P3.66 B worth of Phl properties sold via application

PHOTOGRAPH BY RAFFY AYENG FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE Andy Roberts, chief operating officer and co-founder of Property Access,

In just seven years, the digital property listing platform Property Access sold P3.66 billion in properties in the Philippines. Property Access guides buyers or renters on real estate properties in the country.

In a press conference, Andy Roberts, chief operating officer and co-founder of Property Access, added that the company has already registered $90 million worth of Southeast Asian countries and partnered with 70 companies worldwide.

“Japanese and Korean investors usually acquire condominiums and high-rise buildings with a foreign cap. We do not usually sell Korean and Japanese investors’ properties that have lands, and we are also dealing with developers,” he said.

Roberts noted since the platform’s inception in 2016, it has been aiding Japanese and Korean investors and ensuring that these investors were provided with the right investment opportunities in the country.

Japanese units usually sold a property at around P8 million to P15 million, or P200,000 to P280,000 per square meter on average, located in BGC in Taguig and Ortigas, Pasig City.

Foreigners are prohibited from owning land in the Philippines but can legally own a residence. The Philippine Condominium Act allows foreigners to own condo units as long as Filipinos own 60 percent of the building.

Roberts said investors in the two said countries’ preferences vary in owning a property in the Philippines.

“Japanese investors usually examine first the units that are up for grabs because they are up for a return of investments and yields; if the area is accessible to transportation hubs; and they mostly prefer studio and one-bedroom units. On the other hand, Koreans are not quite curious about the ROI and yields; the property should have leisure-related amenities like golf courses and beaches, and they are open to different options in terms of property type and size,” he explained.

Since 2018, the company said Philippine properties have been desirable to Japanese buyers, with conglomerates and private investors purchasing office and residential properties in bulk.

“PropertyAccess, a Japanese-Singaporean company, has used this purchasing behavior and its connection to the Japanese market to close numerous investment deals for Philippine partner developers.
On the other hand, the South Korean market is an emerging market with a great purchasing appetite for Philippines real estate. And for this reason, PropertyAccess has established a South Korean division in 2021 to cater to this market and engage with untapped potential,” Robert elaborated.

ORTIGAS East landscape.

Boom of proptech 
Meanwhile, Roberts said proptech, a contraction of property and technology, is inevitable as it aims to optimize how people buy, sell, manage, research, analyze, and market property assets.

He said, “due to the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses and consumers have adopted the online space. Showrooms have transitioned into online 3D models, and open house events have turned into webinars and video tours. Indeed, online property selling is the new norm in real estate.”

In terms of elevating real estate to the next level, proptech is usually associated with or uses web3, an evolution of the third wave of internet technologies, consisting of core elements such as decentralization, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain technologies.

“Proptech, alienated from paper works, now uses smart contracts in real estate, and it is a digital programmable counterpart of a well-known paper legal agreement. All the discussed terms are coded into an electronic protocol, using the Ethereum blockchain, so that any act triggers the next step,” Roberts told reporters.

PropertyAccess created a next-generation platform to enable the company to quickly deploy web assets in several markets of the same platform, utilizing the same database of listings, translations, and data collection, in which each platform was designed for each call.

Regarding expansion, Roberts said they want to expand horizons to overseas markets, namely Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Australia.

“In our growth in the Philippines, we believe that this year there will be several property launches from all large property developers. The next two years will be quite good for the Philippine property. And for the yield, to date, our benchmark is about 7 percent,” he said.

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