2009 was a year of calamities and the usual political turmoil, but the Philippines’ real estate sector remained resilient despite the financial crisis and developers continued to start new projects as a response to the market’s increasing demand. In fact, chairman of CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) Philippines Rick Santos says that most Philippine real estate companies remained profitable during the first three quarters of 2009, with SM Prime Holdings and SM Development Corp being the biggest players of the year. The latter group is SM group’s middle income residential condominium development, which reported a 1.3 billion net income during the first nine months of 2009. Other active players include Ortigas & Co. Phinma Properties, Rockwell Land, and Greenfield Development DMCI Homes.
The passage of the Philippines REIT Act of 2009 sees the accelerated growth of the property section as more investors come to the country for new opportunities. There are also a number of income generating assets that can be converted into real estate investment trusts, such as residential condominiums, office buildings, apartments, and tourism related facilities. As far as new business districts are concerned, CBRE Philippines vice chairman Joey Radovan says that BPO (business process outsourcing) companies are looking for cheaper office spaces. Cebu might be the next big thing in terms of the development of business districts, with major developments starting in Cebu City, Mandaue City, and Lapu-Lapu City. Ayala Land will also be developing a new IT park in Cebu City, in addition to the existing Asiatown IT Park and Cebu Business Park districts.