Real estate prices could soften near pre-selling levels

AS SOON as the global coronavirus pandemic is over, real estate developers are expected to offer flexible packages and terms to attract condominium buyers.

The spread of Covid-19 has temporarily halted the buying activities of many consumers around the globe as they are told to stay and work from home. Business activities are paralyzed as governments implement lockdowns and community quarantines to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

Joey Bondoc, senior research manager at Colliers International Philippines, said pricing in the secondary market could soften near pre-selling levels given the uncertainty.

“Prices and lease rates in the near term could be challenged by the Covid-19 pandemic, and we also see a possible increase in unemployment. Supply (completion of new condominium units) pressure is likely as completions are at risk due to work stoppage on site,” said Bondoc.

He said developers “may stop new condominium launches if prices significantly soften.”

“Depending on the duration of the quarantine, prices in the secondary market can soften to their pre-selling rates for developments completing this year,” he noted.

President Rodrigo Duterte placed Luzon under “enhanced community quarantine” on March 16, 2020. Cebu Province followed suit placing the entire island under “community quarantine.”

“In the event that the Covid-19 situation worsens, we project a slower take-up in selected business districts, especially in areas that depend on Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators demand,” he said.

However, despite the negative impact Covid-19 will bring to the economy, Bondoc said property management will now be an important factor in the decision-making of buyers.

He said developers will now hire globally recognized property management companies to take care of the health and safety aspects of the building residents. He added that developers that have responded well to this crisis will be remembered and likely to stand out when the global health scare passes.

As for buyers, Bondoc said they’ll have the opportunity to negotiate with developers on better pricing, and enjoy low key interest and mortgage rates.

Earlier this year, real estate broker Anthony Gerard Leuterio, founder of Filipino Homes, said there is an estimated P300 billion worth of real estate properties available for sale in 2020, of which 40 percent are in Cebu City. (KOC)