Ayala Land woos S’porean buyers for Philippine homes

The real estate arm of the huge Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corp has landed in Singapore with its first Asian offshore office, aiming to tap the growing interest here in overseas property investments.

Interest in Philippine properties among Singaporean investors is a fairly recent phenomenon, President and Chief Executive of Ayala Land Tony Aquino told TODAY. The country’s economic growth and improving political climate have put it on the radar of Singaporeans seeking to park their assets abroad.

“We have earmarked this time to do a more aggressive push in Singapore. The investor market is the fastest-growing market, and Singapore has a very good concentration of high net worth individuals,” he said.

The company was also encouraged by its sales event here last month, where there was a surprisingly good turnout of Singaporean investors interested in the Philippine real estate sector.

Mr William Thomas Mirasol, President of Ayala Land International Sales, said: “When we first looked at the Singapore market, we thought we would see mostly Filipino buyers. I think it is partly because of what is happening in the Singapore property market with the cooling measures. We are seeing greater interest from Singaporean investors.” He estimated that Singaporean investors make up around 40 per cent of the company’s sales from the Republic.

Mr Mirasol said Philippine properties made good investments due to the high capital growth potential and rental yields.

A residential unit in the Manila central business district can fetch a rental yield of 8 to 10 per cent, with demand driven by expatriates brought in by companies that set up new offices in the Philippines to ride on its economic growth.

Mr Sean Tan, General Manager of property website iProperty, said demand for Philippine properties would likely be strong, given the low prices.

“Low-quantum properties have gained a lot of traction because of the loan restrictions here,” said Mr Tan. He was referring to the Total Debt Servicing Ratio that limits the total debt repayments at 60 per cent of a borrower’s income, lower mortgage servicing ratio caps and shorter housing loan tenures.

A 600 square feet mid-range condominium in the Manila central business district area is priced at about S$118,000, a small fraction of what a private property here costs, Mr Aquino noted.

Source : Today – 31 Aug 2013

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