Region IV-A provinces dominated the list of top-searched locations in 2020, according to the latest trend report from Lamudi titled Hotspots Unwrapped: 2020’s Most Popular Locations. Bacoor, Cavite ranked in third place, followed by Antipolo, Rizal. Dasmariñas slid into seventh place, as Imus and Calamba trailed behind in the eighth and ninth spots, respectively.
The study noted that the pandemic may have accelerated people’s movement away from Metro Manila and into nearby provincial cities. Such locations offer more affordable properties and land development opportunities.
These hotspots are expected to grow in demand further in 2021 as home buyers continue to look for less crowded residences with wide, open spaces. Moreover, the new normal of remote work allows people to move outside the central business districts in the metro.
As infrastructure projects in Southern Luzon see completion in the next few years, increased mobility and greater accessibility would further compel people to consider living in the provinces near the capital region.
Among the infrastructure projects soon to be completed is the LRT-2 East extension. As of September last year, the project was already 92 percent complete, ABS-CBN News reported.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) added two new stations located in Emerald, Marikina and Masinag, Antipolo. The facilities will be open to the public by April of this year. Traveling between Antipolo and Manila will only be 40 minutes using the railway system, a significant improvement from the usual three hours via bus or jeepney.
Meanwhile, LRT-1 Cavite extension was already 50 percent finished last December, according to the latest report from Philstar. The partial operations of the five additional stations from Baclaran will begin in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Once finished, the 11.7-kilometer railway extension stretching from Baclaran to Niog in Bacoor, Cavite will reduce travel time from Manila to Cavite from more than half an hour to 25 minutes.
Similarly, the Silang East section of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) is almost 50 percent complete, as of the last update from Business World in July 2020. It’s set to open by the first quarter of this year. The Laguna side of the thoroughfare, which stretches from Mamplasan Interchange to Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Interchange, opened last August. The entire project is set to cut travel time between Manila–Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) from the current two and a half hours to 45 minutes.
LRT-6, which will further lengthen the extended LRT-1 from Niog to Governor’s Drive, is under the review of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), as reported by Business World. The 23.5 km railway system will pass along Bacoor, Imus, and Dasmariñas, linking key cities in the province.
Similarly, the Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas Expressway (CTBEX) is up for NEDA’s approval, Malaya reported. The thoroughfare is set to connect the new CALAX in Silang to Ternate-Nasugbu Road in Nasugbu. When completed, it will have the following interchanges: Silang, Pook, Aguinaldo, Amadeo, Mendez, Alfonso, Magallanes and Nasugbu.
Meanwhile, MRT-4, the 15.56-kilometer elevated monorail system connecting Metro Manila to Rizal, secured the approval of NEDA back in January last year, Manila Times reported. The railway stretches from N. Domingo, Quezon City to Taytay Diversion Road-Manila East Road rotunda in Taytay, Rizal, increasing mobility for residents of Taytay, Cainta and Pasig, and easing congestion in Ortigas Ave. and Ortigas Ave. extension.
Other infrastructure projects expected to rise in the region are the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge and Clark–Calamba Railway, also known as the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR). The first phase of the latter, PNR Clark Phase 1 connecting Tutuban to Malolos, was already 40.48 percent complete last December, the Manila Times reported.
Real Estate Opportunities
The infrastructure boom in the Southern Luzon region will increase the value of properties in the area. Demand will likely go up, as businesses see viable locations for setting up shop or improving business continuity.
Colliers International Philippines projects higher demand for cold storage facilities in Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas as restaurants and supermarkets accommodate the growing trend of delivery of perishable, ready-to-cook or -eat food items, as reported in Inquirer. This trend will further be supported by the increasing demand for pharmaceuticals. This need is expected to grow further once the government starts its vaccination program.
In another report from Philstar, Colliers estimates that the industrial property segment will remain strong in the next two years, considering the sustained demand for ecommerce and online deliveries during the pandemic. They foresee mall operators and retailers strengthening ties with logistics firms and warehouse developers to fulfill deliverables.
Sources: ABS-CBN News, Philstar, Business World, Malaya, Manila Times, Inquirer