Home prices grew in the double digits in the first quarter, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

According to the central bank’s Residential Real Estate Price Index home prices rose 12.4% in the January to March period, much faster than the year-earlier 3.3% pace.

The rate of growth also outstrips the 10.2% year-on-year rise recorded in the three months to December.

The index 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.

Bank lending to the real estate sector is capped at 20% of their loan portfolios, including residential and commercial properties.

Price growth for duplexes, accounting for 0.3% of new housing units reported, was 38.3% during the quarter, reversing the 8% drop a year earlier.

Condominium prices rose 23.6%, against the year-earlier rate of 10.9%.

Townhouse prices rose 5.5%, easing off from the year-earlier growth rate of 9.8%. Prices of single-detached homes increased 7%, reversing a year-earlier 1.5% decline.

Home prices in Metro Manila rose 18.3%, compared with the rate of 8.5% for homes in the provinces.

In the National Capital Region, a 28% rise in condominium prices offset the dec;ne in prices of duplexes (-35.3%), single detached/attached houses (-6.5%), and townhouses (-5.2%).

Outside the capital, prices of all types of housing increased, led by duplexes (61.2%), townhouses (9.4%), single detached/attached houses (8.4%), and condominiums (5.5%).

In 2019, home price growth averaged 6.08%, against a 2.95% rise in 2018.

Colliers Philippines Research Manager Joey Roi H. Bondoc. said the increase in home prices reflects carry-over demand from 2019.

“For the condominium market in Metro Manila, there has been pent-up demand starting 2016. The demand for condominium units is outpacing the supply whenever (a building) is launched,” he said by phone.

Colliers International has said it expects land values in Metro Manila to fall by as much as 15% by the end of 2020 due to the disruptions caused by the pandemic. — Luz Wendy T. Noble