DEMAND from foreign employees of offshore gaming firms is boosting the growth of the Metro Manila’s residential condominium market, particularly in the reclaimed area fronting Manila Bay.
During its property market briefing last Nov. 7, Colliers International revealed the Manila Bay Area accounted for 26% of the total delivery of units during the third quarter, thanks to the completion of Monarch Parksuites developed by Anchor Land Holdings, Inc., and Palm Beach Villas developed by Federal Land Inc. The two projects added more than 1,200 units.
More than 4,800 condominium units were completed during the third quarter, Colliers said. The property consultancy firm is optimistic the full-year projection of 9,600 units will be achieved.
“Despite the central bank raising policy rates, developers are still aggressive with their completion because, note that, in the past three to four years, demand has really outpaced the supply, so developers are really ramping to really capture the demand in the market,” Joey Roi H. Bondoc, manager for research at Colliers, said during the briefing.
The so-called Bay Area accounted for 16% or 17,800 units of the total 113,700 units completed in the third quarter, overtaking Ortigas Center which accounted for 17,600 or 15%. Fort Bonifacio currently accounts for the bulk of completed condo units at 27%, followed by Makati CBD at 23%.
By 2021, Colliers expects the Bay Area to overtake other business hubs, including Makati. It expects the Bay Area to have 29,500 completed units by 2021, versus Makati CBD’s 28,700.
Unit prices in the Bay Area are likewise projected to go up to the same level as Makati’s.
“Pre-selling projects in the Bay Area, for instance, recorded a 25 to 30% increase in price since being offered to the pre-selling market at the start of 2018. As of 3Q2018, pre-selling prices in the Bay Area hover between P220,000 to P290,000 per square meter (sq.m.), reflecting Makati CBD prices in an emerging business district,” Colliers said in its latest quarterly review.
Colliers noted vacancy rates in the Bay Area dipped to 12.5% in the third quarter, from 12.9% in the second quarter. Overall, vacancy rates across Metro Manila went down to 10.8% during the July to September period, from 11.3% in the second quarter.
Demand for condo units is being driven by employees of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), as well as local employees who want to live near Fort Bonifacio and the Makati CBD.
“Fort Bonifacio, Bay Area, and Makati CBD are the three major locations that have been cornering bulk of offshore gaming space transactions since 4Q 2016. This strong demand is spilling over to the residential sector as aside from expansive office space, a major requirement of these offshore gaming companies is a residential complement,” Colliers said in its quarterly report.
Aside from residential developments, office buildings are also being completed in the Bay Area. SM Prime Holdings, Inc. recently launched ThreeE-Com Center, which 97% of its 114,000 sq.m. floor area have already been leased out. It also topped off the FourE-Com Center, which will have a gross floor area of 190,000 sq.m. Both buildings are in the Mall of Asia Complex.
D.M. Wenceslao & Associates Inc. is also planning a four-tower residential project MidPark Towers in its flagship mixed-use estate Aseana City.
DoubleDragon Properties Corp. last May opened its 11-storey project called DoubleDragon Plaza in DD Meridian Park, located at the corner of Macapagal Avenue and EDSA Extension in Pasay City. The building has 130,000 sq.m. of leasable space. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang