“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.

Newsweek International - - PROMOTION -

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.

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