ASIDE from buying real estate properties in the Philippines, Chinese investors are also eyeing possible acquisitions or joint venture deals with local property players. Colliers International Philippines research manager Joey Roi Bondoc said the country’s sound economy, as reflected by the fast sales take-up of residential and office units, has attracted Chinese investors not only to acquire properties but also explore potential partnerships here to ride the country’s growth momentum. “They are eyeing all properties, including hotel, mall, commercial office, residential developments,” said Bondoc, adding that such a high interest is also a result of the warming diplomatic ties between China and the Philippines. “There is high confidence among Chinese investors to do business here,” he noted. Besides China, Bondoc also cited marked interest among Japanese investors, some of whom are eyeing the country as a retirement destination. Singapore nationals also buy real estate properties here.

According to Bondoc, they first come here as tourists exploring the province’s touristic and business landscapes. Because of the country’s rich natural resources and growth factors like a young population, strong flow of remittances, and high outsourcing revenues, these foreign investors end up buying a piece of the Philippines in the form of condo units and other forms of investment. “When they visit Cebu, they enjoy the laidback lifestyle and consider living here,” said Bondoc. The Collier Philippines official said the opening of Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport would further open more business opportunities for Cebu. Increased direct flights to other countries would also support growth in investments here. Earlier, HT Land Inc., the developer behind Mandani Bay, reported a growing number of investors from mainland China buying residential condominium units. “We saw Chinese buyers from mainland China for Phase 1 of our project. I believe that the warming ties between our country and theirs has translated into buying of real estate products here. For the Chinese, our condominium units are so cheap,” said Mandani Bay project director Gilbert Ang. Prices of condominiums in Cebu range from P2.8 million to P6.8 million, Colliers said in a report released last March. It said it expected a two to six percent increase in prices annually over the next two to three years. Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) has also identified Chinese nationals among its strong buyers. A report said that of the foreigners who bought residential condominium units from ALI last year, Chinese nationals accounted for 49.4 percent. Chinese investors bought P14.76 billion worth of residential condominium units, equivalent to 12 percent of total sales take-up reported by the company during the period. Cebu’s real estate players have started to partner with foreign brands and investors to create a larger footprint in Cebu’s real estate business.

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