Rosy economic outlook bodes well for real estate

Hope keeps everything afloat. Optimism keeps us on track.

Indeed, there is much to hope for and be optimistic about as the 2024 unfolds. 

For one, the Philippines, according to the Department of Finance (DOF) will “defy the expected global economic slowdown and grow faster than its peers in the Asian region” as it has proven its resilience in 2023.

The upbeat outlook this year, which is also shared by various economic think tanks and multilateral institutions, solidifies the country’s position as one of the region’s fastest-growing economies. 

The Marcos economic team assumed a growth rate of between 6.5 percent and 7.5 percent this year—not far from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecast of a 6.2 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for 2024, and the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) 6.0 percent GDP growth forecast.

IDC President and Chief Compliance Officer Jojo Leviste (right) and Chairman and CEO Romolo V. Nati (left)

The country’s premier business organization, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) welcomed this development and added its voice of confidence on the country’s ability to achieve new milestones as it continues to rise from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Newly elected PCCI president Enunina Mangio said “the growth will be driven by resilience and domestic consumption, increase in government spending on infrastructure projects, and a gradual recovery in some sectors.”

Zeroing in on the property sector, global real estate services firm Colliers is optimistic that sustained macroeconomic growth and implementation of sound economic policies are likely to support the sector’s faster pace of recovery beyond 2024.

Likewise, a report by the Asia Property Awards said industry insiders are predicting a promising outlook for the sector, citing robust economic growth, sustained demand for properties, and the government’s commitment to infrastructure development. The experts anticipate increased property values, improved housing supply, and a rise in commercial real estate projects. 

With this bullish outlook, we at Italpinas Development Corp. (IDC) have all the reasons to be excited, hopeful and yes, optimistic. After all, the company is celebrating a big milestone—its 15th year in the business.

It only seems like yesterday when Atty. Jojo Leviste and I decided to combine our passion and establish IDC with a mission to transform the Philippine landscape with green buildings that are not only eco-friendly but also sustainable, resilient, beautiful, and enriching for everyday life.

The publication of this column is very timely since today is 15th birthday of Italpinas. I can still vividly recall those moments on January 26, 2009 when our company was incorporated and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as Italpinas Euroasian Design and Development Corp. as a real estate development company that focuses on sustainable properties in emerging cities in the Philippines (later, the SEC approved the company’s change in corporate name to IDC on July 15, 2015).

Fifteen years later, we have branched out of Northern Mindanao into Southern Luzon and soon to establish our presence in Bataan in Central Luzon with a forthcoming project. Italpinas now also prides itself of its top-notch team composed of 130 personnel.

Furthermore, IDC continues to expand with our target to scale up the company, become a leader in the sustainable real estate development industry in the Philippines, and be a role model for other Asian countries.

We have built 1,400 units equivalent to around 80,000 square meters with our current property development projects in CDO and Santo Tomas in Batangas. In the next three to five years, we are constructing 5,000 more units that would give us a total of 300,000 square meters of developed space. This projection includes our projects that are already in the pipeline and would further increase should there be more ventures to be undertaken in the years ahead.

As I look back, the last 15 years was not an easy ride but fulfilling, both on personal and professional levels. As an Italian coming to the Philippines, I am thankful for the opportunities that fate presented to me, and for finding the right people to work with and trusted that together, we can offer something new to the Philippine real estate market and the Filipino consumers.

Today, we have multi-awarded and globally recognized developments in the country. 

We did not seek these awards, of course. All we did, as I have previously written, was to follow our True North and the universe has rewarded us. The IDC family is grateful beyond words. 

Last year alone, our company has received a dozen local and international awards for our various projects, including the Asia Property Awards 2023-2024 for our Verona Green Residences as the Best Mixed-Use Development in the Philippines, a recognition for IDC as one of the few EDGE Champions by the World Bank-International Finance Corp. (IFC), and the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Association’s (CREBA) Best Developer Awards for both horizontal and vertical residential mid-market categories.

On top of that, getting the Ital-Pinoy of the Year award from the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines Inc. (ICCPI) was also a tremendous honor that I was not expecting. 

This 2024, as IDC celebrates its Crystal anniversary, we look forward to many years of fruitful collaboration with our stakeholders. We also take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to provide unique, innovative, sustainable, and safe real estate products that satisfy and exceed the expectations of our customers, business partners and stockholders.

I have a lot of stories to tell you in the coming days as we celebrate our 15th anniversary. Stay tuned!