Vertical is the Smart Way to Build 

Last Updated on January 12, 2023 by Lamudi

As land gets more scarce and the population increases in urban areas, the only way for developers to build is upwards. Post-pandemic demand for condominiums proves that vertical communities are becoming the norm. 

Fortunately for us, vertical is also a smart way to build. This is one of the main takeaways during the fifth and final panel discussion at The Outlook 2022: Philippine Real Estate Conference. The panel, “Vertical Living: Where and Why,” brought together prominent personalities in the vertical space: Romolo Nati, Chairman and CEO of Italpinas Development Corporation; Avi Melicor, FVP and Branch Sales Head of BDO Home Loans; Pete Felix, President/CEO of PHINMA Holdings Corporation; and Jogee Arellano, Chief Leasing Officer of Philippine Urban Living Solutions. 

Moderated by Markus Nisula, Managing Director of KONE, the discussion highlighted new destinations for vertical living and the market’s direction for 2023-2024. It also explored the why and how of building vertical communities. 

Vertical Living: Where 

Panel 5 at The Outlook 2022 Philippine Real Estate Conference
From left to right: Markus Nisula, Managing Director of KONE; Romolo Nati, Chairman and CEO of Italpinas Development Corporation; Avi Melicor, FVP and Branch Sales Head of BDO Home Loans; Pete Felix, President/CEO of PHINMA Property Holdings Corporation; Jogee Arellano, Chief Leasing Officer of Philippine Urban Living Solutions, Inc. at The Outlook 2022: Philippine Real Estate Conference

Looking back into the history of property development in the residential sector, Felix said there has always been a preference for horizontal properties. “But vertical living did not come about by accident. It came about as a result of affordability,” he added.

Within Metro Manila, for instance, as property prices continue to soar, condominiums offer an alternative way to experience city living. Later on, with the rise of new urbanism and 15-minute city concepts, the appeal of vertical living became more apparent. This was supported by the fact that, until now, condo acquisition has been the number one purpose of bank borrowers, according to Melicor. She revealed that most (37%) of their borrowers purchase condo units. 

Meanwhile, Arellano observed that inquiries for vertical space came in when people returned to work. Their units for lease are just a five to seven-minute walk from the central business district (CBD) area and have access to various amenities. Occupancy rates for vertical communities could hit the ceiling, especially as the economy fully recovers and residents find ways to outsmart traffic when going to work.

Vertical Living: Why 

Latest report shows that Metro Manila office space demand may expand by 50%, driven by the Information Technology-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector. At the same time, traffic in the metro isn’t getting better. As Arellano put it, “Traffic isn’t going to ease up when it’s hybrid. We’re already [implementing] hybrid [setup] now, and traffic is worse.”

Besides desirable location, choosing vertical living is a wise move because the condo market continues to be on a growth trajectory. As land in the mero becomes scarce, there will be more supply and demand for vertical developments in the future. 

When asked when is the right time to invest in a condo, Arellano offered genuine advice: “You have to be responsible enough to invest. It’s a big risk.” He added that it’s also why leasing accommodations are available. In a way, they allow would-be investors to try out vertical living—to see if they could be independent and financially responsible

Building Sustainably 

Another reason to consider condo acquisition is the green features it promises. Nati mentioned during the discussion that green buildings would be popular and in demand if they’re going to be accessible in terms of price, location, and if the end users will benefit from them. 

He added that the pandemic showed us how important direct experience with nature is. Felix agreed that developers should bring green architecture down to the affordable market, adding that green is not the first and foremost in the buyers’ minds because of the premium price. But given a chance, condo buyers would go for green features. 

In the altered normal brought by the pandemic, there will be more convertible spaces within vertical communities, according to Nati. The presence of essential establishments on the ground floor of the condo building is a must-have feature, especially for developments outside the metro. This, coupled with passive green building strategies, would make vertical living more efficient.

Learn more about The Outlook by visiting this page.


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