June 19, 2018, 7:49 pm
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Global brokerage bullish, to open more offices

Global real estate brokerage RE/MAX Philippines is bullish on the local real estate market as it opens more offices across the country. 

According to RE/MAX country manager Kenneth Stern, the Philippine real estate market is set to perform well in 2018 on the back of record-amount remittance from overseas Filipino workers which totaled $28.1 billion in 2017; foreign direct investment inflow of $10 billion in 2017; and GDP growth of 6.7 percent.

“Real estate, particularly housing, is among the first industries that benefit when a country’s economy performs well,” said Stern. “This is the reason we’re bullish with the Philippines as we expand our network in Metro Manila and key locations across the country.”

RE/MAX has 25 offices across the Philippines, which is composed of 200 real estate agents, brokers and support staff. 

Although the bulk of these offices are in Metro Manila, RE/MAX recently signed deals to open up offices in other locations, including Rizal province, Clark in Pampanga, Siargao and Palawan. 

New offices are also expected to open in Baguio, La Union, Cebu and Davao later this year.

“There really is so much excitement happening right now in the Philippine real estate industry,” said Stern. “And with large-scale and big-ticket projects in the works, RE/MAX plans to take advantage of these developments to revolutionize real estate buying and selling in these areas.”

One example cited by RE/MAX is Siargao, an island in Surigao del Norte. Touted as the surfing capital of the Philippines, Siargao was not on any real estate investor’s radar two decades ago; however, properties are a hot commodity on the island at the moment, said Stern.

According to a RE/MAX real estate broker based on the island, beachfront properties in Siargao’s General Luna municipality now sell for P40,000 to P50,000 per square meter (sq.m.), while inner lots have asking prices of P20,000 to P30,000 per sq.m.

Siargao’s real estate market is very active at the moment, said RE/MAX. 

It also helps that plenty of infrastructure projects are in the pipeline, including plans to upgrade the island’s Sayak Airport.

Although saturated, Metro Manila’s real estate market is not to be ignored either, RE/MAX said. 

RE/MAX agents were able to close record-level transactions in 2017, including a P1-billion property in Forbes Park. 

According to Eddie Santos, president of one of RE/MAX’s franchises and who specializes in luxury properties, selling prices have increased by as much as 20 percent in the early part of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. 

“But the more impressive observation is that number of inquiries have increased as well, signifying that Filipinos’ appetite for real estate investments is not waning,” Santos said.

Another RE/MAX broker, Eden Dayrit, who specializes on properties in southern Metro Manila, said Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, and Laguna areas will be hot real estate markets over the next few years, with the long list of big-ticket infrastructure projects in the pipeline, including the Cavite–Laguna Expressway.

Dayrit said properties in Ayala Alabang Village remain a viable investment. “Prices here compared to Makati and Taguig are still cheap, but we’re receiving inquiries from investor-type buyers who plan to bank on land appreciation.”

This land appreciation, said Dayrit, is due to the following: recent growth in infrastructure in the area; new developer projects from likes of Ayala Land, Megaworld Corp., and Filinvest; and the recent increase in the zonal valuation in the cities of Parañaque and Las Piñas.
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