Amid lockdown, home buyers see appeal of integrated communities

TOWERING condominiums in Manila are silhouetted by the rising sun in this March 29 photo. — MIGUEL DE GUZMAN/ PHILSTAR

By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter

RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS within integrated communities are likely to be most appealing to buyers post-pandemic, property consultancy firms said.

“Colliers recommends that developers highlight projects that are within integrated communities. In our opinion, the pandemic has further emphasized the need to be in an integrated community where unit owners can easily access essential goods and services,” Joey Roi H. Bondoc, senior research manager at Colliers Philippines, said in an e-mail interview last week.

The recent lockdowns to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has made more people aware of the importance of living within communities that also have office, commercial and recreational components.

Mr. Bondoc said developers should highlight features such as sanitation and property management procedures of their residential projects, as these are likely to be among the major considerations of buyers.

He said these efforts will help improve the sustainability of property projects in Metro Manila and boost the Philippine capital’s ranking in the Global Smart City Index.

Manila dropped 10 spots in the Global Smart City Index released by the Switzerland-based Institute for Management Development. The survey showed Manila residents expressed concern over traffic jams, corruption and air pollution.

“An improved ranking should make Metro Manila a viable property investment destination. This is important especially if the government wants to stoke property demand once the pandemic wanes and lockdowns are relaxed,” Mr. Bondoc said.

Claro dG. Cordero, Jr., director and head of research at Cushman & Wakefield, said the ideal cities in the future will need to offer opportunities for “innovations that enhance the quality of living (right balance of sustainable and cosmopolitan lifestyle); working (uncongested spaces and presence of job opportunities); playing (availability of recreational and cultural centers), and learning (talent enhancement and R&D centers).”

Mr. Cordero said cities also need to better utilize technology to make lives better for its residents.

“Investors will increasingly view the role of technology as another factor to consider when investing in a country, urban center or development,” he said via e-mail.

“Technology will have an overarching influence on how cities provide infrastructure support, talent enhancement, culture and diversity, and sustainability and resilience to its citizens. These indicators enhanced by effectiveness and innovation brought about by technology will assist the investors and businesses as they make their choices on where to settle,” he added.

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