A recent report on the property market showed a renewed interest in house and lot properties after the Philippines had to adjust to government-imposed restrictions on movement, which affected all commercial sectors, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lamudi’s report, The outlook on the residential market, noted that property seekers, real estate brokers and property developers turned out in huge numbers, making inquiries (32%) in week 15 (April 5-11) from a huge drop following the announcement of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) at week 12 (March 15-21). The report , which was published in May, said inquiries about houses saw a 30% week-on-week increase during the shift to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) at week 20 (May 10-16). “Wait-and-see mode” The Lamudi platform reported that the upward trend seems to continue on a climb to reach pre-COVID percentages during the start of the year, But while property seekers remain interested in condominiums, there is still a prevailing“wait-and-see mode”, the report said. Condominiums had a strong start in 2020, owing in part to the interest in property investment carried over from the previous year. But due to the pandemic, condominiums recorded an average week-on-week lead growth rate of -3% in the first half of 2020. Houses, which showed a strong performance during the ECQ according to a survey of Lamudi property seekers, posted a 2% average week-on-week growth in pageviews for the first half of 2020. Foreclosed properties also showed resilience amid the pandemic, ending at an average lead growth rate 1% higher than houses. During the ECQ, affordability was a major consideration for property seekers, which is seemingly affirmed by the increase in leads gained by foreclosures (37%) on Lamudi at week 16 (April 12-18). Affordability, still main consideration For property seekers, location and the presence of functional and recreational amenities have been some of the main considerations in their property purchase during the first half of 2020. Given the restriction on movement, the periods covered by the ECQ and the MECQ also impacted the decision to buy or rent. From January to early March, before the ECQ, properties for sale received somewhere around 63-66% of pageviews on Lamudi, but properties for rent, despite having fewer listings on the platform, received more inquiries at around 53-63%. This shows that property seekers have an intention to buy, but followed through with rental inquiries. During the ECQ, interest in buying property rose to 68-74%, with property seekers continuing to inquire as well, contributing to almost 56% of inquiries on the platform during the ECQ.
Period of adustment With Metro Manila back in MECQ for two weeks at the start of August, a temporary shift can once again be expected in the residential market. Lamudiprojects new trends in real estate demand in the second half of the year as preferences from property seekers adjust to the rules set in place during changing community quarantines.