Rising household incomes and an unmet demand for housing have been pushing the growth of the Philippine real estate sector since the early 2000s.
Dipping only momentarily during the global financial crisis of 2009, the housing sector has been on an upswing, driven mainly by remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFW), according to Colliers International Philippines.
“Over the past few years, the demand for residential condominium projects has primarily been driven by Filipino investors, OFWs and middle class families upgrading from house and lot to condominium living,” said Colliers research manager Joey Roi Bondoc. “The demand from OFWs was also partly buoyed by the acquisition of condominium units for their children studying near universities in Metro Manila.”
“Filipino parents working abroad buy or lease out condominium units for their children who are pursuing a college education in the Philippines,” explained Bondoc. In addition, the Philippines continues to attract foreign students—Koreans, Chinese, Indians and Middle eastern college students—who prefer to attend university here.
More developers, thus, are diversifying into niche markets such as student housing.
According to Colliers, student-centered residential condominiums have proven to be a practical investment because there is a steady demand for this type of housing.
“This segment has been growing significantly as developers are targeting a niche market—students,” Bondoc said. “We see similar projects being launched near university areas as property firms cash in on the sustained demand,” he added.
One developer that has been a step ahead in the student housing segment is Torre Lorenzo Development Corp. (TLDC).
Given the number of players in the real estate industry, TLDC made sure to focus on this specialized market—college students and their parents.
“With so many seasoned and aggressive players in the industry, we had to understand what our unique selling proposition was: that we are a young and progressive property developer that seeks to ‘elevate lifestyle solutions today for tomorrow’s communities,’” said TLDC chief executive officer Tomas P. Lorenzo.
According to Colliers Philippines, student residences will always remain a viable investment, but developers must carefully asses the size of condominium units that students prefer and also the area’s potential for student population growth.
“Given the proliferation of student-centered residential condo projects, developers must continuously differentiate,” Bondoc pointed out.
Student high-rises should therefore offer something different to stand out in the market and be on the radar of both investors and end-users.
“Look at developing lifestyle-oriented student residences and not just stand-alone buildings,” he further advised.
TLDC, for its part, has seen to it that its residents have the convenience of proximity to their respective universities.
From its first university residence, Torre Lorenzo 1, at the corner of Pablo Ocampo Street and Taft Avenue, TLDC’s ever growing portfolio now includes 2Torre Lorenzo and 3Torre Lorenzo, two more high-rises in the area of De La Salle University and DLS-College of Saint Benilde in Manila; Torre Lorenzo Malate, which is near University of the Philippines Manila and St. Paul University Manila as well as medical centers including Philippine General Hospital, Manila Doctors Hospital and Medical Center Manila; and Torre Central near UST.
According to the TLDC CEO, constant dialogue with both students and parents has helped the developer stay well ahead of the curve.
“With every new university residence we make sure that we incorporate learnings from the previous and continuously innovate,” Lorenzo concluded.
Article Source: business.inquirer.net