Things Are Looking Up: How the Property Industry is Recovering from the Pandemic

Last Updated on October 18, 2021 by Lamudi

After a month or two of lull brought by the coronavirus pandemic, the real estate industry is now seeing an uptick in demand and activity. Some experts think that the sector has already reached past the worst that investments under the new normal are gradually cropping up as the talk of the town.

It is against this backdrop that the virtual installment to Lamudi’s Roundtable Series, titled On the Horizon: Real Estate Leaders on Market Recovery, emerges. Seeing an upward trend in the industry, the panelists agreed that there’s a revival happening.

The first track of the conference, Revive: Property Investment in the Post-Pandemic World, featured facilitator Deborah Ong, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Lamudi, and panelists Franco Soberano, EVP and COO of Cebu Landmasters Inc.; Cary Lagdameo, VP of Damosa Land Inc.; Mico Racelis, Business Unit General Manager of Robinsons Homes; and Julius Guevarra, VP for Corporate Planning of D.M. Wenceslao.

On the Way to Recovery

The panelists all agreed that the first two months into the lockdown were a sluggish period for the industry. But when May came around, the demand picked up. For Cebu Landmasters, they saw record reservation sales around the period. They are likewise optimistic that the strong interest will continue under the new normal.

“There’s a rush to secure homes, secure good good-quality homes from good developers. We’re seeing that sustained,” Soberano mentioned.

Racelis, on the other hand, shared that Robinsons Homes has experienced significant growth in the past months. “Based on what we were having in Q1, we’re experiencing right now 25 to 75 percent growth on a monthly basis.” 

Damosa Land enjoys renewed interest as well. Lagdameo noted that more are looking into horizontal projects, even emphasizing that they’re “taking over” vertical developments.

With “resilient” sales, as Guevarra calls it, D.M. Wenceslao is likewise looking at an industry in recovery. He mentioned the role of digital transformation in servicing clients better in the new normal.

The Digital Shift

Because of the lockdowns, real estate developers have adopted online solutions to continue catering to the needs of clients. Guevarra shared that D.M. Wenceslao has introduced online payment solutions to buyers, while also increasing their social media presence.

Virtual staging, meanwhile, has been the focus of Damosa Land at the height of the pandemic. “In a matter of a day or two, we’re able to come up with brand new content for home projects and put this out on social media,” Lagdameo said. 

In the first few months of the pandemic, they held off marketing initiatives to focus on helping their community. But today, they’re back promoting their properties. He urges sellers to do the same, “We’re well into August. It’s okay to go out there and sell the product. Be in close contact with developers.”

For Racelis, they’ve explored other types of content. “We’ve started doing drone shots for all our provincial developments.”

State of Market Demand

Seeing a positive change in buyers’ interest, Soberano mentioned that the affordable market is currently the most active. He believes that this segment realized the urgency of owning a home amid a crisis.

Optimistic that condo living will still be an appealing residential arrangement for the market amid reports of a shift to horizontal projects, Soberano said that it’s a matter of finding a promising location. “You have good condo developments that are well-planned and well-located,” he elaborated.

Lagdameo agrees with Soberano, mentioning, “Yes, you can own a house outside, spend a lot of money on a horizontal project, but if you’re working in the city, you still have to live in a condominium.”

Highlighting specific preferences of buyers, Guevarra said, “There’s more importance in living in mixed-use design of development. Some of the urban planners have been promoting this idea, wherein you can find all of the amenities, shopping facilities, workplace, and residence.”

He added that low-density residential areas with vast open spaces are emerging as must-haves as well.

In terms of overall demand, the property experts expect it to increase further, given the government’s financial aid programs, including the Central Bank’s relaxed cap on property loans and Pag-IBIG’s low interest rates.

For property buyers that are weighing whether to invest now or wait a little longer, Soberano recommends the former. “Investing early is always good. You get the benefit of the best pricing available,” he said. 

He advised, “Be on the close lookout for the newest possible projects. These are the projects with good inventory so you can choose the best.”

Trend of Property Prices

“Prices may continue to be soft. It might be challenging for developers, but I do think that it will recover moving forward, once we start hearing news about the pandemic being controlled,” Guevarra said.

The availability of vaccines will spur buying activities and make property prices go back to its pre-pandemic status, he added.

Racelis believes that the market will correct itself, and it’s just a matter of when. He mentioned that once the situation eases and the buyers’ pandemic worries are relieved, prices may stabilize.

Meanwhile, Soberano sees property values holding steady until the end of the year, precisely because of the strong demand.

Silver Lining Amid the Crisis

Despite the challenges that the coronavirus brought, property experts maintain a positive outlook, mentioning a couple of good changes they witnessed in the last months.

“One thing that I saw was how adaptable and flexible our employees have been in terms of moving into this new normal, working in mostly digital marketing and non-traditional ways,” Racelis said.

For Soberano, the improvement in real estate services is the silver lining, as it ultimately benefits the buyers. Guevarra echoes Soberano’s sentiments, saying that the pandemic has compelled developers to assess their designs and see if they can cater to the needs of the market.

He added, “On a more corporate level, the good thing about this pandemic is that it really forced us to digital transformation.”

The property industry is well on its way to recovery, as the market reconsiders investing under the new normal. With different real estate players stepping up their game, the sector will definitely welcome a more vibrant scene in the coming years.

In case you missed the online event, click here to go to Lamudi’s YouTube channel to watch this installment to the Lamudi Roundtable Series, and more. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Why Davao, Iloilo, and Bacolod are Ideal Cities for Developers and...

The growth of more office and residential hubs outside Metro Manila has been more evident over the years. This change only means one thing:...