Building resilient, livable cities beyond the pandemic

Whether we like it or not, COVID-19 has changed the way we live. The challenges of living, particularly in the big city, sometimes make us lose sight of our dreams. Luckily, property developers have not stopped dreaming and building resilient, pandemic-proof cities. After being cooped up within the four walls of one’s home, with literally no breathing space, people are yearning for larger floor areas. Lamudi, an online real estate marketplace, further reports that property seekers have shown great interest in “house and lots and land-only projects as preferences for the living setup tilt to horizontal developments.”

The big move

People have started moving out of Metro Manila to highly urbanized cities. With the easing of quarantine measures in the third quarter of 2020, businesses in the cities and regions around the country have started humming again while everyone follows the safety protocols.

And the most in-demand cities, according to the Lamudi outlook, are: South Luzon municipalities teeming with industrial parks and retail developments; Cebu City and Davao City with the increased value of their land assets due to the booming infrastructure developments in these cities; Cagayan de Oro (CDO), which has seen a big demand for houses for sale as property seekers prefer the regional center for greater accessibility to essential goods.

In these metro regions of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, the most preferred property types are: house, land, and condominium.

In the third quarter of 2020, the five most-searched cities in the South Luzon region are Antipolo (17.90 percent), Bacoor (15.92 percent), Imus (9.75 percent), Santa Rosa (8.94 percent), and Calamba (8.80 percent). A breezy, easy drive from Metro Manila, these areas can hardly be called provincial, what with the upscale residential communities, posh shopping malls, and industrial parks you’ll find there. It’s like you never left the pulsating mega city.

More property seekers are gravitating toward South Luzon because of the infrastructures launched by the national government such as CAVITEX (Manila-Cavite Expressway), CALAX (Cavite-Laguna Expressway), and Southeast Metro Manila Expressway (C6).

Southern queen

In the Visayas region, Cebu, the Queen City of the South, reigns. Taking the crown is Metro Cebu, which not only posted the most number of page views, but was also the most popular among property seekers abroad (80.73 percent and 82.56 percent of the overseas page views and inquiries in the region, respectively). Undoubtedly, this vibrant southern belle has enough attractions to lure both local and foreign visitors (imagine island hopping, scuba diving, having a tryst with history or having a taste of probably the best lechon in the region).

Meanwhile, Metro Davao beckons with its pristine beaches, Mt. Apo, Philippine eagle, durian, and grilled tuna belly, among other cherished attractions. Not to mention the fact that Davao City is one of the largest cities in the world, six times the size of Metro Manila. Metro Davao saw a spike in page views quarter-on-quarter. Our OFWs are looking to invest in vacant lots for sale, where space can be maximized. They’re part of the market that has spurred demand recovery in Metro Davao.

And then there’s Cagayan de Oro, simply known as CDO, the whitewater rafting capital of the Philippines.

Surely, the sun shines ever so brightly in this City of Golden Friendship known for its warm hospitality. CDO is home to big-ticket infrastructure projects like the Port of Cagayan, which was completed recently as the country’s biggest port passenger terminal building. CDO is bound to attract more property seekers as it becomes more accessible to tourists and businesses with more developments underway.

So, what do these most in-demand cities have in common?

Well, if you’re looking for a place outside the metro, these cities feel like home!