Booster shot for real estate recovery: faster vaccination rollout

The implementation of effective and widespread vaccination is needed to propel the recovery of the Philippine real estate sector, according to an Asian real estate technology firm.

“The Philippines real estate market is struggling against a number of negative factors, but we believe there will be a weak recovery in the second half of 2021 and that this rally will gather pace in 2022,” Juwai IQI group co-founder and executive chairman George Chmiel said.

In a joint report with IQI Philippines, Juwai IQI said that the pandemic is still constraining real estate activity and price trends in the Philippines.

“It will take a reduction in the number of COVID infections —and above all in the rates of hospitalization and death— for the economy and property markets to fully bounce back. Such progress would allow the lifting of social distancing restrictions and the return of unlimited travel,” the report said.

Like the rest of Asia, Chmiel said effective and widespread vaccination will be the game changer for the Philippines.

“Vaccination will lead to freer travel, both inward and outward bound, bringing back tourists and investors,” Chmiel said.

He added that vaccination will permit the permanent loosening of restrictions on movement.

“We know now that Covid will persist in one form or another, but with a sufficient vaccination campaign, the Philippines can attain herd immunity and reopen for commerce,” Chmiel said.

While widespread vaccination is the likeliest solution for the recovery of the economy and property markets, the report emphasized it doesn’t look likely to happen in the Philippines until at least next year.

“The slow vaccination rollout in the Philippines will delay and undermine the economic recovery and the property rebound,” Juwai IQI and IQI Philippines said.

It said the Philippines has only administered two vaccines per hundred people, in contrast to Malaysia with five doses of the vaccine per hundred persons, China 23, and Singapore 51.

Chmiel said that the experience in other countries shows that vaccination efforts can gain more speed.

“In the meantime, the government may consider targeted vaccination efforts. Thailand is exploring this in Phuket and Chiang Mai. Their goal is to vaccinate the residents of these locations so they can fully re-open to tourism from vaccinated travelers,” Chmiel said.