One and a half years through the pandemic, homeseekers and property investors continue to ask the question, “Is it a good time to invest in real estate?”
The answer is YES, say the experts.
To validate this, Property Report PH, in partnership with Torre Lorenzo, Robinsons Land Corp. and Wilcon Depot, held a webinar billed Investing in Real Estate in a Post-COVID Landscape last Monday with Torre Lorenzo Development Corp. CEO Tomas Lorenzo and Robinsons Land’s Residential Division senior vice president and business unit general manager Henry Yap.
Here are the top takeaways from the recent webinar:
Invest now and take advantage of the crisis
Lorenzo reminds everyone that three years after the Y2K Bug issue (2000) and the Global Financial Crisis (2008), people regretted not investing while the market was bearish.
“We have to look at the long term. We have the benefit of hindsight,” he says. Real estate is a generational investment; something that one can leave to the family and help one plan for the future. “It’s not like you’re going to buy fast-fashion brands,” he adds.
“Statistics have shown that during the Asian and global crises, there was a decline of three percent to four percent and the prices dropped by five percent to eight percent. It’s the best time to invest because developers are offering discounts or easy payment terms,” he says.
As soon as the economy improves, naturally, he says, prices will recover and there will be an upside for the investors.
He adds that people shouldn’t think they don’t have extra disposable income, with what they are saving from traveling, gas expense, and other pre-pandemic activities.
Lorenzo and Yap agree that reputation and track record will make or break the developer.
Both Robinsons Land Corp. and Torre Lorenzo have been in business for 30 years and are 100 percent confident they can deliver what they commit to homebuyers.
“I’m not ashamed to show all our buildings to them. We make sure they’re maintained and clean so they appreciate [in price],” Lorenzo says.
Yap says it’s safer to go with companies who have been serving the industry for years now.
“Banks are very selective now, so being part of a large conglomerate allows us to continue producing funding for our development projects,” he says.
Check the local scene
When investing in properties, one doesn’t only look at the national or macro level. Local government units have different ways of responding to a pandemic or downfall in the economy, so the current crisis is a way to observe the local scene.
Check the area if there is a demand, and observe other players or developers. Most probably, your target condo is not the only property—whether commercial or residential—being built there. This could give you an idea on how much your investment could grow in the future.
Check the internet connection
Some of Torre Lorenzo’s buildings were erected before there was internet, but this never stopped the management from improving its properties and installing fiber connections to meet its residents’ expectations, especially in the new normal.
Even during quarantine, a condominium should still continue upgrading the lifestyle of its residents with certain amenities, particularly in towers intended to house students and young achievers.
Is it environment-friendly?
More than earnings and location, people—who are more likely millennials or Gen Zs—have also been prioritizing sustainability measures, like big windows in the units and hallways for ventilation and natural light, touch-free faucets and toilets with dual flush, solar panels and rainwater collection system, etc.
In Torre Lorenzo properties, units are equipped with prepaid water meters to prevent accidental overflows.
Even before the pandemic and the need for social distancing, it has also started preventing less stress on elevators by putting meeting rooms on the ground floor so visitors wouldn’t need to go up to the units.
In its resorts, it has created its own water treatment plant.
It preserves the water table and provides clean drinking water to minimize the use of single-use plastic bottles.
Do your research
Both Lorenzo and Yap advise buyers and investors to always do research.
“Check the history and reputation of the company and always visit the previous projects,” Lorenzo said.