The real estate sector still holds an optimistic outlook in spite of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis, a local real estate consultancy firm concluded in its latest survey.

Out of nearly 500 landlords, occupiers and investors in the country PRIME Philippines surveyed last March 2020, 55% of them still see the 2020 year-end outlook of the Philippines as ‘fair’ to ‘very optimistic’.

Thirty-three percent of these real estate stakeholders, meanwhile, are at the lower end of the scale with ‘slightly pessimistic’ outlook.

Nonetheless, PRIME Philippines noted that most of these stakeholders expressed during their discussions with the firm that their outlook will still depend on what’s going to happen in the next few months.

“Reasonably, these landlords have had tenants asking for rental concessions, tenants have had a challenged cashflow generation and investor/developers have had their plans moved by almost 6 months in average,” PRIME Philippines explained in a statement. “All had their own fair shares of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis which resulted in an estimated 30% to 40% average net income loss projection for 2020.”

PRIME Philippines’ survey also showed that “around 3 out of 5 respondents see that estate prices have had little to no changes or has continued to appreciate.”

Repeated key themes were also identified during the survey proper such as “uncertainty”, “survival”, and “time”. These themes indicate the seeming wariness in the face of further unforeseen events.

While the caution is at a high, almost a third of the respondents still had a ‘fair’ business outlook for 2020.

The firm also shared that based on further discussions with their respondents, business confidence is projected to bounce back towards third to fourth quarter of the year as more economic stimuli are put in place and the health situation in the Philippines improves. — ADRIAN PAUL B. CONOZA