Price of condo units seen rebounding after slump

The price of condominium is seen rebounding after a major slump as the country recovers from the pandemic-induced recession, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Redentor Paolo Alegre, senior director of the central bank’s Department of Economic Statistics, said the condominium segment is seen recovering as the government continues to reopen the economy.

“As we gradually open our economy and stick to the proper health procedures, we may expect a bounce back in condominium units. It’s a personal view, which I believe will happen,” Alegre said.

Property prices recovered in the fourth quarter of last year with the residential real estate price index (RREPI) inching up by 0.8 percent to 134.4 from 133.3. The RREPI, launched in the first quarter of 2016, booked its first year-on-year decline when it slipped by 0.38 percent to 131.2 in the third quarter from 131.7 in the same quarter in 2019 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residential property prices in the National Capital Region (NCR) slumped for the second straight quarter as it contracted by 4.8 percent in the fourth quarter, while areas prices in areas outside NCR went up by 5.9 percent as the ongoing exodus pushed up housing prices for larger units with Filipinos heading outside the metropolis to seek refuge from suffocating city lockdowns.

Data showed the price of duplexes nationwide rose by about 20 percent to 178.3 from 148.6, followed by the price of townhouses that increased by 16.1 percent to 169.7 from 146.2, and that of single detached or attached units that inched up by 4.7 percent to 116 from 110.8.

On the other hand, the price of condominium units declined by 8.4 percent to 160 in the fourth quarter of last year from 174.6 in the same quarter in 2019 as the COVID-19 pandemic resulted to the suspension of operations including that of Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs).

In the last two quarters of 2020, condominium units contracted year-on-year due to the postponement of new launches by developers and tepid demand for transient dwelling amid the pandemic.

Alegre said the decline in the price of condominium units slowed down to 8.4 percent in the fourth quarter after shrinking by 15 percent in the third quarter.

“I do not believe it is worrisome event because we are in unprecedented times. We were affected severely by COVID. But that just the Philippines, everyone, all economies were affected severely by COVID,” Alegre added.