Commercial & Industrial Property News Update

Philippines - Unprecedented Construction Boom Transforming Philippines Skyline

July 24, 2012

Now into its fourth year, a property boom in the Philippines has attracted even the likes of Donald Trump, Paris Hilton and Versace, promising to transform the country's skyline.

In what industry players are calling an unprecedented construction boom, the skyline of capital city Manila, as well as other provincial cities, are set to undergo transformations as prominent projects rise in the Philippines.

The property boom is well into its fourth year. Fuelled by a blessed combination of steady economic growth, Western firms offshoring jobs to the Philippines, the buying power of millions of Filipinos working abroad and low interest rates, the boom is showing no sign of slowing down.

"It just so happens that today the stars are aligned... we have never seen the economy this bullish," said Antonino Aquino, president of Ayala Land.

One of the country's largest property developers, Ayala Land is one of the main players in the boom which has seen formerly sleepy pockets in Manila turn into chic, new business districts, catering manly to the fast-growing outsourcing sector.

At the Fort army base, Ayala Land broke ground for a mixed-use commercial-cum-residential development with a gross development value of USD 714 million. One Bonifacio High Street is schedule to be completed in 2017, and will house the Philippines Stock Exchange, a Shangri-La hotel and several retail outlets. In addition, there will also be a 63-storey residential tower offering 298 suites.

The apartments are priced between USD 500,000 to USD 1.9 million each, but market demand had been voracious, causing the units to be sold out within 96 hours, said Ayala Land.

CBRE Philippines said in an earlier report that 9.1 million sq ft of office space and 14,000 residential units are expected to enter the market this year, with many of the residential units catered for a growing middle-class on the fringes of Manila and other urban centres throughout the country.

The hospitality, retail and entertainment sector has also caught the development boom, raising hopes that the underdeveloped tourism industry will finally take off.

Three of the leading gaming companies in the world have joined forces to develop Entertainment City, a USD 4 billion, 100 ha casino complex on Manila Bay. The first of the three casinos will open early next year.

Other significant projects lined up for the Philippines include Trump Tower, a USD 150 million, 56-storey curtain-glass-walled affair that broke ground in the financial district earlier this year.

The mixed-use Trump Tower project will be overseen by Century Properties, which said that 70% of the project's 220 residential units - worth up to USD 1.86 million each - have already been sold. Managing director Robbie Antonio said, "High-end buyers look for key differentiated features."

Besides Trump Tower, Century Properties is also overseeing the development of a nearby tower designed by fashion house Versace. The first of its kind in Asia, the Versace tower will feature individual wading pools as well as fittings marked with its iconic Medusa-head logo.

In addition, Century is also developing a high-end suburban Manila residential project that features a man-made beach. The firm flew in socialite and hotel heiress Paris Hilton to help design and promote the development.

Tags: Commercial properties, office rental, offices for sale, the Philippines

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