It’s a given: a thriving real estate market offers rosy and favorable prospects for further growth and expansion for the industry players.
But being able to tap these highly lucrative opportunities and take advantage of the local market’s increasing purchasing power is an entirely different story altogether.
For one, it would require firms to be adept, to have an extensive knowledge of their consumers, and be attuned to the ever changing demands and whims of the market.
Even Colliers International Philippines has recognized the need for real estate companies to differentiate their projects in order to stand out from the sea of developments that have since flooded the market.
“Developers are aggressively acquiring large parcels of land that could be developed into masterplanned communities. In the increasingly competitive environment, developers need to distinguish their projects from others,” said Joey Roi Bondoc, research manager at Colliers International Philippines.
Apart from the typical land uses such as office, residential, retail, industrial, and leisure, developers are now incorporating institutional uses such as education and healthcare.
“This strategy proves pivotal to the firms’ sustained growth, since having a diversified portfolio of real estate products enables the developers to reap the benefits from growing sectors of the property market and, at the same time, shields them from any corrections in other sectors that are experiencing stress,” Bondoc further explained.
As such, the name of the game is innovation. It’s now no longer just about delivering buildings with an amenity or two. What has become more crucial for many homebuyers is the overall value proposition of a particular project, that is made even more distinct and appealing by some novel concept that can further enhance one’s quality of living.
And this holds true not only for the newer players in the industry. Even the veterans should constantly step up their game if they are to remain relevant to the market they serve.
Megaworld Corp., one of the country’s largest developers known primarily for pioneering innovative lifestyle concepts, is a seasoned player who is stepping up its game anew.
This time, the tycoon Andrew Tan-led firm is introducing another trailblazing concept that will further cement its strong foothold in the market.
Last December, the Megaworld Group announced that it was investing P5 billion over the next five to seven years to develop an integrated lifestyle community called “Eastland Heights” in Antipolo, Rizal.
Through the group’s subsidiary Global-Estate Resorts Inc. (Geri), Megaworld is developing some 640 hectares along Marcos Highway.
“We’re adding a new concept in property development. For the longest time, we’ve been creating integrated urban townships. These are developments that seamlessly integrate the residential, commercial, office and leisure developments in one sustainable community—a concept we call live-work-play,” said Harold Geronimo, AVP and head of public relations and media affairs at Megaworld.
Extended natural amenities
Geronimo noted that the company felt the need to come up with developments that need not have a work component, which is a staple in its integrated urban townships.
He pointed out that the locations of these planned integrated lifestyle communities are not really meant for work, but rather cater more to the needs of the residents.
“More importantly, it has good natural features that will form part of the community’s extended natural amenities. For example, if that area is in the mountain or has a small forest, then those areas will be preserved to become a feature from which the residents can benefit. This time, it’s a live-leisure concept,” he added.
Geronimo declined to disclose how many communities they plan to launch over the short term, but noted that Megaworld is keen on expanding this particular category.
The plan was to launch more developments that are classified as an integrated lifestyle community. These projects are most likely to be put up in key provinces, he added.
According to Geronimo, they expect to attract prospective homebuyers who are looking into developments where they can really enjoy living.
“There is a segment of residents who value these expanded natural amenities such as a forest, or a river. Their priority is not to be located near their workplace but rather to have a place where they can relax,” Geronimo said.
The Eastland Heights will have its own iconic 36-hole golf course and country club, which will occupy around 20 percent of the entire development.
Aside from the golf course, the community will have residential, commercial and retail and institutional components such as a school.