fourth placer Abucay and fifth placer Valencia garnered a respectable 500 percent and 233 percent. These figures could indicate that these are areas to watch out for in the future.
There was a general increase in page views for this category from October to December. The same was also observed when it came to sessions.
Top 20 cities/municipalities with most page visits, searches, and leads for Residential Condominium
There was significant interest for the first two locations as compared to the rest of the list. The number one lead generator Dauis, registered a 233 percent increase. Second placer General Trias, on the other hand, was close behind at 225 percent. A distant third was Bacolod at 75 percent while Taytay and Talisay were a few points away at 68 percent and 67 percent each.
It is this category, however, which received the least increase in leads.
This could possibly be attributed to the average amount of sessions generated throughout the three months under observation. There were hardly any locations that breached 50 percent in any one month.
Both October and December registered two cities that went beyond a 50-percent increase in session while November had only one. The rest of the cities in the the three-month period were all below 50 percent. This might be caused by the easy marketability of condominium projects, resulting in increased exposure from other sources. There are many brokers who carry such properties in their inventory which could be the reason for such results.
Condominiums are certainly one of the most in demand properties in the residential real estate category.
Despite a slight dip in residential property seeker activity during the last quarter of 2018 that is attributable to preparations for the holidays, there is no doubt that there exists a steady forward movement in terms of demand.
A growing middle class, aggressive infrastructure initiatives from the national government, and a newfound interest from foreign investors and workers are all drumming up the demand.
To curb the demand, property developers must seize the opportunity this 2019. For one, developers must renew their interest in the Quezon City and Ortigas areas in lieu of the multi-billion Mega Metro Subway as the first few stations will be constructed in the said districts. Fringe areas and emerging cities are also attractive new prospects to explore.
Upscale residential projects in the Bay Area remain to be a good prospect to cater to affluent families residing in Southern Luzon, as well as to the offshore gaming operators. There also lies an unparalleled proximity to the Manila International Airport and ease of access to primary business hubs and retail establishments in Metro Manila.