Affordable housing in demand for online home hunters

APPARENTLY, there’s no stopping the increased construction activities in the residential segment of local real-estate industry, as shown in massive horizontal and vertical projects within and outside of Metro Manila.

Amid this development, however, the country’s perennial dwelling problem continues to arise, partly due to the insufficient supply of affordable housing where most of the demand would come from.

“It’s somewhere between 168,000 and 190,000 housing backlog a year,” Hausland Development Corp. CEO Christopher Ryan Tan said during the recent Outlook 2017 forum organized by Lamudi Philippines.

The top executive noted that this number keeps on growing annually, along with the entrance of new prospective buyers.

“So when you do the math, considering that population grows, it seems that you would not be able to catch up. So that’s really a huge problem,” he said.

Based on a study, entitled “Impact of Housing Activities on the Philippine Economy,” the national housing requirement is pegged at 5.6 million in 2016 to 2030.

It could potentially aggregate to 12.3 million by 2030, according to the report compiled by the Center for Research and Communication of the University of Asia and the Pacific (CRC-UA&P), in participation with the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA).

Affordable housing in Davao

Home seekers go for affordability

APART from location, price makes a difference in the property sector. Prospective home buyers not only look for quality, but also reasonable cost.

Homes included in the affordable sector are divided into three segments. The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council categorized them into the following price brackets: Socialized housing ranging from P450,000; economic housing from P450,000 to P1.7 million; and low-cost housing  from P1.7 million to P3 million.

With the price tag being one of the priorities of house seekers, the exclusive search data of Lamudi bared during the event show impressive outcomes into the affordable housing market.

From the first quarter of 2018, low-cost housing garnered the highest rate of online inquiries at 50 percent. This was closely followed by the economic housing at 44 percent and socialized housing at 6 percent.

Such findings take into consideration other factors. First is availability. Houses ranging from P1.7 million to P3 million and P3 million to P4 million have the higher number of units up for grabs.

The latter is identified as the medium-cost market, with an oversupply of about 500,000 units in 2015. This was backed up by the report provided by the CRC-UA&P and SHDA.

Demands everywhere

GIVEN the country’s exploding population, the need for affordable housing not only is being felt within the metropolis. It’s of national concern, demonstrated by the data from Lamudi.

House hunters from Quezon City topped potential online clients for all the three categories: socialized housing (42.98 percent), economic housing (38.57 percent) and low-cost housing (40.03 percent). This was seconded by Makati City—socialized housing (17.70 percent), economic housing (20.58 percent) and low-cost housing (21.25 percent).

In respective segments, Manila-based searchers accounted for 7.57 percent, 10.09 percent and 10.19 percent; while those from Bacoor comprised 7.30 percent, 7.66 percent and 5.23 percent.

Meanwhile, the share on inquiries of Web-based seekers from Davao City stood at 7.82 percent for socialized housing; Cebu City, 5.14 percent, economic housing; and Pasig, 5.44 percent, low-cost housing.

There were three days out of the week that produced significant numbers by online affordable home seekers. These were Tuesday (15.07 percent), Thursday (14.94 percent) and Friday (14.40 percent). The peak times when these happened were at 9  to 11 p.m. (12 percent) and 1 to 3 p.m. (11.5 percent).

Profile-wise, almost twice the number of women is looking into affordable housing than men. Those belonging to the 25- to 34-year-old age group dominated the cyberspace for inquiries.

Sought-after sites

FOR those on the lookout for places to dwell in within their means, there are various areas they consider where the three affordable housing price points are being offered.

Quezon City (23.39 percent) was the top choice for low-cost housing; Davao City (20.92 percent), economic housing; and Rodriguez in Rizal province (23.78 percent), socialized housing.

Caloocan and Quezon City were the only locations in Metro Manila that made it to the top five of any category. Cavite was well-represented with four areas searched; Rizal province, three; and Bulacan, two.

The above-cited areas are situated either in the outer portions or within the immediate vicinity of Metro Manila. This is with the exception of Davao City and Cagayan de Oro—both from Mindanao.

A subsidiary of the Rocket Internet group, Lamudi started operations in the Philippines in 2014. Its online real-estate platform attracts 1.5 million visitors, which generates 100,000 monthly leads for subscribers.

Meeting the demand

AWARE of the constant low affordable housing supply, real-estate companies are doing their share to help the public sector address this concern. Major developers, such as Century Properties in partnership with Mitsubishi Corp. and Rockwell Land, has made public its plans to enter the affordable housing market.

Primary Homes, even if not a luxury developer, has found success in this segment. Its Brentwood low- to medium-cost housing concept is an award-winning project cited in 2017 as the best condominium development in Cebu.

These and other real-estate firms are looking for ways to meet the ever-increasing demand through affordable housing. They would need to tailor their efforts to the prospective buyers that search for it online. This could result in more focus in the surrounding metropolitan locations.

Infolinks leaderboard
House Manila Leaderboard
ECA 728×90 Leaderboard
Suntrust banner2
Roderick L. Abad graduated from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, with a degree course in Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication. He has 12 years of journalism experience, starting as a Special Features Writer in a major daily newspaper. In 2006, he moved to the BusinessMirror in the same capacity and, eventually, became a beat reporter. To his credit, he was a finalist in the 2011 Holcim Journalism Awards for Sustainable Construction and the 2013 Lasallian Scholarum Awards. He remains affiliated with the BusinessMirror as a contributor.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here