INTEREST in commercial properties within central business districts, as well as residential spaces may increase this year as market sentiment improves, online property market place Lamudi said in a report on Thursday.

There are more growth opportunities for the real estate market this year, as the Philippines maintains a stable credit rating and gears up for mass vaccination against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Lamudi said.

After demand slipped due to pandemic-related uncertainties, Lamudi said page views for residential properties could spike in the first half amid growing interest in houses, condominiums, and foreclosed properties.

Land will have the biggest demand growth between the first to the second half of 2021, while foreclosed properties will see an uptick in the first half.

“Condos, meanwhile, are projected to have the highest growth from second half of 2020 to second half of 2021,” Lamudi said.

Apartment listings also grew between the first and last quarter last year, which Lamudi said could be a response to more property seekers looking for investment opportunities or cheaper housing close to their workplaces.

“As residents in the metro gravitate towards rentals, this type of real estate presents a promising passive income source for investors.”

The exodus of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators last year dragged office space demand lower. Mall-based commercial spaces also saw more vacancies as retail sales sank.

For commercial properties, Lamudi said spaces in Makati City will likely have the highest growth in page views between the first and second half this year and Muntinlupa City properties will have the most demand.

Demand for Quezon City commercial properties would likely grow by almost 12% in the first half compared to the same period last year.

The continued popularity of central business districts could indicate recovery for the residential sector this year, Lamudi said.

“Even with the new normal of work-from-home, several companies have adopted split operations or staggered schedules, having a portion of the workforce in the office, while others at home, on alternate periods,” the report said.

“For this reason, proximity to the workplace will still be the primary consideration for property seekers.”

Beyond Metro Manila business districts, Lamudi said that infrastructure projects linking the capital to nearby provinces would improve land values in the areas. Demand is increasing as locators potentially show interest in moving investment to the provinces and as the prices of properties in the provinces remain lower than those in Metro Manila.

Interest in Santa Rosa, Laguna commercial properties could increase in the first half compared to the same period last year, while Silang, Cavite property page views could jump by more than 40% between the first and second half. Properties in Biñan, Laguna could also have 13.32% growth in views in the same period.

“The demand for commercial real estate in provincial cities with technoparks can serve as a guide to investors considering property investment away from the densely-populated capital region,” Lamudi said. — Jenina P. Ibañez