Tuesday, September 9, 2014

ASEAN integration will boost demand for real estate, says economist

In 2007, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed upon a blueprint for economic integration. Billed the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the initiative pushes for the following “key characteristics,” as set by the ASEAN: 1) a single market and production base; 2) a highly competitive economic region; 3) a region of equitable economic development; and 4) a region fully integrated into the global economy.

Poised to take effect in 2015, economist Cielo Habito espouses that the integration would boost the demand for real estate, citing an influx of foreign buyers from fellow ASEAN member countries looking to expand their business in the Philippines.

"One of the industries that will largely benefit the Asean Economic Community will be the real estate sector,” said Habito, a speaker at the 23rd Visayas Area Business Conference (VABC) held in Mandaue City, Cebu. 

A former Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), as well as Socio-Economic Planning Secretary during the Ramos administration, Habito expects that the “increase in opportunities will lead to demand for office spaces and including condominiums among foreign buyers.” 

He expects, likewise, that new growth areas - notably, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Angeles and San Fernando City in Pampanga, and General Santos - will emerge as welcome alternatives for site development to Metro Manila.

The challenge, now, according to Habito, is to align real estate development with environmental sustainability.

"While developing more condominiums and office spaces will continue to be attractive in the coming years, developers must also consider its environmental impact to society,” Habito says.

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