THE property sector is moving toward constructing various forms of real estate outside the major cities in the Philippines, according to one of the trailblazers in the industry.
In an interview on SMNI's "Business and Politics," a weekly program hosted by The Manila Times Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dante Francis "Klink" Ang 2nd, Cathay Land Inc. President Jeffrey Ng said that more people are trying to get out of the city, and the outward expansion by Metro Manila residents will continue in order to catch up on what they missed in the past two years.
This, in turn, will make people want a property or a "home away from home" that is in a province but near major roads as more buyers want more open spaces for their health and at the same time the convenience of easily returning to cities.
"Land prices in Laguna and Cavite are but a mere fraction in Metro Manila," Ng said.
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"If the government builds more highways, roads and other infrastructures get constructed, developers are sure to follow," he added.
These statements definitely hold true as research from real estate management firms, such as Colliers and JLL, showed that big developers are constructing industrial parks and real estate properties in the provinces surrounding Metro Manila.
Cathay Land's South Forbes is an example. There are a lot of developments within it that will not only enhance quality of life for property owners, but also keep sustainability in mind as well with open spaces and green areas.
In addition, schools are also being put in place there with the recent construction of Chiang Kai Shek College, which is set to open next school year, Ng said.
He added they are planning to put up a college district around it and several subdivisions as well in order to build communities.
"I think the prospects for outward expansion from Metro Manila will only continue to expand as new communities will also continue to spring up as well," he said.
For communities, Cathay Land will only focus on Luzon for now as several government infrastructure projects are already in motion. Ng said he will be aggressive in developing properties close to these projects.
Ng added that buyers mainly want convenience and sustainability in choosing which property to buy. That is why he thinks developers must build either proper amenities which cater to the community or build other real estate that will provide it such as outlet malls and restaurants, among others.
"In terms of convenience, customers want everything from a 15-minute walk or drive from their property in order to avoid traffic. So, we constructed several buildings near our properties such as outlet malls, churches, schools, hotels, among others. It is an integrated community where they can experience everything," he said.
The Cathay Land head is campaigning for sustainability to be applied in all businesses since it will be an excellent investment in the long run for all parties.
"With the cost of coal and energy being sky-high, investing into sustainability ventures, such as solar energy, would be great now as costs have gone significantly down," Ng explained.
He added that his companies are implementing sustainability initiatives, and he himself is making sure that "corporate social responsibilities" try to impact communities in a very positive manner.
"Despite being burdensome in the short term, in the long run it will certainly be worth it as more people are actually looking forward to staying in a green-conscious hotel or property and, in turn, you actually help the environment as well," Ng said.