PRICES of residential real estate in Davao Region remained unchanged since the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, real estate brokers said.
Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Association Davao Chapter (Creba-Davao) vice president for internal affairs Japheth Diones said developers were giving discounts instead of raising or lowering their prices.
"Kung ano man ang presyo before pandemic, ganun pa rin ngayon. In fact, other developers naga offer pa gani og mga huge discounts para naa gyuy mamalit (The price before the pandemic remained the same. Other developers even offered discounts so people can still buy properties)," he said, referring to developers' prices.
This is in contrast with the Residential Real Estate Price Index (RREPI) report released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) at the end of June this year.
BSP noted an increase in the prices of single-detached/attached houses by 7 percent from 5.8 percent in the last quarter of 2019.
Single-detached/attached houses are the kinds of properties bought by buyers in Areas Outside National Capital Region (AONCR) using the Residential Real Estate Loans (RRELs).
"Walay nagpamahal ngayon kasi alam ng mga sellers na lisod ang buyers karon. (The developers did not increase their prices because they understand that the buyers are also struggling). For them, this is not the right time to increase the price because it is also difficult to sell now," Diones said.
Based on BSP's data, about 2.9 percent of the granted RRELs were in Davao Region for the first quarter of 2020.
The real estate industry especially in Davao City has struggled since the end of 2019 due to the impact of the series of earthquakes and it continued with restriction of movement caused by the Covid-19 pandemic at the beginning of 2020.
Diones said their sales have declined but they have to strategize in order to attract buyers.
"Kami mga brokers naga seek og further discounts para mabenta kay lisod maghanap ng buyer karon. Hinay kaayo ang baligya so there is no reason for developers to increase the price kasi hinay ang bentahan (We as brokers also asked for discounts from developers so we can sell properties easily)," he said.
Filipino Homes member and real estate broker Domer Danganon Jr. said their team's sales went down to P73 million for the month of June.
He said their average monthly sales last year reached above P150 million.
However, both brokers shared that there is a continued demand for real estate properties.
Danganon said he is still closing several deals and most buyers of properties are the usual US-based overseas Filipino workers and businessmen availing single-detached houses.
Diones, on the other hand, noted that one broker selling condominium units here was reaching her target sales.
"Naa koy kaila sa Avida, kusog sya. Nag topnotcher pa siya (I know someone from Avida who sold a lot and was even considered as a topnotcher)," he said.
Aside from discounts, he said some developers raised commissions and incentives to sellers and brokers.
Developers and brokers are also said to have adopted technology to accommodate their customers.
"Kung sa una, pwede mi mag manual selling, karon more of online selling using Zoom. Naa nay mga social media platforms to attract customers pa rin (We are now selling through video-conferencing application Zoom and on social media platforms)," Diones said.
"Ang ibang developers, instead na papuntahin gyud ang mga buyers sa opisina, pwede na magsubmit og documents online like Messenger (Some developers have allowed buyers to submit document online)," he added.
Danganon said transacting online helped them in selling properties amid limited movement due to quarantine restrictions.
He shared their company has also conducted a series of online training to upskill their real estate brokers.