It’s been a challenging year for the Philippines since a pandemic sent business and trade reeling from the impact of lockdowns and community quarantines. While most local industries were hit hard, the property sector sustained minimal disruptions, with top real estate developers rebounding towards the third quarter of 2020.
Noting the uptick in residential real estate sales, industry players credited the positive trend to low interest rates and stable exchange rates—factors that favor property investments.
Fast-forward to the third quarter of 2021, the Philippine real estate industry continues to be resilient—and to thrive—despite a lingering health crisis. Sales in the residential housing sector appear to be fueled by the aspirations of ordinary Filipinos who continue to believe that having their own home helps keep their families safe, healthy and secure.
Leading property platform Ohmyhome concurs with this vision, saying that “work from home” and remote learning set-ups have created a significant demand for affordable properties outside the metro. To boost their options, home seekers are now casting a wider net to include those for sale in nearby provinces.
“Prospective buyers are naturally looking at homes that offer adequate space for remote work and/or learning,” Ohmyhome marketing manager Julian Sison says. “This explains why budget-friendly house and lot units that have room for expansion have become their residence of choice.”
Industry reports also reveal that there is more demand for affordable homes. According to Ohmyhome’s figures, an estimated 62 percent of platform users are looking for properties that cost less than P10 million, with 40 percent of these preferring homes listed in the P1-million to P5-million range. In addition, 33 percent of the inquiries are for projects that offer extended financing price schemes.
Housing loans are also registering an all-time high. The Home Development Mutual Fund or the Pag-IBIG Fund announced in early June that home loans hit a record high in the period January to April 2021, with a total of P27.39 billion worth of loans released during that time.
Members’ savings under the voluntary modified Pag-IBIG 2 (MP2) Savings program reached P8.65 billion in those months. Pag-IBIG disclosed that the loans released and the savings deposited were the organizations “highest-ever.”
This was validated by Pag-IBIG Fund chief executive Acmad Rizaldy Moti, who said, “The amount of home loans released and MP2 Savings collections for the first four months of 2021 were even higher than what we achieved during the same period in 2019.”
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas also reported that residential property prices in the Philippines recorded a 27.1-percent growth in the second quarter of 2020, the highest growth rate recorded since the first quarter of 2016.
Ohmyhome says these are all positive indicators, encouraging more aspiring homeowners to buy affordable homes sooner rather than later—even now with the end of the pandemic not yet in sight.
Sison is buoyant and optimistic, moving forward. “As the demand for affordable housing remains steady and with budget-friendly homes becoming more accessible, Ohmyhome offers its efficient services to Filipinos who have yet to achieve their dream of owning a home, no matter what crisis lies ahead.”