It’s been over a year since Covid-19 was categorized from an outbreak to a global pandemic and, like many other industries, real estate in the Philippines came to a stand-still in mid-March of 2020. Health protocols and community quarantine put construction activities to a halt, and home buyers and sellers had similarly had to put a hold on their intended property transactions.
Several months later, however, property has proven why it remains one of the most reliable investments to make even amid a global crisis like the current pandemic. Apart from earning property owners passive income as a rental or by simply appreciating, homes have been the de facto working, learning, and living space for everyone.
All-time high in government-backed borrowing
As a testament to how many Filipinos continue to go the route of buying a home despite the circumstances, the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), or the Pag-IBIG Fund, announced in a press release in early June how home loans released by the government-owned and controlled corporation hit a record-high in January to April 2021.
Over 27,000 Pag-IBIG members realized their dream of homeownership via loans that amounted to P27.39 billion that were released over the first four months of the year. In addition, the HDMF also reported that members’ savings under the voluntary Modified Pag-IBIG 2 (MP2) Savings program reached P8.65 billion in the same January to April period.
According to the HDMF, both the loans released and the savings deposited were the organization’s “highest-ever”. As shared by Pag-IBIG Fund Chief Executive Officer Acmad Rizaldy P. Moti, “Even with the ongoing pandemic, the amount of home loans released and MP2 Savings collections for the first four months of 2021 are not only record-highs but are higher than what we achieved during the same period in 2019, prior to the pandemic.”
The pandemic caused a recession, so why buy a new home?
Covid-19 had extensively slowed the Philippines’ economic growth, with the national government’s tepid pandemic response unsuccessful in jumpstarting commercial activity. Yet, as many have struggled with unemployment or underemployment, houses for sale continued to receive an extensive amount of demand.
While other industries have been greatly affected by the pandemic, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported that residential property prices in the Philippines recorded a 27.1 percent growth in Q2 2020–the highest growth rate recorded since the first quarter of 2016, and an indication that it is still better to buy sooner rather than later.
To most, working from home is best in a house and lot
For over a year-and-a-half and counting, many remain home and have learned to perform their most vital tasks within their private residences. This has resulted in a shift in behavior and preferences when it comes to living spaces, with having more room to set up a home office and/or learning area, as well as enjoying outdoor spaces safety, now being the most important considerations for a home.
We at Ohmyhome Philippines have also continued to observe this behavior in the market since our launch in the local property market last September 2020. We’ve constantly received many inquiries about homes for sale in different provinces, especially from home seekers who have become accustomed to working remotely.
According to Ohmyhome Marketing Manager Julian Sison, the continued preference for houses and lots will depend on this kind of working setup. “If a lot of companies continue to allow their employees to work remotely, then houses and lots will prove to be the residence of choice for many even after the pandemic.”
Affordable homes are now more accessible than ever
On Ohmyhome, an estimated 62-percent of buyers are looking for properties that are less than Php10 million, with 40-percent of these inquiries being for homes in the P1-5 million range. In addition, 33-percent of the inquiries are for projects that offer extended financing price schemes.
If there is a silver lining to the ongoing pandemic, it is that various financial institutions have adjusted their loan terms and interest rates to be more favorable to borrowers compared to recent years to encourage lending. Pag-IBIG loans have similarly become more favorable to borrowers for now, with the interest rate of a Php2 million housing loan from the HDMF now at 7.25-percent, 3.25-percent less than in 2009.
Indeed, now is as good a time as any to invest in a new home. Be it a house and lot or a condominium for sale, one can get extensive use out of a new home during this time of stay-at-home orders, and acquisition is a little bit easier thanks to financial institutions being a little bit easier to work with.
To learn more about your affordable home and home loan options, and receive expert assistance throughout the entire buying process, connect with an Ohmyhome agent today.
Want to access the best and latest property listings in the Philippines? Visit Ohmyhome.com or download the Ohmyhome app to view homes for sale or rent, or post your own, conveniently from almost anywhere.
Ohmyhome was launched in the Philippines in September 2020, following the company’s establishment of a tech team in the country in 2017. Ohmyhome was originally founded in 2016, and subsequently rose in Singapore as a leading PropTech solution and licensed real estate agency.
Ohmyhome expanded into the Philippines so that Filipino home seekers can have a real estate partner that they can trust to have their best interests at heart and can be relied upon to provide exceptional services throughout the entire property journey.
Featuring thousands of properties across many of the Philippines’ major real estate brands, Ohmyhome differs from other local platforms by going the extra mile and extensively helping buyers narrow down their choices and find the property that best suits their budgets, home needs, and lifestyle preferences.
The company’s Real Estate agents help in the shortlisting of options and provide professional services through the entire purchasing process. These include assistance in property inspections, negotiations, the finalization of the Conditions of Sale, deposit collection, the submission of property documents, as well as providing buyers regular updates.
Ohmyhome helps Filipinos find their dream homes, all while making sure each real estate transaction is complete and is an efficient and enjoyable experience.