Buyers will be picky -- CBRE


The country's major property players are expected to face discriminating buyers who will be more concerned with how property developments would fare in the face of heavy rains and floods similar to what Metro Manila and surrounding areas endured last month, a property consultant said recently.

"The property market will continue to gain strength. The country's strong macroeconomic fundamentals will drive the sector forward. However, we see a more focused demand in well-located and well-developed properties that are managed using international standards," Rick M. Santos, chairman and chief executive of real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) Philippines, Inc., said in a press statement last week.

During the second week of August, most of Metro Manila and adjacent provinces were hit by torrential monsoon rains that resulted into widespread flooding, leaving many structures inundated for several days and raising fresh concerns over developers' potentially environmentally-negligent construction practices, nearly three years after tropical storm Ondoy caused even worse flooding in the capital and adjacent areas.

"Questions such as 'is my property on high ground, how are the drainage systems, what plans or mechanisms are in place in times of emergencies and calamities, and who manages the building' will come to the forefront of purchase decisions," Mr. Santos added, noting that developers are now likely to be more receptive to clients' needs in terms of business continuity and disaster preparedness.

In a statement sent via e-mail to BusinessWorld yesterday, listed developer Century Properties Group, Inc. said it is currently implementing various anti-flood systems in its four master-planned communities following the recent floods that hit Metro Manila last month.

These projects are: the Century City in Makati; Azure Urban Resort Residences in Paranaque; Acqua Private Residences in Mandaluyong and The Residences at Commonwealth by Century in Quezon City.

"In light of the calamities that hit the country in the last couple of years and the amount of destruction and disorder they have brought, the weight of our responsibility as conscientious developers increased. But this responsibility is one that has always been expected of us to take," Jose Marco R. Antonio, Century Properties managing director and co-chief operating officer, was quoted as saying in the statement.

"The very goal of urban development is after all to uplift the quality of life of the urban residents," Mr. Antonio added.

In addition, Ortigas & Co., another leading property firm, said last month that it is aiming to spend P300 million to construct a so-called river wall to halt erosion of the Marikina River's banks near its ongoing Circulo Verde residential project in Bagumbayan, Quezon City.

The 1.5-kilometer river wall will expand the Marikina River's banks by containing excess silt brought about by erosion caused by heavy rains, and together with a planned dredging of 25,000 cubic meters of river silt by the company, the river's flow is expected to deepen by 20 meters, thus improving flow and minimizing flooding.

Source: Business World | September 12, 2012


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