PROPERTY PRICES picked up in the fourth quarter of 2019, though growth eased from the third quarter, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

According to the BSP’s residential estate price index (RREPI), home prices rose 10.2% in the fourth quarter of 2019, accelerating from the year-earlier 0.6% uptick, though growth eased from 10.4% in the three months to September.

The RREPI gauges the average change in home prices across building types and locations and provides the BSP an insight into the property market, bank exposure to which is regulated.

Currently, banks are only allowed by the BSP to have a 20% share for real estate in their loan portfolios, across residential and commercial properties.

Prices of duplex units rose 50.4% in the fourth quarter, reversing the 3.7% decline a year earlier.

Condominium prices rose 18.9%, accelerating from the year-earlier 0.6% uptick.

Prices of townhouses rose 10.1%, after a year-earlier gain of 11.7%. Prices of single-detached homes rose 5.8% after a year-earlier decline of 1.9%.

Home prices in the National Capital Region (NCR) rose 15%, against the gain of 8.2% for provincial homes.

Duplex unit prices in Metro Manila rose 93%, with condominium and single-detached homes rising 21% and 3.5%, respectively. Townhome prices in the capital fell 10.7%.

Outside the capital, duplex prices rose 30.8%. Prices for townhouses, condominiums, and single-detached homes rose 20.3%, 9.8%, and 5.8% respectively.

In 2019, home prices increased by an average of 6.08%, against 2.95% in 2018. — Luz Wendy T. Noble