Manila Thriller As House Prices Boom

Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, is proving a thriller for investors with an incredible property price boom.

The figures are backed up by a report entitled Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2013 by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Urban Land Institute.

They say 400 property experts gave their views on 22 cities in the Asia Pacific region and they rated Manila as their 12th best place for investment.

The Indonesian capital of Jakarta was ranked highest by the experts, followed by Shanghai and then Singapore but Manila has risen from 18th position last year to claim sixth spot since the last survey was carried out. Two years ago, the city was ranked in 20th place.

In climbing up the rankings, it has been rated as being a better place to invest in property than Tokyo and Seoul.

Winning performance for investors

Judith Lopez, chairman of PwC member firm Isla Lipana & Co, explained Manila was performing better than expectations and the economic boom was helping fuel the rise in property prices.

“Manila is certainly in the midst of a property boom – it is the best that we have seen in decades and is a sign of increasing confidence in our economy,” she said.

The success of Manila, says the report, lies in its growing economy, having a transparent and business-friendly government and increasing success in attracting foreign business investment.

Another reason for the city’s winning performance is the attraction of investors looking for profits in emerging markets and cities.

The report’s findings are backed up by global real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle which points to increased demand for leases in Manila.

Demand rising

So far, demand this year has increased by 15% over last year and with some high profile leases still to close before the year-end, it could be a bumper year for leasing there.

“We are increasingly seeing growing confidence not just in office developments but also in the acquisition of property for future development,” said a spokesman.

The PwC report also noted another reason for Manila’s increased attraction is that across the Asia Pacific region there is strong economic growth, rising incomes and increasing property prices which is helping boost property investment confidence – but this is also leading to concerns that prime assets in key markets are becoming overpriced.

However, the PwC report highlights an issue with the banning of foreigners from owning land in the Philippines as being a major deterrent for international investors though their interest will be confined to gaming and business support sectors which will still help fuel the ongoing price boom.