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September 21, 2015

The Philippine real estate sector reflects the robustness and optimism of the current times


RE/MAX country manager Michelle Perlas says that the brand 
is revolutionizing the landscape of real estate in the Philippines.

By Michelle Perlas

The author, the country manager of RE/MAX Philippines, delivered this speech at the International Realtor Conference, which was recently held at City of Dreams last July 31. 

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the International Realtor Conference, where I am honored to share the stage with so many respected luminaries. But first, I would like to thank you for letting RE/MAX be a part of this assembly in its pioneering presence in the Philippines. 

With this year’s event being held, for the very first time, outside the United States, the International Realtor Conference proves itself true to its promise of changing the landscape of global real estate. By bringing a noteworthy gathering of international real estate experts, powerful business opportunities, and an international presence to a country that is slowly but surely attaining global status for its industries and enterprises, the Chamber of Real Estate and Builder’s Association and the National Association of Realtors has drawn attention to a nation whose economic resurgence has resulted in a plethora of rich opportunities. 

Indeed, our economic performance has gone beyond more than just “noticeable.” At his very recent State of the Nation Address, President Benigno Aquino III highlighted a growth rate of more than 8% for the manufacturing sector, a jump in car sales of 27%, and the lowest recorded unemployment rates in over a decade. 

The President also marked a GDP growth of 6.2 percent from 2010, noting that (and I quote) “If we reach 6.8 percent this 2015, then we will have posted the fastest 6-year average growth period in almost six decades.” According to quarter one 2015 report of Colliers International, the IMF has adjusted its 2015 forecast upward by 10 basis points to +6.7%, and JP Morgan by 90 basis points to +6.4%. 

Add to this a strong industrial sector, particularly in manufacturing and construction, as well as rapidly growing industries in which the Philippines already uniquely excels, such as Business Process Outsourcing, and the picture of measured, consistent, and bankable progress is complete. 

This picture has already prompted global analysts to christen the country many luminous new labels, among them Asia’s Rising Tiger, Asia’s Rising Star, and Asia’s Bright Spot. 

We are no longer “the sick man of Asia.” With a manufacturing sector hitting almost a double-digit growth rate and uplifting upgrades from credit rating agencies, it is not difficult at all to realize how such a performance can be interpreted as the beginning of a new era of sustainable and bankable progress for the Philippines. 

Of course, it goes without saying that our real estate sector reflects the robustness and optimism of the current times. Nationwide—from the cities that harbor major business centers to the provinces that play host to rapid residential growth and commercial expansion—we are enjoying a period of stable growth. Land values are anticipated to grow by 6 to 8% over the next several months, and the demand for land and the paucity of availability are both expected to keep the industry busy. 

An examination of movements in real estate licensing reveals notable increases in applications in commercial condominiums, industrial condominiums, and farm lots, balancing a tentative start for the rest of the market. But we have also noted an anticipated surge in office real estate, on the back of the continued rise of the outsourcing industry and the inflow of multinational enterprises establishing their presence in Metro Manila and the key cities. 

The capital value growth in the Makati business district reflects this, with Grade A values appreciating the fastest at 4.1% quarter on quarter, a figure that is only expected to grow. On the residential front, capital values are firmly expected to exhibit significant growth. 

As a Filipino, I am very proud to be standing here, as part of a global community, reporting on the powerful, positive changes that are taking place in the Philippines. 

People all over the world are also noticing this: the emergence of a new kind of Filipino—a global citizen who is up to the challenges and standards of a global scale. This conference confirms this fact. And tonight’s lush surroundings, in the middle of a city and a nation that is all too aware of the importance of performing and succeeding in a global context, certainly add to the excitement and relevance of our gathering over the past two days. The energy and optimism are certainly infectious, and the activities and exchanges have only made us more eager to create connections and explore possibilities. 

This is why it’s particularly relevant that we are here—purveyors, leaders and experts in real estate, Filipino professionals—under the banner and the rubric of the world’s leading real estate brokerage network. 

And this is why it’s the perfect and most exciting time for RE/MAX to be in the Philippines.

As RE/MAX, an internationally recognized brand with a global presence and a proven track record, we are proud to be present in one of the world’s most promising and productive markets. 

As Filipinos, we are proud to play an important role in this country’s progress, not just as brokers and partners, but as participants and movers, and as game changers in this landscape we call home.

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