Manila rising, so are rents as confidence in Philippines grows

Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:24pm EST
 
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By Rosemarie Francisco

MANILA (Reuters) - Manila's changing skyline demonstrates a city coming up in the world.

The capital of the Philippines is in the throes of a property boom described as the best in two decades, reflecting the increasing confidence in an economy that only recently began shedding its image as one of the region's basket cases.

Nowhere is it more obvious than at Bonifacio Global City, a commercial and residential property development on a portion of land carved out from Manila's biggest army base.

Originally sold by a cash-strapped government in the mid-1990s, building only got underway in earnest during the last six years after Ayala Land Inc (ALI.PS: Quote) took ownership. Under the Spanish-Filipino business clan that runs Ayala, construction is now going at full tilt.

"Work here is 24 hours," said Renel Reyes, an engineer and property manager overseeing a 30-storey tower due to be completed by the year-end.

Soon to be home for Nickel Asia Corp NAC.PS and local conglomerate Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc AEV.PS, NAC Tower is just one of several tower blocks under construction. As his own workers carried in sleek aluminum rails, Reyes said the state of the market was obvious to anyone who looked up.

"There are so many tower cranes, a good indicator of the construction boom right now."

Located near Makati, the main business district that grew up in the 1970s, Bonifacio is a project in progress, but rents at 800 peso per square meter ($19.5) are already catching up with its older, established, but saturated rival.   Continued...

 
A general view is seen of Bonifacio Global City central business district in Taguig City Metro Manila November 15, 2012. The capital of the Philippines is in the throes of a property boom described as the best in two decades, reflecting the increasing confidence in an economy that only recently began shedding its image as one of the region's basket cases. Picture taken November 15, 2012. REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo