Feeling the impact of the pandemic – Manila Newsletter


It’s as common knowledge – or we can all agree this time around – that the pandemic has really changed our lives. Before March 2020, no one could have imagined how 2020 would end with thousands of lives lost, or how the last quarter of 2021 would still see us living under the cloud of another new COVID variant.

The pandemic has spared no profession, no industry and no way of life. From education to banking, catering to media consumption, the past few months have seen rapid changes unimaginable a few years ago. Wear a face mask inside a bank? Or have all our meals delivered to our door? We cannot imagine these absurd scenarios becoming realities of the new normal.

The real estate sector has not been spared by the pandemic. A house has become a refuge for all kinds of activities – work, study, play – for all members of the family. As the pandemic lingered, people realized the importance of functional and well-secured housing. WiFi became the “lifeline” and hobbies consisted of watching Netflix series, working out in the garage, or learning about plants and plates.

To see clearly how a segment of the Philippine real estate market has responded to the pandemic, Santos Knight Frank shared with The life of the Manila Bulletin property the “Global Buyer Survey: The Philippine Edition”. The survey was conducted between June 10 and July 22, 2021. Santos Knight Frank is the first and largest fully integrated real estate services company in the Philippines founded by Rick Santos. The company is part of the Knight Frank global network.

In the report, there were three key findings that fell into the following categories: 1) pent up demand, 2) a breath of fresh air, and 3) change in location preferences.

The report summed up ‘pent-up demand’ as it showed that ‘40% of local respondents have moved since the onset of COVID-19, mainly due to the need for outdoor space, downsizing and access to better equipment. “

The second, “A Breath of Fresh Air,” found that “85% of Filipino respondents have moved since the pandemic, 33% of whom need more outdoor space. While 64% expressed the importance of energy efficiency in their future home.

Finally, “Changing location preferences,” the report states that “40% of respondents who are more likely to relocate in the next 12 months after the survey said they plan to do so in the suburbs, while 33% told the city. ”

In the report’s introduction, he acknowledged the influence of the pandemic on the decisions of high-income people in the country regarding their housing for the next 12 months. “Our Survey of Global Buyers – The Philippine Edition, which explores local themes of the Global Edition from over 900 international and mostly high-income respondents, shows pent-up demand for new and second homes, and a preference for low density environments and well-being. -related characteristics such as air quality and green spaces. Qualities that were once nice to have are now attracting preferential interest among buyers.

“The results also suggest a shift in preferences among high income respondents. There is growing interest in the suburbs, although the city is still ideal for some shoppers. Interestingly, location characteristics related to health and well-being have gained in importance, while location factors related to convenience are considered less important. These preferences can be caused by a multitude of reasons, such as the increasing adoption of remote and hybrid work setups and fear of crowded places. It remains to be seen whether this change will continue in the medium and long term. “

The report acknowledged that the “results suggest that housing demand remains but it also continues to evolve in light of the pandemic.”

Here are other key findings and themes for 2021, as shared by Santos Knight Frank:

1) Repressed request

= The decision of local respondents to relocate since the onset of COVID-19 was mainly driven by the need for outdoor space (33%), downsizing (17%) and access to better equipment (17%) .

= 40 percent of respondents prefer the suburbs while 33 percent like the city.

= 36% of local respondents said travel restrictions had not influenced their home buying plans at all and their budgets had been unchanged since the start of the pandemic.

= One in four local respondents said their decision was delayed due to travel restrictions, while 28% said the restrictions influenced where they want to buy.

= 35 percent of these respondents’ main motivation for buying an upcoming home is to improve the family’s primary residence.

= 41 percent of local respondents are more likely to buy a second home than the average in Asia (27 percent) and the world (33 percent).

= After more than a year of travel restrictions, second homes are not only seen as an investment but also as a private destination and accessible resting place.

2) A breath of fresh air

= One in three local respondents said they were more likely to move to a single-family home or villa, and 23 percent to waterfront residences.

= Location characteristics that have gained in importance: proximity to green spaces (17%), good air quality (17%), access to good health care (16%) and good views (12%).

= Functional properties that have become more important: access to broadband (13%) and to a home office / office (10%); a number of health and wellness related features such as outdoor space (10%) and wellness and wellness equipment (10%).

= 64% think that the energy efficiency of a future house is either very important or important (30%).

= Almost four in 10 local respondents prefer a greener house and are willing to pay more for it.

3) Changing location preferences

= Location characteristics that have gained in importance: proximity to green spaces (17%), good air quality (17%), access to good health care (16%) and good views (12%)

= 45% of them plan to commute between one and three days to the office each week. 25 percent expect a full return to the five-day work week. Note that 50% of respondents are between 40 and 60 years old (decision-makers, business leaders).




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