By Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte, reporter
FILIPINOS looking for second homes are also interested in “greener” or more energy efficient features, said a global real estate service provider in a study that also predicts local demand for these homes beyond the pandemic.
This year’s local edition of Santos Knight Frank’s Global Buyer Survey found that 41% of local respondents preferred real estate as their “accessible place of rest”.
The number is above the average of 27% in Asia and 33% worldwide.
“A better lifestyle will continue to be a priority and second homes will help ensure that demand remains there even after the 2019 COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marievie D. Gimena-Villanueva, Associate Director of Residential Services in an email response to questions on December 7th.
Individuals and families, especially executives and retirees at home and abroad, are looking for their own “safe haven”. Homebuyers now want to be prepared “in case another pandemic hits”.
“[Or they simply want to have] a place where you can experience a more relaxed atmosphere, enjoy the beauty of nature and relax privately and at the desired pace, ”said Ms. Gimena-Villanueva.
Second homes that are located outside of cities can also be used by owners for short-term rentals as soon as travel restrictions abate.
“From an investment perspective, you can never go wrong buying another property for rent as long as you buy in a strategic location that is accessible [and] offers opportunities for capital growth, ”said Ms. Gimena-Villanueva.
The majority, or 81%, of Real Estate Advisor’s survey respondents earn over $ 50,000 a year, “a cohort that has shown resilience in their property demand during the pandemic and is able to move between locations much more easily”.
Almost half of the local respondents said they hadn’t changed their budget since the pandemic.
“The upgrading of the family’s main residence is the main motivation [to] 35% of local respondents say they are buying a next home, ”said Santos Knight Frank. The next reason was downsizing or retirement, as 50% of those surveyed are between 40 and 60 years old.
Meanwhile, one in four respondents said their home purchase decisions were delayed due to travel restrictions, but one in three respondents said the lockdowns had no effect on their plans.
However, the pandemic restrictions caused 27% of respondents to change location preferences.
Santos Knight Frank’s poll also showed that 85% of Filipino respondents have moved since the pandemic broke out. Those who moved wanted more outside space, were planning to downsize, and wanted access to better amenities.
63% of those who have not yet moved said they were “more inclined to do it” in the next 12 months. Most are considering moving to the suburbs (40%), followed by cities (33%), rural villages (20%) and some looking to move abroad (7%).
Infrastructure projects that improve connectivity inside and outside Metro Manila are one of the most important catalysts for the market.
“Although preference is shifting to the outskirts and provinces, the city remains ideal for some shoppers who prefer to be in the center of it all. We expect a gradual recovery in condominium sales over the next year, ”said Ms. Gimena-Villanueva.
However, 24% of the respondents no longer attach any importance to objects that are walking distance from work, as well as close to transport hubs and large commercial establishments.
Santos Knight Frank noticed an increase in requests for areas outside of Metro Manila such as Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Bulacan, and Pampanga. Elevated towns such as Antipolo, Tagaytay in Cavite, and properties on the Batangas coast also piqued the market’s interest.
In addition to increased interest in moving to the suburbs, the survey showed that one in three local respondents is likely to move into a single family home or villa, and 23% are considering a waterfront residence.
Homebuyers prefer properties with access to high-speed broadband and homes with their own home office or study.
Health and wellness-related equipment and amenities are now on buyers’ wish lists. These include “green spaces”, good air quality, access to health care and houses with good views.
“Interestingly, the majority of local respondents have also expressed an interest in greener homes, although significantly fewer are willing to pay more,” said Santos Knight Frank.
The survey found that four in ten respondents want a greener home and are willing to pay more for it. 26% said they would invest in an energy-efficient home “if future environmental regulations affect the value of their property”.
Andrew T. Frondozo, head of project management at Santos Knight Frank, said greener homes aim to reduce the carbon footprint. This can be done through the use of clean energy or solar energy, through the use of devices with inverters to also reduce operating costs, through the use of LED lights and well-designed house layout.
“On the one hand, smart homes are already an up-and-coming market for residential real estate. One of the largest telecommunications companies will provide 10,000 Mbit / s (megabits per second) to enable more smart homes in the country, ”said Frondozo.