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Migration, property investment not deterred by travel restrictions

Property investment has become a borderless transaction with the existence of online real estate platforms like Lamudi. For foreclosures, in particular, pageviews and leads indicate city residents’ desire to own property in the provinces, which may indicate that those who are buying property are ready to move into a new location or that they are considering property investment.

Amid the pandemic, this shows that despite travel restrictions, and perhaps due to this limit on mobility, property buyers want to improve their living conditions by moving outside of the metro to get a bigger property for a more attractive price, or owning property in a popular destination to generate a passive income.

Foreclosures as a way to enter the property investment market

According to Lamudi’s data, in 4Q2020, the millennial age bracket (25-34) contributed the most pageviews (27.19%) and leads (31.7%) for foreclosed properties for sale. This age group is known to be a generation of travelers, who enjoy experiences rather than investments. The pandemic may have marked a shift in the younger generation’s mindset, and uncovered the potential of real estate as a way to grow wealth. With their income in check as they start and establish their careers, they may be considering property investments with a more affordable price tag such as foreclosures.

As the pandemic has shifted lives to become more technology-based, there is an interesting demand uncovered by Lamudi’s data. In 4Q2020, pageviews for foreclosed properties for sale done on mobile devices jumped from 63.63% to 68.23% quarter-on-quarter. Leads also jumped from 69.82% to 74.15%, signifying the more immediate decision to pursue foreclosed properties in 4Q2020.

Metro residents and overseas seekers are looking into provincial cities

Throughout the pandemic, there has been a trend to move to provincial cities for their less dense areas, focus on open spaces, and relatively more affordable property prices. This trend is also reflected in the interest in foreclosed properties in provincial regions.

Seven out of the top 10 most-searched locations for foreclosed properties for sale are located in the provinces, accounting for 64.66% of pageviews generated by the group of locations assessed. These provincial cities are Antipolo (13.27%), General Trias (11.42%), Bacoor (11.34%), San Pedro (8.02%), Dasmariñas (7.18%), Imus (6.72%), and Calamba (6.72%).

What’s more interesting is the fact that buyers of foreclosed properties seem to be interested in areas outside their current location. Six out of the top 10 property seeker cities that generate pageviews for foreclosures are different from the location where they want to buy foreclosed properties. These six locations–Makati, Manila, Pasig, Cebu City, Caloocan, and Angeles–generated 42.63% of pageviews for foreclosures for sale in 4Q2020.

Interest from overseas seekers also proves that travel restrictions have not hindered property search. Taking a look at the top 10 overseas locations in terms of pageviews for foreclosed properties, there is demand from Singapore (23.65%), Dubai (15.91%), Doha (10.36%), Riyadh (8.91%), Sydney (8.21%), Los Angeles (7.99%), Abu Dhabi (7.37%), Toronto (6.38%), London (6.04%), and Jeddah (5.18%).

What attracts property buyers to foreclosures

One of the draws of foreclosures is the security of full disclosure of information of the property to be purchased. In a Q&A article from Lamudi, Paolo E. Abarquez of VAL Law shared, “Given that sellers of foreclosed properties are usually banks or financial institutions, information such as tax payments, utilities payments, property condition, and pending court cases involving the property are disclosed to the buyer.”

On Lamudi, banks such as BDO and Unionbank are some of the providers of foreclosed properties. BDO has more than 1,700 listings on the platform, with property types ranging from residential lots, houses and condominiums, to commercial, agricultural and industrial properties all over the Philippines. The first bank client of Lamudi, BDO has been making their foreclosed properties available online on the platform since 2014.

Abarquez added that foreclosed properties are also a way for buyers to find properties in locations with high commercial value where properties may not usually be available for sale.

Focusing on the residential market, Unionbank recently added 500 of its foreclosed property listings to Lamudi. Unionbank’s foreclosures are located in some of the most sought-after locations in Metro Manila as well as in Visayas and Mindanao.

The pandemic has changed the priorities of Filipinos, and with real estate transactions made borderless by Lamudi, property buyers can fulfill their homeownership dreams regardless of where they are and where they want to move into.

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