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Filipino condominiums aimed at expats in the Arabian Gulf
Jul 10, 2012
The condominiums have names reminiscent of luxury
It is estimated that a third of the remittances sent back home by Filipino expatriates in the Arabian Gulf are being absorbed by property developers launching luxury apartments, it has recently been reported by the National. Scores of high-rise apartment blocks are springing up around the Philippines to be sold to expats working in Dubai, Doha and Riyadh.
The growing trend with the developments is for them to be named after some of the most desirable addresses in the world, with the developers hoping to attract investors to the sort of lifestyle enjoyed by the rich and the famous in cities like New York, Paris and London. With names like “Manhattan Garden City”, “Forbes Tower” and “Miilano Residences, the styling of the properties is reminiscent of the flashy developments that sprang up during the Dubai boom years.
Many of the developers have hired freelance sales agents to operate on their behalf to market luxury skyscrapers across the Emirates, where there is estimated to be around 600,000 Filipinos. According to the National’s report, big developers like Ayala Land, Megaworld and Century Properties are all increasing their marketing drive in the Arabian Gulf where many condominium projects have already been invested in by Filipino expats.
According to Alex Pomento, the head of research at Macquarie in Manila the branding of the condominiums is working well: "It's a way of attracting expatriate investors,” says Alex Pomento "They are more familiar with 'Hollywood' names.”
The spending by Filipino expats is easy enough to understand. Despite the country’s reputation as a low-performer in Asia, the Philippine Stock Exchange has in fact gained approximately 29 per cent this year, making it now the fourth best performing bourse in the world. Furthermore, last week Benigno Aquino, the Filipino president, approved a 10 per cent increase in government spending for next year to around US$48 billion. The fast pace of the increase in residential developments has caused fears amongst some economists that a Dubai-style boom and bust in the property sector could be imminent.