A strong and competitive local economy – nestled within abundant natural resources – has positively contributed to the rise of the real estate industry in the province.
For several years now, experts in the real estate field have predicted the growth of the industry in the province. With the continued interests of investors as the primary mover, it has had a domino effect on the residential and commercial viability of Cebu.
What the experts say
In the third quarter of 2012, the real estate industry saw an 18.8% revenue growth rate, this according to the President of Cebu Holdings Inc., one of the players in the Cebu real estate landscape. This was further backed by the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Association, stating that the industry experienced unprecedented growth in terms of new projects being launched and completed in Cebu.
In the first half of 2014, the National Economic Development Board or NEDA tracked 1,760 construction permits for commercial and residential buildings in Cebu alone, the value of which was estimated around P8.98 billion.
CBRE Philippines, a real estate services and advisory firm, also projected back in 2014 that Cebu will be among the fastest-emerging growing property markets in the country. The Chairman of the Land Asia Realty and Development Corporation, another real estate player, has even stated the Cebu will continue to sustain this boom until 2020.
Recognizing Cebu’s potential in the industry, recent years have seen the increased engagement of real estate giants in the country, as well as the entry of new local players.
Let’s look at some of the contributing factors that have influenced the real estate boom in Cebu.
Cebu enjoys strong economic growth
With over 20 IT parks and 9 economic zones operating in the province, discounting those currently in construction, Cebu boasts of globally competitive infrastructure with a highly capable workforce to boot. Investors are acknowledging these successful indicators and are increasingly bringing their businesses to Cebu.
The Board of Investments Cebu (BOI) reported over P9 billion worth of investments in 2014, an increase from the 2013 report of P8 billion registered projects.
Last year, the total projected direct employment garnered from investors was around 65,000 employees, and that just covers for the Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing sectors alone. A far cry from the initial 1,200 directly employed workers from said sectors back in 2000.
The infrastructure and workforce conditions have played a part in Cebu being included amongst the top outsourcing destinations in the world, competing with some of the major hubs such as Mumbai and Bangalore in India, and Dublin, Ireland. In addition, the Cebu Local Government also notes that their export growth rates for the past 5 years have averaged close to 20% higher than that of any other province in the country.
Not only are big businesses flourishing, the developments have also attracted small and medium enterprises, bringing together a diverse group of up-and-coming businesses, to local and multinational companies establishing their first business footprints in the province.
With an empowered and growing workforce, and continuous flow of investments, the commercial and residential infrastructure of the province is seen to continue its development in the years to come.
Cebu is also a popular tourist destination
Not only is Cebu a bustling metropolis, the 2nd largest in the country outside of Metro Manila, it is also a popular tourist destination. Gifted with serene white beaches scattered across its islands, natural limestone formations, and a breeding ground for some of the most majestic creatures in the world such as the whale shark, it is definitely worth exploring.
Attracting millions of tourists year on year has parlayed public and private sectors to address the growing demand for real estate. Whether commercial or residential, several players are working towards addressing the needs of its increasing clientele. From shopping malls to high end resorts and condominiums, establishments are continuously being built to accommodate the needs of locals, expats and tourists alike.
Real estate developers also recognize the interplay between the metropolitan side of Cebu, and its natural surroundings. The combination of resort style living – urban amenities juxtaposed with the laid-back vibe of a long vacation – has been the rising trend in the real estate of the province, such as Megaworld’s Mactan Newtown.
Public and private partnerships to help sustain growth
Both public and private sectors are critical players in the success of the real estate industry in Cebu. The local governments have been actively engaged in the urban planning and development of the province to ensure it is well-equipped to carry the load that comes with these developments.
Several projects are currently in the works including construction of additional roadways to ease traffic congestion and expansion of existing public transportation, as well as the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
The University of Cebu has also started providing Real Estate Management courses, and is one of the few schools in the country offering the degree.
What are your thoughts on this booming industry in Cebu? Tell us in the comments!