Property Seekers Flock to Metro Manila’s Fringes

More people have been showing interest for properties located in the fringes of the capital region. According to Lamudi’s latest trend report, Metro Manila cities Valenzuela, Marikina, Pateros, and Caloocan have enjoyed positive interest in terms of pageviews and leads.

Valenzuela posted a growth of 35.63 percent of leads and 34.99 percent of pageviews, comparing the second half of 2019 to the first half of 2020. Marikina registered 19.16 percent growth in leads and 28.82 percent in pageviews. 

For Pateros, the city saw 17.67 percent increase in leads and 20.18 percent in pageviews. Meanwhile, Caloocan had 16.58 percent in lead growth and 15.26 percent in pageviews. 

This all points to property seekers being more active in checking properties and making inquiries amid the pandemic.

Demand for Fringe Locations

The interest in properties located in the borders of the capital region may be in part due to the surging property prices in Metro Manila. 

According to the recent data from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the prices of residential properties in the National Capital Region increased by 34.9 percent. Comparing costs between cities with central business districts (CBDs) and fringe areas, the latter is more affordable.

The new normal in terms of work set-up has most likely contributed to the popularity of locations in the periphery. The remote arrangement supported by technology reduced the need to be within actual CBDs. Even beyond the pandemic, experts foresee that work-from-home will still be part of business operations. 

In a Lamudi webinar featuring Colliers International Philippines, Senior Research Manager Joey Bondoc said that some companies are likely to implement split operations. Half of the workforce occupies the traditional office, while the rest will work from home or in a flexible workspace. In this regard, being near CBDs, not necessarily within the area, becomes the priority.

Prior to the pandemic, Colliers already foresaw the move towards fringe locations in Metro Manila given the lack of developable land in cities with key CBDs, as mentioned in this December 2019 report

The consultancy firm said in a subsequent report that property developers have been searching for parcels of land in northern and southern portions of the capital region to create integrated communities. 

Breakdown of Top Cities

Various factors drive the interest in the specific cities mentioned in the Lamudi trend report. Valenzuela, for one, has made headlines recently as it won the most business-friendly city award from the Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the Manila Bulletin reported.

This is the second year the city earned the recognition. It was also a Hall of Famer in 2012, 2014, and 2015. With the ease of doing business, the municipality is set to attract more enterprises, and by extension, property buyers seeking employment opportunities.

Caloocan likewise garnered attention recently as its crime statistics declined 33 percent from January to September this year, according to this report from Inquirer. As people stay indoors more amid the pandemic and beyond, safety and security become top priorities when scouting for neighborhoods.

Pateros, meanwhile, has a strategic location, with Pasig to its north, Makati to its west, and Taguig to the south. Property seekers looking for promising careers in the biggest business districts, Ortigas Center, Makati CBD, and Bonifacio Global City, can easily access work opportunities while enjoying considerably lower residential prices in Pateros.

Marikina, on the other hand, boasts of open, green spaces–leisure amenities property seekers learned to appreciate more in the time of the pandemic. The famous Marikina Riverbanks Park offers visual and recreational rest for its residents.

New Normal in Buying Preferences

The remote work arrangement has, in part, prompted the shift towards Metro Manila fringes. In the same way, it has been influencing the new amenity preferences of the majority of property seekers, according to the Lamudi trend report released last August. 

In a nutshell, people are looking for home features that allow them to achieve work-life balance while in quarantine.

In the first half of 2020, swimming pool amenities received 11 percent of searches on the platform. Air-conditioning registered nine percent, while WiFi had eight percent. The balcony, which served as an area for activities and hobbies, posted six percent of the searches.

Sources: Colliers, Manila Bulletin, Inquirer

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