Infrastructure has been a game changer that has helped to spread progress and transform peripheral areas into new growth centers
The infrastructure boom of the “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) agenda has unleashed the growth of real estate on the outskirts, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Public and private sector panelists noted this trend during the livestream event on July 14, entitled “Fueling the Fringe: Creating New Growth Centers,” the latest edition of Inquirer’s INQclusive webinar series, supported by Ovialand, Sta. Lucia Land Inc. (SLLI) and Ortigas Land.
Speaking at the event was Secretary Mark A. Villar of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH); Richard Raymundo, CEO of Colliers Philippines; and David M. Dela Cruz, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Sta. Lucia Land.
Main game changer
“Infrastructure has been the biggest game changer,” Raymundo said. “It has democratized prices; decentralized and connected cities and enabled more inclusive growth with upward expansion. When we get out of the pandemic, there will be a stronger case for fringe areas. ”
Fringes are places on the outskirts of central business districts (CBD) and city centers. These peripheral areas have become more attractive as they usually offer larger and less dense spaces, more affordable price points and due to large ticketing projects in recent years increasingly accessible addresses.
Dela Cruz chose a Sta. The Lucia Land project in Iloilo to emphasize the impact of infrastructure on real estate: “A real issue was our project Green Meadows in Iloilo, a community of 170 ha, whose market price for its housing component increased from P4,000 in 2011 to P7,400 in 2016 and eventually to P11,000 in 2021. Its commercial component increased from P5,700 in 2012 to P30,100 in 2021. [This was] after the construction of one of two major roads right next to the project back in 2013. ”
Cases like this got Sta. Lucia Land in June 2019 to seek help from Colliers Philippines to come up with a hypothetical market value for assets that may be affected by public projects. On March 31, 2021, he said 90 percent of their land bank would “have direct and indirect strategic exposure” to and benefit from the BBB initiative.
Economic dynamics, including development
Under the BBB, the Duterte administration has built thousands of infrastructure projects with the aim of heralding the golden age of infrastructure, while more importantly, introducing economic dynamism and spreading inclusive development across the country.
“We have at any given time around 18,000 projects implemented simultaneously … Never in history has the government imagined such a massive rollout of infrastructure as we have today,” said Villar. “We are convinced that a necessary component to reach the next level of development for the Philippines is truly infrastructure capacity.”
BBB provided the newly opened Kalayaan Bridge connecting the cities of Makati, Taguig, Pasig and Mandaluyong. Soon, the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge will open, connecting Makati and Mandaluyong.
Raymundo also praised the LRT, which stretched to Rizal, and the connection between the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx), which could benefit fringes in the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga. The Luzon Spine Expressway Network also reduces travel between Bicol and the Ilocos regions to just 9 hours from the current 18 hours.
“You can really see that we have spent a lot of resources on bringing development to other areas. It’s not just Luzon, ”Villar said. BBB also includes Bacolod Economic Highway, Iloilo-Antique Connector Road, Davao Bypass Road, Davao-Samal Bridge and Panguil Bay Bridge connecting Misami’s Occidental and Lanao del Norte, among many other projects.
DPWH “created a very significant pipeline” that will be “more than enough even for the next and next administration,” Villar added.
This improved interconnection will increase fringe addresses, Raymundo said, adding that “it is possible to live a little further away from where you work and have a very good quality of life.”
This early has the new links translated to return for Sta. Lucia. “[S]We have built a lot of projects so far … and now we see the benefits of interconnection because prices just keep rising in areas outside the CBD, ”said Dela Cruz.
Referring to Alabang, Rockwell, Fort Bonifacio and other areas that were once considered fringes but now remained as economic hubs, Raymundo said: “Whatever is considered fringed right now, give it five to ten years when it all matures… new growth center. ”
“We are in the middle of a big and exciting time in our country,” said Dela Cruz. “As a developer and as homeowners, I believe that this golden age of infrastructure … is truly a game changer for us … The edge is now expanding the radius of cities and provinces.”
You can watch the rerun of this webinar via Inquirer
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