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News: CBRE: No property slump, in RP; opportunity aplenty - 20 Apr 2008
THE financial crisis in the United States has a bright spot for the Philippines. “We do see problems regarding job cuts in the United States. On one hand, this will be a positive factor for the Philippines in terms of higher demand for business-process outsourcing [BPO] and the service sector.” 

This is the opinion of property management consultant CB Richard Ellis Philippines chairman Rick Santos, as expressed in his media presentation in Makati on Thursday.

 He also noted the country is not experiencing a property slump despite the onset of the subprime housing-loans crisis in the US, because Philippine builders are not building on pure speculation but on actual demand—unlike with the practice in the late-’90s until the market dropped in the regional crisis of 1997.


This is the reason Santos does not see a property bubble building up locally that could burst; developers, he said, have now learned their lessons very well from the 1997 Asian financial crisis. “If the additional demand does not come, then they shift gear and hold back any planned construction.”


Santos also noted a brisk selling of properties in the past months, an indication there is still big demand for expansion. He cited the unfinished structure formerly owned by the Silverio family in Dasmariñas Village near Edsa, which was sold to the South China Resources and the Puyat family by Ashmore and Alphaland property companies.


Santos added the presence of office buildings occupied by BPO firms contributes to increased activities in the area, resulting in demand for additional services such as hotels and restaurants.


In his presentation, company vice chairman Joey Radovan said they see some BPO companies moving out of grade-A high-rise buildings to new IT-centric buildings in new business districts because of high rental cost in their present locations.


At present, office-space rentals in Makati commercial district is P1,200 per square meter. He said the BPO companies will transfer to new low-cost and growth areas such as Quezon City, Ortigas, Alabang and the Bay area.


Aside from the lower rental cost, BPO companies like low-rise buildings owing to lower maintenance and the fact that they could have the building all to themselves.


Radovan said the other attractive site for BPOs is Metro Cebu, which will continue to be a popular investment site not only for tourism-related developments but also for corporate expansion of BPOs.

Radovan said other provincial locations worth considering for new investments are the cities of Davao, Urdaneta, Cabanatuan, Tacloban and Iloilo.

Source:  Business Mirror, By Rizal Raoul Reyes, 4/20/2008
Posted By: PhilCTTIS Data Center 
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