Manila Bay residential market buoyed by BPO activity

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THE INCREASE in outsourcing firms locating in the Manila Bay business district has boosted the area’s residential market, property consultants Santos Knight Frank said.

Santos Knight Frank said both local and foreign investors have been active in the area through the purchase of multiple residential units.

“There are a lot of outsourcing companies there, whether it’s outsourcing gaming companies, or BPO (business process outsourcing) or software development companies. But they are creating a lot of jobs. It has been positive for the local market… this is in line with an influx of overseas Chinese investors coming into the market,” Santos Knight Frank Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick M. Santos told reporters after a briefing in Makati on Wednesday.

Santos Knight Frank said take-up of units in the district outpaced that of other central business districts in Metro Manila, with residential units being bought at a rate of 70 units every month during the second quarter of 2017, as opposed to 51 units in October 2016, for a growth increment faster than those of Makati, Bonifacio Global City, Ortigas Center, and Alabang.

The residential market along Manila Bay consists primarily of mid-market to high-end projects, priced from P117,000 to P175,000 per square meter. To date, around 91% of the current stock has been absorbed, Santos Knight Frank said.

“Aside from local and OFW investors, buyers from China, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East are driving residential sales in the Bay Area. Residential investors see strong demand to come from office occupiers, tourists, and the gaming market,” Senior Director of Research and Consultancy Jan Custodio said.

The area is viewed as attractive by property developers due to its proximity to the airport as well as the presence of both shopping and entertainment centers, according to the company.

The district hosts three integrated resort and gaming centers which together form the so-called Entertainment City. The area also includes an office and information and technology-business process outsourcing hub called Aseana City, as well as the SM group’s Mall of Asia complex.

“As Manila’s fastest growing district, the Bay Area contains the right ingredients to accommodate the city’s continued expansion… we have long believed that this key location offered one of the prime development opportunities in Greater Manila and its proximity to the airport and new infrastructure will position the Bay Area as an emerging hub for entertainment, office, retail, and residential market sectors,” Mr. Santos said. — Arra B. Francia