In just over a decade, Bonifacio Global City has become one of the prime business addresses in the Philippines. Huge companies like HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, Chinatrust, Deutsche Bank, Oracle, Thomson Reuters, and Sun Life have made it the base of their operations. It is also the home of various embassies – Singapore, Great Britain, Korea, and Qatar, among others. The Philippine Stock Exchange is relocating to Bonifacio Global City, and there is a steady stream of business process outsourcing (BPO) firms that are preparing to make it their headquarters, joining the other BPO companies that have made it their home over the last few years.
Bonifacio Global City’s numbers reflect this growth.Experts see a boom in residential high rises, with an average of 6,225 new units completed each year. It is expected to reach 78,000 units by end of 2016. Buyers include expatriates who work in the nearby offices, young families drawn by the proximity of shopping, entertainment and educational facilities, and OFWs who wish to invest in one of the country’s most dynamic real estate developments. Others purchase units to rent them out; smaller studio or one-bedroom units in Bonifacio Global City average P780 per square meter.
In BGC, Grade B vacancy grew to 11% and might expand by a further 2 – 4%, with close to 3,000 units slated for completion in the second half of the year. There has also been a boom in commercial and office spaces. Along with Makati, the city sees a strong demand in Premium and Grade B segments, with office rental rates expected to reach as high as 7% in the second quarter of 2014. Over 560,000 square meters of new office space is set to be delivered in Metro Manila this year; nearly half of which were already introduced in the first half of 2013. Many of the new construction will cater to the country’s strong BPO industry. Premium developments by leading real estate companies such as Megaworld also cater to traditional and multinational firms. Construction activity will remain high over the next few years, as demand from other industries, and the expected flow of investments from low interest rates and improved credit ratings, fuel office developments in the coming years.
In terms of rent, the Makati CBD area strongly remains a landlords’ market as take-up remains generally high. In 2Q 2013, average premium rental rates grew by 3.5% to exceed the PHP1,000 per square meter monthly level, last witnessed in 2007. Meanwhile Grade A and Grade B rental rates were at an average of PHP745 (+1.0% QoQ) and PHP540 (+4.9% QoQ) per month, respectively. This is good news for people who are investing in real estate properties in order to rent out. The steady increase in rent prices shows that it is a viable and lucrative business.
Overall, the value of the land in Bonifacio Global City and Makati have increased in 2013, leading to an average price of PHP304,230 per square meter or an accommodation value of PHP19,015 per square meter. Compared to Ortigas, which only grew at 1.7%, Bonifacio Global City land values saw double-digit growth and reached an average accommodation value of PHP24,690 per sq m. Land values in both Makati and BGC are expected to grow between 8 and 9% in 2Q 2014, higher than the 6.4% increase is estimated in Ortigas Center.
The influx of businesses in Global City also opens opportunities of growth from the hospitality sector. Upscale hotels such as the Grand Hyatt Residences and Shangri-La Hotel have plans to open in the area. But more than the hotels, it is the mixed use developments that bring in more interest in Bonifacio Global City. The increased interest then provides more opportunities for sales and investment. For example, Megaworld at the Fort is creating more buzz around the area not just with its established developments but also projects that are in the pipeline, namely its newest township, Uptown Bonifacio. Interest in developments like these helps drive up values in BGC even more, and that’s good news for everyone.