MANILA, Philippines – Manila ranked fourth in the 2014 “Emerging Trends in Real Estate Asia Pacific” report by ULI and PwC, making the country as one of the top real estate investment markets in Asia for 2014.
According to the Urban Land Institute (ULI)’s survey, Manila beat Sydney (5th), Guangzhou (6th, Singapore (7th), Beijing (8th), Osaka (9th) and Shenzen (10th) in terms of popularity among prospective investors.
On the other hand, Tokyo, Japan topped the spot as the most popular investment destination, followed by Shanghai and Jakarta.
The survey covered 23 different Asian cities and ranked them based on opinions of international real estate gurus.
Philippine’s emergence in the recent survey was attributed to its rapid-growing economy and perceived transformation in governance and political transparency.
Experts are also looking at heightened interest from multinational companies to choose Philippines as the hub for their outsourced services.
“A big mover is Manila, which is up to 4 from 12 last year… We’ve been hearing for a couple of years now the success and impact of the BPO sector, as well as the positive demographics and GDP growth,” John Fitzgerald, ULI Asia Pacific chief executive, said during a presentation on Thursday evening.
Fitzgerald thinks the survey results mean more and more investors are willing to explore emerging markets such as Jakarta and Manila, instead of sticking with the traditional markets.
Manila ranked 8th, on the other hand, in another survey for city development prospects and was highlighted for its young demographic, bigger remittance from overseas workers and a workforce leaning towards the Western culture.
“Despite the impact of super typhoon Yolanda and the expected withdrawal of the US Federal Reserve’s economic stimulus, there are other factors going for us, such as the record-setting remittances from OFWs, increased number of investments and the lower cost of borrowing,” according to Alexander Cabrera, chairman and senior partner at Isla Lipana & Co., PwC member firm in the Philippines.
However, the survey also sees the country’s “laws that prevent foreigners from majority ownership of land” can discourage potential investors in the long run.
Despite of this, Manila received a “buy” rating for its residential, commercial and office sectors which means investors are still confident of the local market.
“Manila is a favorite for the office sector, as it was for residential, and for many of the same reasons: an influx of foreign companies has arrived on the market, supporting already buoyant sentiment in a strong economy. Manila also offers the highest prime office yields in Asia, averaging about 10%,” the report said.
Emerging Trends’ Top Real Estate Investment Market in Asia 2014:
12. China’s secondary cities
14. Kuala Lumpur
18. Hong Kong
19. Ho Chi Minh
21. New Delhi