To say that the Philippines is experiencing an unprecedented surge in its property market is an understatement. In the last decade alone, the country has built 20 new business districts. An unparalleled level of development never before seen in the countrys hundred-year history with office space take-up in Metro Manila now being the highest in the Asia region and covering approximately 300,000 sqm.
According to David Leechiu, the country manager of global services firm Jones Lang LaSalle Leechiu, the Philippines has become part of an anti-crisis solution for many multinationals, and this has led to the growth of the countrys middle and upper classes, consequently bringing with it an increased demand in the luxury property segment.
Emblems of development
Nowhere is the luxury trend more apparent than in the Makati and Fort Bonifacio central business districts, where the number of luxury properties is on the rise. Imposing itself on the once-bare Fort Bonifacio skyline is Ayala Lands recently announced P30 Billion (US$720 Million) venture, One Bonifacio High Street, a lifestyle destination that will house Ayala Land Premiers The Suites, a 63-storey all-suite residential tower, as well as the new Philippine Stock Exchange building, a premium lifestyle mall and the capitals third Shangri-La hotel.
Ayala Avenue, where most of the countrys top companies hold office, is also seeing the rise of the Makati Place, the Gold LEED pre-certified upscale mixed-use development by Alphaland Corporation, a destination developer known for ambitious projects like the 500-hectare Balesin Island, an exclusive getaway for Manilas upper crust.
Rockwell Land Corporation, known for its game-changing move in 1995 of simultaneously developing five high-rise luxury condominiums at a time when the rest of the industry shied away from taking risks, refuses to be outdone. The company recently launched its expansive development A Greater Rockwell in collaboration with Carlos Ott, the globally renowned architect who designed the iconic 7-star luxury hotel, Burj al-Arab in Dubai.
Indeed, Manila has never experienced so much activity in its luxury property market. According to Jose Antonio, the founder, president and CEO of top real estate firm Century Properties Group, Inc., the uber-luxury space is even expected to grow further. The demographics of the Philippines today is such that weve become a very big country already, he says. Well have a population of 100 million soon, and because of this, the purchasing power of Filipinos has improved a lot over the years. In fact, it was announced recently that for the first time, the Philippines is now a lender to the IMF. The country has reached a certain stage of financial stability it has never before experienced.