Property prices rise for 2 straight quarters in Q4

Property prices continued their upswing, rising for two straight quarters in the fourth quarter,  amid the strong demand for houses in the National Capital Region (NCR) as the economy further reopens from strict COVID-19 quarantine and lockdown measures.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the Residential Real Estate Price Index (RREPI) increased by 4.9 percent to 141 in the fourth quarter last year from 134.4 in the same quarter in 2020 due to the sustained demand for residential property, particularly for townhouses and condominium units.

The rise is consistent with the outcome of the Q4 2021 Consumer Expectations Survey (CES) that showed a higher percentage of consumers preferring to buy real estate property during the last quarter of 2021.

The RREPI, launched in the first quarter of 2016, is used as an indicator for assessing the real estate and credit market conditions in the country.

According to the central bank, the pick up in nationwide housing prices to the five percent rise in residential property prices in the National Capital Region (NCR) to 151.1 in the fourth quarter of last year from 143.9 in the same quarter in 2020.

Likewise, the residential real estate prices in areas outside NCR increased by 5.1 percent to 136.7 from 130.1.

“Prices in both areas were driven mainly by the rise in the prices of condominium units and townhouses, which more than offset the decline in the prices of duplex housing units and single-detached/attached houses,” the BSP said.

Housing prices in the NCR slumped for four straight quarters year-o-year since the fourth quarter of last year due to lower demand as families migrated to the provinces and areas outside the capital to escape the strict lockdown and quarantine measures amid rising COVID-19 infections.

With the accelerated vaccine resulting in a sharp decline in COVID-19 infections, families are slowly returning to the capital as some of them are now reporting for work in their offices while some students also resumed face-to-face classes.

The BSP said the number of real estate loans granted for all types of new housing units in the country recorded a two-digit 11.5 percent decline in the fourth quarter of the year.

Most of the loans granted were used to purchase condo units with 44.6 percent, followed by single-detached or attached houses with 39.3 percent and townhouses with 15.6 percent.

NCR had the biggest share at 40.1 percent, followed by Calabarzon with 27.9 percent, Central Luzon with 12 percent, Central Visayas with 4.7 percent, Western Visayas with 4.4 percent, Davao Region with four percent, and Northern Mindanao with 1.6 percent.