Marcos infrastructure push to support real estate market recovery

PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

The MARCOS ADMINISTRATION’s increased focus on infrastructure, expanding digital business, as well as its promise not to impose future lockdowns, will help support the recovery of the real estate sector, JLL Philippines said.

Janlo C. De Los Reyes, head of research and strategic consulting for JLL Philippines, said during a brieIfng Wednesday, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s assurance that there will be no lockdown will encourage more businesses to operate at pre-pandemic levels.

“This is one of the key aspects of SONA in which many of the lockdowns we’ve had before are quite restrictive and have impacted the real estate sector and other industries… What we expect now , is that there are fewer restrictions and little impact in terms of warning levels about lockdowns that might be issued by the government,” he said.

The Philippine economy contracted by a record 9.6% in 2020 as the government imposed one of the strictest lockdowns to curb a rise in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections.

Mobility restrictions have eased further, allowing many businesses to resume full operations and workers to return to work.ffithis. Metro Manila and most parts of the country are now below the most lenient alert level.

Mr De Los Reyes said Mr Marcos’ infrastructure push will be important for the recovery of the real estate sector.

“Another key aspect of SONA (State of the Nation Address) is infrastructure. We are talking about road improvements, upgrading existing airports and building more international airports to support the tourism sector. There is also ongoing infrastructure support. There’s a lot of support behind the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program,” he said.

The government thffEfforts to grow digital businesses will be positive for the real estate sector, especially data centers.

“There is also universal connectivity which will be rolled out to various islands to support digital transformation. What we expect from this is to nurture off data center demand. Especially now that we are seeing many data center operators entering the country, we expect digital consumption to increase,” De Los Reyes said.

The JLL executive also noted that recent laws such as the Business Recovery and Tax Incentives for Business (CREATE) Act, the Amended Civil Service Act and the Foreign Investment Act will improve the attractiveness of the Philippines as an investment destination.

“All of this points to the creation of a conducive investment climate for many investors looking to enter the country,” he said.

The government should also continue to develop more economic zones.

“Another is the growth of economic zones which will be entirely supported by tax incentives, driving decentralization and growth outside the metro. What we anticipate is that there will be growth in other parts of the country, led by patterns of ecozone and township types,” said De Los Reyes.

JLL expects Metro Manila’s real estate market to gradually recover this year.

“What we expect for the next two quarters is a continued gradual market recovery. What we see now is stability in terms of the market and what we expect going forward is is the continuity of that,” Mr. De Los Reyes said. Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

Penny D. Jackson