THE Outlook 2022: Philippine Real Estate Conference, Lamudi’s first major in-person conference since the pandemic hit, featured prominent real estate personalities across five panel tracks on the whole-day event at Shangri-La at the Fort on Aug. 31, 2022.

Carrying the lessons brought by the pandemic, real estate experts who graced The Outlook 2022: Philippine Real Estate Conference agree that the better built environment for Filipinos can be summed up in five characteristics: functional, leisure-focused, sustainable, adaptable, and transit-oriented.

Innovations for a better built environment

On the panel track Envisioning the Homes of the Future, leaders agreed that the home of the future is not necessarily tech-enabled, as the common belief goes. Rather, it’s highly functional, accommodating the needs of residents.

For RLC Residences, the priority is taking into consideration the present demands of residents, especially those that emerged from the health crisis. Ma. Czarina Theresa Lugue, senior business development director of RLC, said: “We introduced balconies, bringing in nature that gives us space for our unit owners to breathe.”

Given that work has been integrated into the home, the need for visually appealing leisure spaces emerged as a key insight in The Home as a Relaxation Destination. Real estate experts noted how property seekers went after homes in vacation destinations as they faced the challenge of being cooped up at home.

“Take it from the perspective of an owner of a condo. Do you really want to be in a chicken coop? I need space. I need somewhere where I look outside my window [and] it doesn’t feel like I’m locked in,” Earl Fernandez, social media head of Picar Development, Inc. said. “You won’t even need to change your background because it’s pleasing to the eye.”

A premium on green and sustainable developments

More than the green views, the panelists from the Residential and Office Trends Reshaping the Market track believe that the better built environment should be green, in the context of sustainability. Eco-friendly features are no longer just an option for homes and offices. It’s a necessity.

Val Soliven, executive vice president for Residential Development of Rockwell Land, explained why there’s a stronger emphasis on sustainability. She said: “In terms of design, it’s the balconies, work from home spaces [that people look for]. But in terms of sustainability, a lot more are asking if we’re using renewable energy—which was not in the cards before.”

Meanwhile, taking into account the huge challenge of the decade-long housing crisis, the better built environment must be within the budget of everyday Filipinos, according to panelists from the track Addressing the Affordable Housing Backlog. The co-founder and chief executive officer of Cubo Modular, Earl Forlales, said: “To meet the backlog of about 12 million by 2030, we need to produce 1.2 million houses [every year].”

Housing affordability extends to the accessibility of transportation solutions in developments. With the rising inflation, panelists from Vertical Living: Where and Why shared that it’s a smart move to reside and invest in 15-minute cities or transport-oriented developments.

Raphael “Pete” Felix, President and chief executive officer of Phinma Property Holdings, noted that vertical living did not come about by accident. “It came about because of the result of affordability. Early on, as property prices became more expensive, as things started to commercialize more, there was a move to vertical living,” he said. “Later on, with the new urbanism [and] 15 minute-city concepts, the thrust for vertical living became even more apparent.”

Emphasizing the role of innovation in propelling the real estate industry and overcoming challenges, Felix said, “Let’s keep building.”

Build, build, build... more houses

The real estate market continues to address the housing backlog, supported by the current economic environment shaped by the new administration, improved interconnectivity and infrastructure in the country, and the readjusted price ceiling of economic housing.

Harping on the opportunities brought by these changes, conference keynote speaker Gino Olivares, President of the Organization of Socialized and Economic Housing Developers of the Philippines, Inc. (OSHDP), urged the government to assume and undertake a dominant and leading role in housing, particularly in production.

“Housing must be elevated near the level of importance given to the Build, Build, Build infrastructure program,” he said.

Meanwhile, Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo, former Build, Build, Build committee chair and keynote speaker at the conference, maintains a positive outlook on the real estate industry and the economy at large because of past gains and wins.

She said, “The Philippines is poised for growth. There are unlimited possibilities. We’re ready to bounce back from the pandemic. I’m very excited [about] what we’ll be able to accomplish in the next six years in all fields, from real estate all the way to trade.”

The Outlook 2022: Philippine Real Estate Conference was co-presented by Kone. Its silver sponsors were Maximus and Gorenje, and its bronze sponsors include Inventi, BDO, RCBC, BPI, Metromart, Shopee, Zalora, and CleanSource Solution.

The event’s media partners were Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inquirer Property, Business Mirror, Manila Standard, The Manila Times, Malaya Business Insight, SunStar Cebu, Real Estate Blog PH, Negosentro, Property Finds Asia, Village Connect PH, and World Executives Digest.

To know more about the recently concluded conference, visit this page. (SPONSORED CONTENT)