What may be a brash assessment of the state of the Philippine property market is a quick, simple conclusion based on available figures that indeed, there is a “bubble” forming, given the stirrings in the sector caused by brisk economic activity and the inflow of both hot money and overseas Filipino workers’ (OFW) remittances over recent years.
But things are not always what they seem, especially when it concerns this market.
More than a few analysts have raised concern about a possible overheating in the real estate sector in the country. One reason such perception persists among property market observers is that the focus of most analysis is from the perspective of capital investors, and is largely limited to observations of high-end markets in Metro Manila, specifically, the Makati central business district, Ortigas Center, and Bonifacio Global City.
Seen from a purely investment and regulatory perspective, the concerns about a property “bubble” cannot be entirely discounted; in any “hot market,” price and demand pressures can easily
outrun the wider economy’s ability to absorb them. The possibility of the real estate market overheating and creating problems for the financial sector has been the focus of attention from the central bank in recent months, and is a serious concern from the point of view of a number of analysts (see Rigoberto Tiglao’s column on A1).
From a consumer perspective, though, the picture of the residential real estate market is much broader, and very much more attractive, though not without some potential risks, than conventional analysis might indicate.
In this first installment of this week’s special report, Columnist Ben Kritz examines the features of the local property market and presents an overview of the residential real estate segment. While this sort of examination necessarily involves reference to a sizable database of raw statistics, they do present an interesting picture, and a largely positive one for the prospective property buyer.