“When the ‘Build, Build, Build’ projects go on stream, we can expect another big boost to the economy.” Roberto Z. Lorayes Chairman, Philequity management, inc.
Chinese and Japanese firms. Its president and CEO Jose Silvestre M. Natividad explains, “With over 7,000 islands, 2,0003,000 rivers and streams, wind and solar sources — renewable energy is viable.”
A holding company with subsidiaries, CRESPHIL owns hydropower and solar plants, mainly on less-developed islands, and grows through acquisition and project development.
“Our advantage is we do everything, from consultancy to feasibility, engineering, construction and operation. If a project is too large for us alone, we find partners and financing, as local banks and international institutions have major funds available for renewables,” says Natividad of CRESPHIL.
Looking to make more investments, his vision is, “To have many hydroelectric plants powering inclusive development in communities.”
GBP’S Azurin confirms that energy facilities ignite economic activity: “Take Iloilo. We set up energy generation in the formerly sleepy city and now all the major real estate developers are there buying land. Progress has been tremendous.” Real Estate Flourishing Reflecting the performance of the country’s economy as a whole, the Philippine real estate industry has increased consistently over the last decade, with revenue from residential sales, and recurring revenues from shopping malls and offices seeing double-digit growth in 2017. The construction of energy, transport and other infrastructure is having a part to play in this, as it opens up new, economically attractive markets outside Metro Manila to developers — although the capital region is still at the heart of the sector.
The residential market is being driven by factors such as the ever-expanding population, rapid urbanization and a thriving middle class that can afford to buy and are facing expensive rents, according to Laxa of First Shelter: “We focus on properties for middle-income buyers and there are many financing options for them, including the government’s Home Development Mutual Fund and local banks.”
Ysmael adds that demand for properties of the type that his company, Ortigas & Co., builds — luxury homes, offices and shopping centers — is also on the up as, “People upgrade their residencies and the Philippines’ significant consumerism fuels construction of more malls.”
With an undersupply of about 4 million housing units in the country at the moment, and commercial rental rates hitting record highs as vacancies fall, the demand for new developments will not be slowing down anytime soon.
To encourage international investors to the sector, the government has introduced a range of initiatives, including relaxing foreign ownership restrictions on retail and construction.
As a result, says global property consultancy firm Colliers International, opportunities abound in the country’s real estate — as they do in most other sectors of the Philippine economy in 2018.