The rise of co-living spaces
HIDDEN AGENDA - Mary Ann LL. Reyes (The Philippine Star) - November 30, 2019 - 12:00am

The worsening traffic in Metro Manila is raising the demand for co-living facilities near central business districts, compelling deve-lopers to build co-living projects which primarily cater to young professionals who want to live near their place of work but cannot afford to buy or lease out condominium units within major CBDs.

A recent report from Colliers International Philippines noted that these types of housing are likely to remain popular among employees of both outsourcing and non-outsourcing companies and is an opportunity for major developers to expand their presence in the co-living segment.

Colliers explained that this indicates a steady stream of demand from local employees either living in shared units similar to Ayala Land’s The Flats and SM’s MyTown, or pooling funds to lease out studio or one-bedroom units near CBDs.

Co-living spaces, referred to as “hacker house” or “commune” by others, are shared housing facilities or dwellings that pack in a large number of residents. This has gone mainstream as millennials continue to migrate to high-priced urban areas in droves. These are designed and managed by companies specializing in house sharing. Due to rising rental costs and worsening traffic, many young professionals now opt to live in shared housing facilities.

The report recommended that developers continuously tap the pent up demand for co-living units. Colliers said it sees a more pronounced development of these projects and developers should start incorporating differentiating features such as childcare facilities and private lounges to be used for Skype, for instance.

Other than young professionals, college students, the report pointed out, are not spared from the worsening traffic. It said that aside from mom-and-pop dormitories, there is a rising need for condominium projects near universities but Colliers recommended that these projects should feature typical commercial tenants, fitness centers, and student lounges with strong Wifi connections.

It likewise called on developers to constantly look for fringe areas ripe for construction of new units such as Quezon City north and south, Ortigas fringe, and Manila due to lack of developable lands in Makati, Fort Bonifacio and Ortigas Center.

In its report, Colliers also revealed that the first nine months of 2019 has seen 8,200 units being completed, with Fort Bonifacio accounting for 61 percent, Ortigas Center 22 percent, and Bay Area 17 percent.

It expects Metro Manila’s condominium stock to reach 128,500 units by the end of this year and 152,000 by end of 2021 from 118,900 in 2018, with Fort Bonifacio and the Bay Area covering more than 80 percent of new supply from 2019 to 2021. 

In terms of demand, Colliers sees sustained residential demand from investors and local employees with the Bay Area, Quezon City, Ortigas Center and its fringe area dominating take up across the country’s capital. Demand for 2019 is seen at 8,200 units.

As for the secondary market or leasing of completed units in key business hubs across Metro Manila, Colliers expects that this will be sustained by a mix of demand from foreign and local investors and professionals.

The report revealed that the completion of additional units in the metropolis resulted in a slightly higher overall vacancy in Metro Manila’s secondary residential market at 10.8 percent in the third quarter of 2019 from 10.6 percent in the second quarter. It expects a marginal increase in vacancy to 10.9 percent for the whole of 2019 as it projects sustained absorption of completed condominium units particularly in business hubs such as Quezon City and Ortigas CBD that started accommodating offshore gaming operators over the last three quarters.

In the Bay Area, it said the demand for residential units has been driven mainly by Chinese offshore gaming firms. From 2017 to the first half of this year, Colliers estimates 67 percent of office space transactions in the area covered offshore gaming operators.

Colliers expects a slight increase in vacancy in the secondary market in 2020 due to the completion of about 15,600 units.

UP business school’s new dean

Just last month, the University of the Philippines named Joel Tan-Torres as the 14th dean of the UP Virata School of Business.

In his message sent to the alumni of the business school, the new dean announced that the direction he will bring to the UP VSB is anchored on the theme “Looking in Reaching Out.” He said he intends to look into and tap the various resources and goodwill of the school to perpetuate its many successes in the past and in the process, he will also be outward looking and reach out to address the many requirements of the various stakeholders of the school and move this forward to greater heights.

Tan-Torres said that in pursuing the tasks of the deanship, he will bring his passion and experiences derived from his 40 years of work both in government and the private sector. He was a former commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue from 2009 to 2010 but had been with the bureau from 1980 to 1996 where he served in various capacities, including as assistant commissioner, chief of the international tax affairs division, among others. He also was a partner of the SGV tax consulting group and Reyes Tacandong & Co. and served as chairman of the Professional Regulatory Board of Accountancy.

Tan-Torres was an alumnus of the UP College of Business Administration where he earned his accountancy degree and master in business administration degree both with honors. He also topped the 1979 certified public accountant licensure examination.

The new dean also announced the UP VSB will hold its traditional alumni homecoming on Dec. 7 in a new venue inside the UP Diliman Campus called the Promenade, a newly constructed park with a grand plaza and lots of greenery. The school expects more than 300 alumni together with their families and guests to attend.

This year’s homecoming will have a fiesta motif. The venue will also be food stalls, tiangge, gift shops, game booths, as well as tents selling UP VSB souvenir items.

The formal program will recognize the honoree classes, namely Batch ’59 (Diamond), Batch ’64 (Emerald), Batch ’69 (Golden), Batch ’74 (Sapphire),  Batch ’79 (Ruby),  Batch ’84 (Coral), Batch ’89 (Pearl), Batch ‘94 (Silver), Batch ’99, Batch ’09, Batch ’04, and Batch ’14. The school will also honor the Distinguished Alumni Awardees for 2019 as well as the accomplishment of the accountancy class of 1989 for garnering the top performing school recognition at the recently concluded CPA examination.

VSB alumni are enjoined to confirm their attendance with Marielle Cruz at 89297991, Anna Parinas at 09662645603, or through their batch representatives.

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