No great man ever complains of want of opportunity.

 – Ralph Waldo Emerson, US Essayist and Poet

By Ernesto C. Perez II

Yesterday, the banner headline among major dailies is the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2012 was 6.6%, surpassing the Government’s 2012 target of 5% to 6%.

Positive Growth Outlook

According to National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) the robust performance of the service sector, led by trade and real estate, renting and business-process outsourcing (BPO), emerged as the main growth driver with its 7.4% expansion.

So, is real estate shifting into a higher gear in 2013?

YES! This is the resounding answer of bankers, analysts, property developers and business columnists who monitor the real estate industry in the Philippines.

It’s going to be another excellent year for the real estate industry because the Philippines is generating a lot of interest among foreign investors as our economic fundamentals remain solid and growth prospects on an upward trend for the next couple of years.

A recent study of 22 cities in Asia Pacific sponsored by the prestigious non-profit organization, Urban Land Institute (ULI) confirms this observation. The study entitled “2013 Emerging Trends in Real Estate” noted the increased attractions of Manila in terms of both investment and development prospects. Respondents included investors, developers, property company representatives, lenders, brokers and consultants.

The study noted: “Markets in Manila have performed well in the past couple of years as a result of the growing economy, a transparent and business-friendly government and the country’s on-going success… in attracting foreign corporate clients to its business process outsourcing.”

In fact, BPO firms, multinationals and other local companies are driving demand for office space in the Philippines and setting new records, indicating unprecedented business confidence.

Furthermore, according to Phillip Anonuevo, associate director for Markets at the global real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle Leechiu, “Investment in the hotels and hospitality real estate asset class is experiencing record growth.”

This fact is confirmed by CBRE Philippines, a real estate advisory firm. As the government’s tourism promotions continue and foreign visitor arrivals increase, more investments in luxury developments are expected to be made in tourist destinations of the country.

According to Liz Silvestre, CBRE Philippines associate director for investments and capital markets said that the direction of investors is looking in to high-end development in Cebu, Boracay, as well as Palawan, as these areas are among the top tourists’ picks in the country.

What do all these information mean to us real estate service practitioners (brokers, appraisers and consultants)? Depending on your niche and overall business plan for 2013, THERE IS A WORLD OR A WEALTH OF OPPORTUNITY FOR US IN THIS CURRENT ENVIRONMENT.

The strong growth of the BPO Industry increases the demand for rental or sale of residential properties within the proximity of the BPO firms.

The sale of small and affordable condominium unit which SM Development Corp is developing caters to call center agents and students segment of the market.

Rental of commercial spaces in places near BPO firms are also big opportunities for us to facilitate the transaction.

A lot of local investors are looking for properties in tourist destinations aside from Cebu, Boracay and Palawan. Other places of interest are Bohol, Camarines Sur, Surigao Del Norte, and the Panay and Negros Island – which are considered “spill over” destinations.

The sale of new units or inventory of high-end development projects in tourist and non-tourist areas is a strong market to serve. Etcetera, etcetera…

So what opportunities do you see for yourself this 2013 as a licensed real estate service practitioner?

Pause and think about the endless opportunities. Study the different market segments. And share it with us. We would love to hear from you.