Cebu property market remains on solid ground

By: grem1

MANILA, Philippines - Cebu’s property market remains on solid ground despite the massive damage inflicted by recent natural calamities, according to a report by CBRE Philippines, a leading commercial real estate services and advisory firm.
In its recently released Cebu Market view report covering the performance of the residential, office, commercial and industrial sectors for the first half of 2013, CBRE noted that with Cebu’s strong fundamentals, prospects for further economic and business development is generally positive despite the recent natural calamities that the Central Visayas region experienced in the past few months.

“With Cebu being the traditional and highly regarded center of business activity in the Visayas, its recovery may very well establish the lead for the recovery of the entire region,” explained Rick Santos, chairman and founder of CBRE Philippines. “We are optimistic that the local economy will take off from the strong basic economic fundamentals that have been laid in the first half of the year.”
“What is needed of course is for both the government and the private sector to build on this foundation, for Cebu and the entire region to completely regain its foothold soon and recover completely from the recent unfortunate disasters,” he added.

Cebu City was one of the most affected areas following a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that rocked the nearby island province of Bohol on Oct. 15. Barely a month after, Super Typhoon Yolanda (international code name Haiyan) swept across the Visayas, making landfall in six areas including the northern portion of Cebu province.

While disaster relief efforts in the affected communities are ongoing, CBRE has initiated a survey of its managed properties and facilities in major metropolitan areas especially those geared toward business process outsourcing (BPO) operations, and has not reported any downtime, said Santos.

According to the CBRE report, Cebu City continues to be a preferred destination for BPO expansions. This is due to its competitive lease rates and a relatively untapped market of high-quality and extremely competitive and young English-speaking workforce.

Property developments have consequently been surging in both the office and residential sectors, with the latter marked with a more diversified pricing portfolio among its offerings.

The growing BPO industry has also positively impacted the retail sector, with the improved purchasing power of locals.

Increasing tourist arrivals have also stimulated retail growth, with the trend seen to be unabated as more retail spaces are set to be completed and offered by both national and regional developers.

The manufacturing sector has posted an impressive double-digit growth of 10.3 percent in the first half of 2013, dominated by light industries such as shipbuilding, IT and IT-related services; and exports in furniture, semiconductors, electrical and electronic equipment.

Santos underscored that these same areas are critical sectors of the economy that should be rebuilt and leveraged to help the recovery of Cebu and the Visayas region.

“We have long known that the ecotourism sector plays an important role in the local economy of Cebu, as well as manufacturing and exports which provide jobs to tens of thousands of locals,” Santos said. “These industries need vital support – ensuring that infrastructure development is prioritized so that employees can resume livelihood as an important aspect of rebuilding their daily lives.”

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Property developments have consequently been surging in both the <office and residential sectors, with the latter marked with a more diversified pricing portfolio among its offerings.

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