A recent report on the property market showed a renewed interest in house and lot properties after the Philippines had to adjust to government-imposed restrictions on movement, which affected all commercial sectors, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lamudi’s report, The outlook on the residential market, noted that property seekers, real estate brokers and property developers turned out in huge numbers, making inquiries (32%) in week 15 (April 5-11) from a huge drop following the announcement of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) at week 12 (March 15-21).
The report , which was published in May, said inquiries about houses saw a 30% week-on-week increase during the shift to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) at week 20 (May 10-16).
The Lamudi platform reported that the upward trend seems to continue on a climb to reach pre-COVID percentages during the start of the year,
But while property seekers remain interested in condominiums, there is still a prevailing“wait-and-see mode”, the report said.
Condominiums had a strong start in 2020, owing in part to the interest in property investment carried over from the previous year.
But due to the pandemic, condominiums recorded an average week-on-week lead growth rate of -3% in the first half of 2020.
Houses, which showed a strong performance during the ECQ according to a survey of Lamudi property seekers, posted a 2% average week-on-week growth in pageviews for the first half of 2020.
Foreclosed properties also showed resilience amid the pandemic, ending at an average lead growth rate 1% higher than houses. During the ECQ, affordability was a major consideration for property seekers, which is seemingly affirmed by the increase in leads gained by foreclosures (37%) on Lamudi at week 16 (April 12-18).
Affordability, still main consideration
For property seekers, location and the presence of functional and recreational amenities have been some of the main considerations in their property purchase during the first half of 2020. Given the restriction on movement, the periods covered by the ECQ and the MECQ also impacted the decision to buy or rent.
From January to early March, before the ECQ, properties for sale received somewhere around 63-66% of pageviews on Lamudi, but properties for rent, despite having fewer listings on the platform, received more inquiries at around 53-63%. This shows that property seekers have an intention to buy, but followed through with rental inquiries.
During the ECQ, interest in buying property rose to 68-74%, with property seekers continuing to inquire as well, contributing to almost 56% of inquiries on the platform during the ECQ.
Cities with CBDs remain popular
The survey showed that property seekers showed their preferences switch from CBD to non-CBD properties during the ECQ. Two months later, with a look into seeker behavior for the first half of the year, CBD properties show long-term resilience.
Most the leads were looking for a property to buy or rent from Quezon City, which comprises 26% of the leads from January to the first half of June. Following are Makati (12%), Pasig (10%), and Taguig (9%), all NCR cities with a central business district.
Three CBDs are in Quezon City: Eastwood City, Araneta City, and Triangle City. Makati City’s CBD is in the Ayala Makati area. Meanwhile, Pasig City has the Ortigas Center, and Taguig City has Bonifacio Global City.
Since public transportation has been suspended from March to May and is on limited operations, property seekers may have looked for residential properties closer to their workplaces.
Priority on amenities
For the first half of 2020, property seekers considered their leisure and quality of life when looking at property listings on Lamudi.
Since the ECQ was implemented during the summer months, properties with either a common swimming pool, or have airconditioning were popular.
Having a stable internet connection also become a necessity during these times as virtual events and work-from-home setups are the new normal during the community quarantine.
Property seekers also prefer properties with balconies and common gym areas. Balconies serve as an area for activities and hobbies that the seeker may enjoy while staying at home, while common gyms are good alternatives to the commercial gyms that have closed down during the ECQ.
Period of adustment
With Metro Manila back in MECQ for two weeks at the start of August, a temporary shift can once again be expected in the residential market.
Lamudiprojects new trends in real estate demand in the second half of the year as preferences from property seekers adjust to the rules set in place during changing community quarantines.