Monday, June 15, 2009

Fresh Outlook on Philippine Real Estate for 2009 (part 2)

There have been some woes and slow growth recently in the real estate sector as the industry was affected with the current global financial crisis which was have written on the previous post back in February 2009. There have been major changes among the Business Process Outsourcing Companies (BPOs).

The task taken by government in keeping our country afloat has been monumental. During the recent speech by Gov. Amando Tetangco of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) last April 14, 2009 on the occasion of Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce Annual General Membership held at Hotel Intercontinental Manila, Makati City mentioned that "no economy is immune from the effects of this crisis, but those which have built up buffers are more likely to fare better than others".

According to the 4th Quarter of 2008 Reports of Colliers International Philippines, in the past months shows that rising vacancy and inventories of office, commercial and residential especially on commercial business districts of Makati have reached around 2.6 percent. Movements of tenants elsewhere around or nearby these areas are on the rise. These actions should complement their needs, requirements, specifications in order to lower the costs of a companies' operational expenses compared to a high-rise buildings which are only suited for office settings due to their expected expansion and growth. Factors to be considered are power consumption, telecommunication equipment setup, shifting operations and others affected the buildings' suitability for these BPO companies. Moving to a more viable and amiable locations such as Clark Freeport (Pampanga), City of Sta. Rosa (Laguna), Quezon City, Cebu City and other nearby areas would benefits these other site from the rapid growth of the contact center industry.

A few weeks ago, Secretary Ralph Recto of the National Economic Development Agency has reported that the Philippines is in a collision course of near recession with growth of 0.4% on the first quarter of this year. With government expectation of a growth rate of 4.4% for the first quarter it turned out the slowly as the world recession is rearing its ugly head again. The government is taking steps on bending and curbing the mass lay-offs from happening by providing alternatives such as other jobs and livelihood for the poor such as Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program.

On foreign ownership of land in the Philippines, many suggested that government should open up shores of this country to foreigners in order to invest more creating more Foreign Direct Investments(FDIs). However, research done by the IBON Foundation reported that revising our laws as spearheaded by House Speaker Prospero Nograles would make the real estate prices skyrocket with the notion that the masses and middle class Filipinos will no longer be given the opportunity to buy or acquire property if this happens. The real estate industry needs regulation on acquisition if they are about to change the law limiting to 10% of the lands as disclosed by an anonymous real estate leader if the government and people are open to it.

On the brighter side, Banks are now offering low rates are getting lower now at 7.5 percent since January 2009. Home Mutual Development also known as PAG-IBIG has already lowered its interest from 7.5 percent to 11.5 percent. The lowest that a home lending government agency can offer. With these developments, refinancing of previous real estate bank loans can be done if a home buyer has a current loan mortgages in order to reduce and readjust the monthly amortization.

Despite the good news, the banking industry has become hesitant with the growing number of non-performing assets (bad assets) due to default or foreclosures by a borrower on properties and others. However for a real estate investor and speculator, this is a sign of a gold mine of new opportunities in a current global financial turmoil with growing number of these properties are located in highly populated and commercialized areas within the metropolis. Best time to buy is on a down market. Right now developers are encouraging potential buyers and investors to buy properties offering them more affordable longer and attractive payment schemes with lower interest rates at fixed terms from banks and other lending institution which is enticing indeed.


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