Bhavna Suresh, CEO

Key lessons from the Lamudi Outlook Awards 2019

It has been a successful year for Philippine real estate despite the challenges that the country experienced in 2019.

Top of mind would be the earthquakes in Davao, and brewing in the background are the effects of climate change we experience in the form of unpredictable weather and record-breaking temperatures. And then there were also the great losses the Philippine real estate industry never could have predicted would happen so close to one another.

It’s easy to focus on the setbacks, but as the leading real estate platform in the country, Lamudi has to see the positives as well. We have seen growth not just from Luzon, but also in places in Visayas and Mindanao where there was little to no online demand years ago.

We are also seeing most of the demand coming from the 25- to 34-year-old bracket, which signifies the interest in real estate at a young age.

In real estate, age is not just a number. Along with that young age is a highly unique and dynamic lifestyle—one that does not just think of work, but of work-life balance; one that does not just focus on price, but also on the carbon footprint their lifestyle will leave behind; one that has access to all the news and statistics, and uses data to make informed decisions.

None of these would make any sense if our developers did not rise to these new challenges, of course. As the Philippines faced natural catastrophes, developers also started changing their priorities to not just sell—but to also improve the landscape in the years to come.

Never before have I seen such a concerted effort to focus on sustainability and innovation than in 2019, and the results of Lamudi’s The Outlook Awards have reflected this change in direction.

Overall, Lamudi’s The Outlook Awards saw 30 percent more nominations compared to 2018. The biggest increase came from the provincial developers, with 90 percent more nominations pouring in from Visayas and Mindanao.

Last year, we didn’t have a Mindanao-based developer at all. In 2019, we have Damosa Land, shortlisted for two categories and proving the growing market outside of Luzon.

In fact, Lamudi chose Jose “Joe” Soberano III, chairman, president and CEO of Visayas-based Cebu Landmasters Inc. to be the Personality of the Year as proof of the remarkable growth in the provincial market.

For Best Innovation, which The Seasons Residences from Sunshine Fort North Bonifacio Realty Development Corp. won, we saw a 42 percent increase in the number of nominees, showing that there are more projects lined up to answer the pain points of seekers.

Three E-Com Center, the winner of the Best Green Project, comes from SM Prime Holdings Inc., one of the largest property developers in Southeast Asia. With the recognition of such a development, boutique developers can only take to the trend and build greener buildings to benefit us all.

There is a also demand for change, and Luzon developers have responded proactively.

This year’s winner of Best Mixed-Use Development in Luzon Award, Hamilo Coast, goes beyond providing a master-planned community: they have a clear focus on sustainability, which the Philippines needs right now. Best Co-living Space and Best Co-working Space, as represented by winners MyTown Co-Living Hubs from Philippines Urban Living Solutions Inc. and Acceler8 from UnionSPACE, respectively, were categories we added to this year’s roster of awards to reflect the demand for more accessible living and working arrangements that make work-life balance possible.

So what have I learned from The Lamudi Outlook Awards 2019? Despite the changes and the setbacks in the industry as a whole, the sector has remained resilient and Philippine real estate is gearing towards a greener and more sustainable future fueled by the changing Filipino lifestyle.

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The author is the CEO of Lamudi Philippines, the leading real estate platform that offers sellers, buyers and renters a secure and easy-to-use platform to find or list properties online. By connecting developers, real estate agents, and private owners with property seekers, Lamudi helps real estate buyers find their dream property online.

Original Article Published on Philippine Daily Inquirer on November 30, 2019

Written by: Bhavna Suresh

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