Baguio was among the top-searched provincial cities on the Lamudi platform last year, ranking sixth on the list, according to our latest trend report titled Hotspots Unwrapped: 2020’s Most Popular Locations.
Based on Lamudi data, the majority is considering for-sale properties. Almost 60 percent of the pageviews and 57.23 percent of the leads were for buy transactions. In terms of preferences for property types, houses emerged as the most popular, representing 30.52 percent of the pageviews and 27.66 percent of the leads.
The millennials were the most active in looking at Baguio properties. About 26 percent of the pageviews and almost 28 percent of the leads came from the age bracket 25 to 34 years old.
Notably, other top-searched provincial cities revealed in the trend report are tourist hotspots. The study suggests that property seekers are considering residential locations that not only support the basic needs of the new normal, but also provide leisure opportunities in the midst of a crisis.
The resilience of Baguio’s property market can be attributed to the optimistic outlook on the city’s development in terms of the business, tourism, and infrastructure sectors.
New Wave City
The Lobien Realty Group (LRG) identified the summer capital of the country as an alternative investment hub outside Metro Manila by virtue of its badge as a new wave city, Manila Standard reported. New wave cities are expected to generate employment opportunities and contribute economic growth to the region.
Back in July last year, the Manila Bulletin cited that there are 2,500 job vacancies in Baguio and other locator enterprises located in the north, according to Philippine Economic Zone Authority’s (PEZA) figures. The standardized market-to-home delivery services have likewise created job opportunities, which are promoted in the city’s official app called Baguio in My Pocket, as mentioned in another report.
Baguio City plans to operate as a smart city by June this year, as mentioned in this Inquirer report. Automation will be applied on traffic routing, street surveillance, sewage and pollution controls, and government transactions, which will run on Baguio Broadband Network. The move to be a smart city is expected to attract investments.
Meanwhile, the business community in Baguio vowed to help procure COVID-19 vaccines for residents. As reported in the Philippine News Agency (PNA), big companies will be shouldering 50 percent of the immunization requirement of the city.
Baguio’s recovery from the pandemic can contribute to solidifying its status as a new wave city and sustaining property market resilience.
Domestic Travel Bubble
The travel corridor the summer capital participates in provides real estate opportunities. The hospitality and leisure sector particularly benefits from the Ridge and Reef Corridor Plan between Baguio City and northern provinces. The travel bubble program was launched in September, which expanded later to the region of Luzon.
According to the latest report from PNA, the summer capital welcomed over 19,000 tourists in December. December 30 had the most number of daily visitors, totaling 1,707 arrivals. Guests registered at the online portal visita.baguio.gov.ph, providing important information including a negative coronavirus test result.
Hotels, restaurants, and other tourism establishments in the city are required to comply with the health protocols set by the national government. This involves regular sanitation and disinfection of facilities, and the installation of visual reminders for physical distancing.
Rise of New Facilities
Infrastructure development can further strengthen Baguio’s real estate performance from last year. Recently, Mayor Benjamin Magalong announced that the local government will push through with “high-impact” flagship projects in 2021, as cited by Manila Bulletin.
The low-cost housing project for the indigents will start implementation in the first quarter of the year, as architectural plans have already received approval. Meanwhile, the bidding for the construction of the youth convergence and sports center and a mini-parking area at the Baguio Athletic Bowl will open in the middle of February. The projects are worth P392 million and P110 million, respectively.
The main drainage at the Lake Drive Burnham Park will see construction soon, with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Baguio City District Engineering Office working on the P95-million project. The market development venture under the public-private partnership (PPP), meanwhile, will go through the negotiation process. Big-ticket infrastructure projects can fuel a stronger real estate appetite, as modernization in the area takes shape.
Sources: Manila Standard, Manila Bulletin, Inquirer, PNA