The first quarter of 2021 saw more online property search activity from the 65 and up age group. Lamudi’s latest trend report, Pandemic Spurs Digital Adoption in Boomers and Gen X in 1Q2021, found that digital property seeking activity from the Baby Boomer or ‘boomer’ generation increased in recent months. Out of all age groups, pageviews from the 65 and up age group demonstrated the highest growth figures. After dealing with a 107.89% decrease in the first quarter of 2020, pageviews from this segment increased in 1Q2020 by 80.32% year-on-year.
Houses, land most popular property segments among boomers
The 65 and up age group posted the most optimistic performances for house and land listings in the first quarter of the year, driving growth figures for each segment. For houses, boomers exhibited a 93.58% increase year-on-year and a 77.16% increase in pageviews for houses in the first quarter of 2021. Outside Metro Manila, Antipolo was the biggest market for houses – attracting 39.11% of all house seekers. Identified as one of the country’s leading leisure destinations in Lamudi’s previous trend report Indicators of Growth: Where to Invest in 2021, the city provides an attractive option for boomers looking to relocate to a city with both high investment potential and an environment conducive to rest, relaxation and recreation.
For land, boomers demonstrated the highest increase in annual pageviews at 109.79% in the first quarter of this year from the first quarter of last year. The high increase in demand for land from this age bracket is attributed to their higher purchasing power and the appeal of land ownership as a safe and reliable investment option. As an asset that never depreciates, buying land has become even more attractive amid global economic crises and unstable markets.
Aside from houses and land, experts see a growing market for condos for the boomer segment as well. “You would want mom and dad to feel safe and secure,” said DataLand Vice President for Sales and Marketing Rouen Raz as a panelist during a digital roundtable titled The Rise of Intelligent Homes: Reshaping the Modern Filipino Home held last February.
“Having mom and dad transfer to a condominium while you take on the ancestral home is actually a fantastic idea. Why? Because the condominium doesn’t have stairs they’ll have to go up, you have a small garden downstairs; you won’t need a large unit because it will be harder for them to maintain and you have property management to help them… We will also see a lot of empty-nesters going to these projects, that if all [smart] features are available, will make condo living easier,” said Raz.
Accelerating digital adoption in the Philippines
As the report title suggests, the pandemic played a key role in facilitating the growing presence of boomers and the greater population on online housing sites and digital platforms at large. It forced us to digitize our lives in significant ways – grocery and food delivery apps presented a safer and more convenient option especially at the strictest levels of lockdown, schools adopted distance learning set-ups, many companies adhered to flexible work schedules with some even considering permanently remote roles. Raz discussed how, in reference to the difficulty in visiting parents or grandparents living in other homes during the pandemic, they were “forced to learn about the Internet of Things, and so it is critical to have that [internet-ready] infrastructure in place as there will be a demand.”
Meeting the real estate market demand online
With more property seekers going online for searches and transactions, developers and brokers were likewise forced to embrace the digital shift. As a response to face-to-face transactions not being permitted during the enhanced community quarantine, developers and brokers turned to virtual tours and online property presentations to showcase their projects.
Online marketplaces for real estate as well as social media became increasingly popular. Developers such as RLC have even installed their own stakeholder portals, wherein clients can keep track of their investments, sellers are easily able to access key information on projects, and homeowners are able to order special services such as laundry and water delivery, among other convenient features.
Many property developers also prepared virtual tours, project launches, and groundbreaking events using online tools and technology, and joined special events such as the Lamudi Online Housing Fair to exhibit new properties and special promotions.