LOVE the city of Makati. Long before we had the opportunity to take part in “giving birth” to the city’s “Make It Happen, Make It Makati” campaign a few years back, Makati has always had a very special place in my heart. It’s a city that features an extremely diverse landscape, filled with seemingly endless opportunities that fuel the country’s most vibrant district.
Being one of the most sought-after residential locations, the steady rise of Makati as a premier city is best seen by how it has continued to gain interest from a lot of investors, particularly from real-estate developers that look at the city as the most prime hub with thriving lifestyles and booming economics. By the end of 2015, Makati remains on top of the list of 10 Philippine cities that have an average home price tag of about P10 million, based on the findings from Lamudi Philippines’s 2015 Research Report. Following Makati (P217.3 million) at far second is Muntinlupa (P55.88 million), followed by Taguig (P34.37 million), Mandaluyong (P21.08 million), Pasig (P18.96 million), San Juan (P17.66 million), Cebu (P15.03 million), Quezon City (P14.75 million), Tagaytay (P13.35 million) and Parañaque (P12.18 million).
“As expected, homes in the more popular areas, such as Makati, Taguig and Pasig, are more expensive, due to both scarcity of supply and to location,” the Lamudi research cited. “Those in Caloocan and Valenzuela are much cheaper. The cities of Parañaque and Quezon, on the other hand, boast of numerous subdivisions or gated communities that range from the very high end to affordable. For this reason, these areas can be considered as midrange markets.”
That’s not the case for Makati and Taguig, however, when ranged against other key cities in the region. Despite boasting some of the country’s most upscale real-estate developments and properties, the two cities—with condo prices of $3,090 and $2,770 per square meter—both pale in comparison with locations like Hong Kong ($22,814), Singapore ($15,251), Tokyo ($10,784), Shanghai ($6,932) and Bangkok ($3,952). They are, however, more expensive than Jakarta ($2,766) and Kuala Lumpur ($2,616).
Eyes on the big cities
The Lamudi study also revealed that more and more Filipinos actually remain enticed by the prospect of being part of the country’s most prime addresses.
For the past year, Quezon City—Metro Manila’s largest city—and Makati ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in terms of being the most-searched cities in the Lamudi platform. Filipinos who searched for available spaces within QC were primarily looking for for-sale properties (37.3 percent) and rental properties (15.6 percent). Those who were searching about Makati, on the other hand, were more interested in for-rent properties (51 percent) than availing themselves of living spaces for sale (33.9 percent).
“While other cities may have seen their popularity wane among online property-hunters, Quezon City’s search traffic increased on average 108 percent quarter-on-quarter from Q2 2014 to Q1 2015,” the Lamudi research noted. “Davao and Baguio are the only two non-Metro Manila cities to make it to the top 10 most searched cities in the Philippines. Quarter-on-quarter growth in search traffic for Davao and Baguio average 119 percent and 271 percent, respectively.”
Rounding out the top 5 most-searched cities were Parañaque, Pasig and Mandaluyong.
Urban Pinoys more interested in houses than condos
THE Majority of those looking for rental properties actually searched for available condominium spaces, while those looking to settle down in the aforementioned cities for a much longer duration searched for houses for sale.
“Despite Metro Manila’s condo boom, it appears that most online property hunters are searching for houses,” the study pointed out. This may be attributed to the growing long-term interest to be located near areas where an ideal balance of continuous economic activity and an increasing number of lifestyle options can be easily accessed.
“This presents a clearer picture of what real-estate developers, brokerages and individual sellers, and real-estate investors can use for their sales and marketing strategy. Studying what their target market is looking for is crucial to ensuring a healthy take-up of units,” the paper explains.