Chinese investors drive PH real estate industry

THE steady influx of Chinese visitors and investors to the Philippines bodes well for the country’s real estate industry.

David Leechiu, chief executive officer of Leechiu Property Consultants, said the 1.4 billion Chinese market will play a significant role in the expected rise in the property market across all segments.

“The Philippines is in a tremendous beginning of what could be another 15- to 20-year boom, not just in the economy, but specifically in real estate if China comes into play, which we should all be excited about,” said Leechiu at a BPI press briefing yesterday.

He said that when China enters the market in a “meaningful way,” it will bring the country’s property market to 20 years of boom, as it has done in Africa, the Middle East and other parts of the world.

Real estate players in Cebu have already reported high buying of real estate products from Chinese buyers.

Real estate service provider Santos Knight Frank identified China as one of the top markets that purchased bulk condominium units.

Listed company Cebu Holdings Inc. (CHI) said it expects heightened buying of condominium units among foreign buyers, particularly from the Chinese market.

CHI president Aniceto Bisnar Jr. noted an increase in buying activity from foreign buyers, such as Chinese for both office leases and residential condo projects, which were previously marketed to overseas Filipino workers.

“The Chinese market is supporting the growth of the real estate industry,” he said.

Chinese buyers now account for majority of sales among foreigners, said Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), in its previous disclosure. CHI is an affiliate company of ALI.

Another developer, HT Land Inc., the company behind Mandani Bay, also reported a growing number of investors from mainland China buying residential condominium units.

“We saw Chinese buyers from mainland China for our phase 1 project. I believe that the warming ties between our country and theirs has translated into buying of real estate products here. For the Chinese, our condominium units are so cheap for them,” said Mandani Bay project director Gilbert Ang.

Cebu’s average residential price is at US$1,997 per square meter, according to Colliers International Philippines.

China’s average residential price is at $8,186.

Aside from buying real estate properties in the Philippines, Chinese investors are also eyeing possible acquisition or joint venture deals with local property players.

Colliers International Philippines research manager Joey Roi Bondoc said Chinese investors do not only acquire properties but at the same time explore potential partnerships to ride the country’s growth momentum.

“They are eyeing all properties from hotel, mall, commercial office, residential developments,” said Bondoc, adding that such high interest to pour in money in the country was a result of the warming ties between China and the Philippines.


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