Bringing in sweeping changes, the pandemic has introduced a new normal to the real estate industry. Millennials are now taking over the market, people prefer tech-supported homes, and health safety has become the very first priority in buying properties, as mentioned in Lamudi’s recently concluded roundtable discussion On the Horizon: Real Estate Leaders on Market Recovery.
What’s increasingly interesting is that there’s also a growing demand for vacant land. In a nutshell, the needs that have become apparent during the pandemic have caused the surge. If you’re planning to hit the real estate market amid this crisis, you could very well consider land in your buying preferences.
The latest Lamudi data shows that a few cities in the country saw an increase in the popularity of land. For instance, in Makati, pageviews rose from 3.90 percent in the first half of 2019 to 4.59 percent in the first half of 2020. Other cities in Metro Manila likewise experienced a slight uptick. San Juan had 3.57 percent last year and 4.56 percent this year. From 3.24 percent in the first half of 2019, the City of Manila went up to 3.51 percent in the same period in 2020. In terms of inquiries, these cities saw a growth in numbers too.
The growing interest shows in regional centers as well. The number of people looking at land in Antipolo, Rizal increased to 9.65 percent in the first half of the year from 8.06 percent in the same period in 2019. Laguna cities Calamba and Santa Rosa experienced improvement too, going from 3.24 percent to 3.51 percent and from 4.50 percent to 4.88 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, comparing the first half of 2019 and 2020, the two municipalities in Cavite, Silang and Dasmariñas, registered growth to 4.39 percent from 3.51 percent, and 4.42 percent from 3.45 percent, respectively. In a tough time like this, these numbers are a positive development, but you’re also probably wondering: why exactly are people leaning towards land as real estate investments?
Supporting New Normal Needs
Put simply, people see land investments as particularly accommodating of their needs post-pandemic. In the case of future homeowners, a vacant lot is promising in these ways:
- You’re able to choose the location. The pandemic has taught us how important it is to be smart in choosing where to live. If you don’t want to experience hassle in getting to the supermarket or the hospital, your home must only be a short drive away from essential establishments. As people become more location-conscious, they typically go for land-only developments instead of the house and lot packages to really tick off their long list of must-haves in an address.
- You get to build a crisis-ready residence. On top of a good location, you can also ensure that your home can weather future crises, precisely because it’s not a cookie-cutter unit. You’ve lived through a pandemic already so you can customize your space to accommodate your needs: a big kitchen for your cooking sessions during quarantine, an outdoor area for relaxation, extra rooms as isolation spaces, and more.
On the flip side, if you’re an investor, a vacant lot is equally a good asset because:
- You won’t have to worry about maintenance. In a land investment, there’s almost no need to keep the property in tip-top condition. You wouldn’t have to worry about leaks in toilets, squeaking floorboards, or even difficult tenants. Leave it for months or years, and it will still look the same (perhaps with a few tall grasses, of course), but with greater value because of long-term appreciation. In times of crisis, it won’t bother you with inconveniences, but it may offer a source of financial security.
- You can score an affordable price. Vacant land is much less expensive than land that already has a house in it. There’s less competition in the market as well, since property seekers are going after houses and commercial buildings. With this, sellers are more likely to give in to your negotiated price to dispose of the land. At a time when the economy is uncertain, you would want to get more for less capital. Investing in land is therefore the way to go.
The real estate industry is seeing a growing interest in vacant land amid the pandemic. If you’re one of the throngs of property seekers on the lookout for this specific segment, browse through our listings to make your search during this crisis less stressful.