As the number of COVID-19 cases declines and travel restrictions ease, traffic in Metro Manila’s major roads is returning to pre-pandemic levels.
Fortunately, with a number of transport-related infrastructure projects already completed, traversing some areas in the country’s capital may not be as bad as it was before.
Here are some of the areas in the metro that will benefit from some of the recently completed transport developments, as well as other projects in the pipeline.
Travelers from this northern city are already benefiting from the completed Skyway Stage 3 project, which officially opened to the public earlier this year.
The project aims to decongest major thoroughfares such as EDSA and C-5 by providing an alternative route for travelers heading from the north to the south, and vice versa.
According to San Miguel Corp., which funded the project, the Skyway Stage 3 has already reduced travel time from Alabang to Balintawak in Quezon City and vice versa to only 30 minutes from the previous three hours.
Aside from Skyway Stage 3, Quezon City is also seen to gain from the upcoming 36-kilometer Metro Manila Subway project, which is expected to reduce travel time between Quezon City to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from an hour and 30 minutes to just 35 minutes.
In addition, Quezon City is also seen to benefit from planned transportation projects such as the 11.5-kilometer Metro Manila Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), which will traverse Quezon Avenue and España Boulevard. It is expected to serve as many as 300,000 passengers daily once it opens.
Just like Quezon City, Makati City is also benefiting from transportation developments that connect the northern and southern portions of Metro Manila, such as Skyway Stage 3 as it now only takes 20 minutes to travel from Buendia to Balintawak.
Makati City will also gain from future projects such as the 11-kilometer Makati Intra-City Subway project, which is seen to serve at least 700,000 passengers daily and aims to decongest the traffic buildup in many of the financial district’s roads during rush hours.
Another completed transportation development is the Light Railway Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) East Extension Project, which is seen to benefit commuters in the Pasig City area.
The 3.79-kilometer extension project, which was inaugurated in July, added two new stations to the existing LRT-2 between Santolan in Pasig and Recto in Manila. The new stations are the Marikina-Pasig and Antipolo station.
Benefits for those near Metro Manila
While the existing and planned transportation projects in Metro Manila will benefit travelers and commuters in the nation’s capital, property experts emphasized that even areas outside of Metro Manila could gain from the development of these infrastructures.
Lobien Realty Group CEO Sheila Lobien said that the benefits of completed projects such as the Skyway Stage 3 and the LRT-2 East Extension reach even those cities outside of the metro.
“These two major transport infrastructure projects alone will benefit several cities and areas within and outside Metro Manila— such as Manila, Quezon City, and Bulacan in the north; Pasig, Marikina, and Antipolo in the east; and of course the southern cities such as Muntinlupa and Paranaque, along with Cavite and Laguna in the south,” Lobien said.
Lobien also cited planned projects such as the Metro Manila BRT and the Metro Manila Subway projects as developments that will help address traffic congestion in the capital.
“These are long overdue transportation projects that will not only provide jobs in the short term but will really help the economy grow in the long term,” she added.
Property values to rise
As various transportation projects are expected to boost accessibility in the respective areas they are located in, Lobien affirmed that these projects could affect property values positively.
“Yes, it is a logical expectation as any transportation infrastructure has a positive impact on land property values for the affected areas as these places become more attractive for business, commercial, and residential purposes,” Lobien said.
“Accessibility, shorter travel time, and convenience of travel are some factors being considered by developers and property investors when choosing areas to develop. The areas where the stations will be built will be the primary areas that will have the highest positive impact in terms of commercial and residential values,” she added.
KMC Savills co-founder and managing director Michael McCullough agreed that property values may increase in the areas where transportation projects are located, however, this may rise at a slower pace.
“I believe demand will continue in the new normal towards houses and lots; land value will continue to appreciate due to real demand, although at a slower pace,” McCullough said.
“Apart from land property values, rents and prices across asset types tend to rise in general, particularly the industrial, commercial, and residential developments. However, this may likely be slower than the average pre-pandemic condition. Of course, the growth magnitude of these indicators will be contingent on geographical factors and the competitive landscape,” he added.
In all, Lobien said property developers may do three things to maximize the positive impact of any transport-related infrastructure: anticipate where these transport-related developments are to be done by coordinating with the pertinent government agencies; study the commercial and residential potential of that particular transport infrastructure for the area; and make the necessary investments on the area long before the projected price increase or appreciation happens.
As more transport developments are being planned and a few already in the works in Metro Manila, these are not only seen to bode well for travelers and commuters but are also expected to create opportunities for the property market.