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PROPERTY PEAK IN PLACE for PHL - major declines ahead

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PROPERTY PEAK IN PLACE for PHL - Major price declines ahead in per Sqm Prices

Property got an extra 3+ years on the cycle, thanks to the "china invasion" - but around Q1-2020, the Long rally is ending


Here's an update on Ayalaland's (ALI's) chart since ... Before 2000 / Last: P31, after initial low under P20


This Turn has been anticipated on this website, see post#1

#1: I made the following post on Aug. 31st, 2019: here

PSEI Index vs- SMPH, ALI, & MEG ... 3-years : from 9.2016 / PSEI peak=early 2018. Property stock peak= July 2019


"If the August low in PSEI gets taken out by a meaningful amount, then it would be a very bad sign for Philippines stocks

The recent serious weakness in Property developer stocks is a sign that an important downturn may be underway"

# 2 :

Just posted this comment on a Viber chat

"I have said in books, interviews, and many times online that...

The Peak in Property stocks,. like above, normally comes 6-12 months AHEAD of the Peak in the physical market.

We are now right in that time frame- the time frame for  the beginning of a big drop in per sqm valuations."

"Within the next 1-2 quarters we are bound to see a very serious drop in Per sqm property prices begin to materialize. 

That is my strong view. And I would expect it to persist for years - maybe into 2023-24"

Here's an UPDATE on the chart above - Starting from Sep.2016 : PSEI vs- SMPH, ALI, MEG



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LOOK at these Huge declines today!

And also from the Year's highs

WATCHLIST: #2-Prop v.2.2

Stock: Last: Change -Pct. : LoDay: YrHigh: LOvH
PSEI  : 4360 - 975., -18.3%: 4039.: 8420.: -52.0%
Smph: 90.15 -19.85, -18.1%: 75.00: 161.8 : -53.7%
ALI -  : 24.30 -P4.50, -15.6%: 19.44:  53.85: -63.9%
MEG.: P2.35 -P0.34, -12.6%: P2.00: P6.54: -69.4%
AGI - : P6.23 -P1.79, -22.3%: P6.01: 16.50: -63.6%
DMC : P3.49 -P0.73, -17.3%: P3.40: 12.54: -72.9%
LAND: P0.65 -P0.05, -7.14%: P0.65: P0.89: -27.0%

Average DROP from the Year's High to today's LOW

Was - XX% (for the Big 3 developers) vs. -52% for the PSEI

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Does This Historic DROP in Property Stocks Matter?

I think so!  Excerpts from above:

"Property stocks lead property by 6-12 months... we are in the window for a drop to start"

"Within the next 1-2 quarters we are bound to see a very serious drop in Per sqm property prices begin to materialize."

But a range of Property experts seem to disagree with me:

+ Property Agent:

"Property shares are not property... Property is the one (remaining) secure safe haven."

+ Experienced developer:

"Real Estate is a long term play. Recessions will slow it down but so long as the world economy recovers and population growth continues, real estate likewise grows. As of now, its highly difficult to speculate for the short term. Take a long term view about real estate and put it away for now. Focus on surviving the next 12 months. That's just my simple and humble opinion."

+ Well known property expert, and Conference speaker

"We are both in agreement that the stock market has crashed or was  going down ... what we are not in agreement are the Per Sqm crash ."


(My own Reaction to the above comments):

Confidence is shattered...

Give it 3-6 months, if not sooner, and I reckon the change in market tone, and prices, will be VERY OBVIOUS to everyone

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The DEBATE & Discussion continues (over on viber)

Q: Outside of cash under the bed where would you put you money right now?

A: Exactly Where I am putting some cash these... Options (small amounts), and a few shares that have fallen by like 50% or more.

But holding onto most of the cash for time being.  History tells me a property correction may take 3-5 years

Cannot think of anything that would tempt me now in the property market, when there are so many bargains elsewhere

/ 2 /

Q: Do charts and projection still work under these circumstances ?

A: Very very very much so. Wasn't this big fall forecast in writing in advance?

But chart analysis is always a matter of level of skill and an understanding of what they "mean" in relation to mood, Socionomics, volume, etc.

And there are acknowledged experts abroad who have tools that, more often than not, can project price targets years in advance.

I have seen that happen since 1985. (TS)

/ 3 /

Q: Some think that the Recession is only from panic-spreading and it will.be short lived. By June everyone will.have come to terms with the virus. Right now it's about fear and panic not economic fundamentals

A1: What do you think the economy looks like right now?  Down over 50% in manila, maybe more.  This virus is not going to disappear without a trace. It will have long lasting effects

A2: I talked to some friends I had in Automatic in Greenbelt.   Even 2 or 3 weeks ago they said business was down 30-50%.   Now there is essentially no business, no real economy.   I don't think we can even speculate on the economy until the virus is under control.     The only good news I'm hearing is that Japan and Australia and possibly other countries are reporting strong success with some already approved anti viral drugs.

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"Most retirement funds have portfolios that are TILTED towards growth assets."

"Real estate is a LEVERED GROWTH ASSET" = i.e. Dangerous in a time of Low growth, or No growth

The Property Bulls are going to get destroyed over next 3-5 years imho = usual time frame of a Property Bear market

(THIS is a Very good, though-provoking interview)

PORTFOLIO Allocations, are a function of herding...

Maybe they are ALL Wrong for our changing time

This is Excellent !

70% -in-Equities, worked well for last 40 years, but not the last 90 years

Many strategies that worked over the last 40 years, would have annihilated capital over 90 years!

Does "Buying the Dip" Pay Off? (w/ Danielle DiMartino-Booth & Chris Cole)

"The snake (corporations fueled by Debt) has been eating its own tail (continuing buybacks)"

"i clearly believe in Intrinsic value."

To win... You need to boldly size undervalued/ under-owned "counter-trend" sectors" (ie. Gold)


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58 minutes ago, drbubb said:

"Most retirement funds have portfolios that are TILTED towards growth assets."

"Real estate is a LEVERED GROWTH ASSET" = i.e. Dangerous in a time of Low growth, or No growth

The Property Bulls are going to get destroyed over next 3-5 years imho = usual time frame of a Property Bear market

To win... You need to boldly size undervalued/ under-owned "counter-trend" sectors" (ie. Gold)

PH Property investor: "More Pain, No Gain"

"most property investors r highly levered. There is usually a lag on decline of property prxs by around 1 yr more or less.

....since properties r usually the last assets sold to raise cash, and they r harder to sell"

"I wud even say 9 out of 10 property investors hv loans, some even double mortgages...hu out there can ever resist the siren song of low bank loan rates?"

"And very aggressive developers offering very low or zero dp, but very high unit prxs..."

"My mantra in life is no pain, no gain, but what i can see now for many out there for the next several yrs is, more pain, no gain" (JD)

The short rally from Monday's big opening Sell-off looks like a counter-trend bounce to me

PH-Prop-stocks ... 10d


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MARKET HISTORY : the Last Downturn

- from "El Subastahero", who recalls the last big downturn around the Year 2,000

(he is less bearish than I am, and his recollections are worthwhile to read)

If my memory banks still recall, there was NO MAJOR PRICE REDUCTION OR FIRE SALE on the price per sqm during and after the Asian Crisis of 1997 ... Yes, there were a lot of foreclosures and dacion en pago. You might be talking about the USA when the market value crashed below the mortgage value and borrowers did not see the logic of continuing payments ... But this did not happen in the Phl.

What hit the industry was the wrong economic strategy of increasing interest rates from 36% to 42% which was the reason that borrowers surrendered. NOT because values crashed ... Maybe one two or three reduction like the price per sqm in BGC which was still raw land with 5 building standing or was it 6 .

BEFORE THE ASIAN CRISIS, the financial institutions had extended clean non-collateral loans which the banks had to accept as dacion en pago so obviously the developers did not lower their prices. They were paying the banks with market value properties and banks had no choice but to accept them ... Developers were DEBT FREE and had inventory from cancelled sales. So why go on fire sale?. (No big debts to pay, then no urgent selling pressure.) Those that closed down had no real assets to back up their IPO or they had some highly leveraged operations. Their shares were the collateral and when share value went down, they were collateral short. A name mentioned developer or club, had no real asset to back it up except for agreements .

So now the real estate assets were transferred to the banks who had to run to the Central Bank for support funding. Banks were still okay with the level of the foreclosure until their foreclosure to deposit ratio was starting to increase al ... not much were borrowing, many were defaulting or pre paying ... soon banks started selling at lower prices but still trying to protect their book values. Then the government came out with the SPAV Law which bailed out many banks with the fiscal incentives. That's the part that BIG CASH was King.

What happened in las Vegas and other parts of the USA did not happen here. In fact, the Phl asset backed securities of foreclosed assets were bought by the USA paper traders which brought down the USA economy in 2007 or near that year . (Like Lehman Brothers.)

Q: What about the reports saying that the increase in real estate was partly caused by the influx of foreign money being laundered?  Assuming this to be true and the govt puts a stop to transactions that might look like laundering, would you say that prices of real estate could drop?

 I think the time frame for this is the 2018 to a few months ago.
The big money coming in were not really cash buyers but installment buyers. I had a friend broker who sold 100 units in a building facing the sea and she had to prepare 4,800 post dated checks to cover the 48 months to pay down payment. I had a buyer for 200 units somewhere in the south and was asking for a 50% discount ... the developer sent him a box of hopia instead.
Worst case scenario is that those hundred of buyers buying thousands of units will just default and return the inventory to the developer. Remember that the developer had collected some portion of the very high price ( don’t know how much % of their construction cost ) and still have their inventory to sell in the future .

Q: But without the inflows of foreign money, there will be no cash inflows to support the developers' astronomical prices? Yes, developers could keep their property inventory but what about the continuing costs their incur to maintain them? (In edit: including bank interest)

(So long as they can find new buyers, to support those who default, they can keep going, because each new buyer brings in some cash, to keep the game going.)

Imagine if we had buyers who paid 10% a year and cancelled their sale plus if this happens every year, we would have collected our sales value in 10 years and still kept our inventory “ hahaha.

(That would be the happy case for the developer who can keep finding a new round of buyers, to replace whatever percentage may default.)

Maintenance Costs? They can afford that.

If one occupies a real estate property then enjoys the fruits of the real estate assets ... then he has to pay the condo dues / hoa plus real estate tax. (But without someone in the property, the maintenance costs can be low, close to zero.) The less people use, the less maintenance cost ... developers can handle that.

(There will be an ongoing demand for property from local people.) Lesser (price) velocity yes. But there will still be buyers seeking to put a roof over their heads. Property is a basic life need ... and want!

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Prior downturn in PHL property was from ... about 1998 - 2003 (roughly 5 years)


Data before 2002 is hard to find

El Sebastahero said< I recall:

"... NO MAJOR PRICE REDUCTION OR FIRE SALE on the price per sqm during and after the Asian Crisis of 1997 ..."

I want to question this assumption of recollection - but there is a small problem...

It is not easy to get data for that time.  But I did collect here on this website, what I could find...


(From the flagship thread, where I posted THIS, some years ago)

And I also said at that time: "... Don't lose Long Term confidence in Makati"

Our Original Prediction, from the inception of the Makati Prime website was for a cyclical peak in 2016: PB : 2 :


> See the underlying DATA, on this thread: Philippines Peso / Makati Property etc 

Obviously, we did not get a drop then.

Instead of a price drop, we got a SURGE in prices to P200k per sqm, and well beyond that.

Some high end Condos in Makati have now been pushed up to P300K, P400K, and even over P500k for the ultimate luxury.

My original forecast was based on the Notional 18 YEAR long term property Cycle, which tends towards these periods:

+ An UP CYCLE with two main uplegs, lasting about 14 years (I thought would end in 2016-17. It did not.)

+ A DOWN CYCLE, generally last 3-5 years.

Obviously, there are times when these cycle periods extend or contract.

According to property expert David Leechiu...





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I was asked to look at some charts of PHL Property related companies - & I shall post some charts and comments here

FLI / Filinvest Land ... All-data / Last P 0.86



FLI - last: 0.86, up 6%+.  Rallied from near the bottom of the down channel.  I expect to go lower eventually,  Maybe all the way to rockbottom 0.25-0.35.  but a good bounce, or bounces, off the bottom of the downchannel are likely.  Yield of 7.25% and Low historic PE Ratio near 3x may help suport, unless worse news on the possible housing crash is released

what about chp? Rci?  - Alfred Q



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This business of cancelling visas is Big News - will have big impact on PHL Property prices

Japan has done it*. 

And China is starting to as well.  My GF has a friend in China working as a domestic helper.  She worries that she will be sent home soon. 

The PHL economy & especially the PHL property market is massively dependent on the purchases made by OFWs.  If 10%, 20%, 30% of OFWs lose their visas and get sent home, and the rest are at threat of losing visas in the future, do you think they are going to buy property?  I think not.  Clearly, almost zero foreigners, including mainland Chinese are not going to buy property now - they cannot even travel here!.  So new sales will collapse abroad, and many people are going to delay or stop their monthly installment payments.  A huge number of existing property purchases are in danger of default. / 

AM I MISSING SOMETHING Here?  Is there any bright spot in this picture?


* 750,000 Visas for Japan are "no longer valid"


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Q: The visa suspensions are a temporary measure. I doubt they will keep it after the current sanitary crisis.

BIG SLOWDOWN ahead? : What happens to the OFW?  Obviously, those who are here & have visas suspended will have to wait going back out.  But how about those abroad now?  With they have to come home?  And let me ask you this, with a threat like this, are you going to let a clever salesperson convince you to buy a new property?  And what about those already making monthly payments, how will they react?  I think that many developers will now choose to SLOWDOWN their projects.  Probably, they will delay many projects by 1-2 years or more, and maybe tell the buyers they can make reduced payments for a while, THIS STRETCH would be good for both sides

Q: I agree that the impact will be negative anyway for ph property market. And what about Pogos?

POGOs?  so many of their workers where housed here, in the Condo I live in within Makati.  I think there has been a big dropoff in people living in this building.  I asked a friendly guard how many live in the building, he guessed it was maybe 150 people - and that's well down from were it was earlier. There are well over 500 units here, so that i not a high occupancy,  Clearly, owner occupiers who have another home in the provinces, will have left here to go back, if they do not have work in a, makati office now.  They can "work from home" in a provincial location.  Another guard told me that many mainland chinese who lived in the Condo went home for CNY never returned. They were POGOs I suppose.  Can POGOs even work now?  I still see a few vans pulling up here, but nothing like the numbers from before.  But those few vans make me think that some Pogo people are still working someplace


"(Our Developer) I did not process our March payment.  The money was in the bank account. They were pre-authorized to take the money but did not.  They have issued a statement that they are holding payments but it is not clear for how long and what happens because of not taking the payment...."

That DEVELOPER IS SMART. They should engineer a slowdown, and take smaller payments, maybe HALF payments for a while.  The worst thing would be to press people, and have them default, deciding it is not worth proceeding on their purchase.

"I guess it will slow down for a long while, but will go up again long term"

Long term?  Yes,  I am expecting a 3-5 year drop.  Slowing the projects will help, but all the buildings under construction now will have to be absorbed, when demand will likely crash thru the floor for months.  Maybe Returning OFW;s will take up units, as Owner occupiers or tenants, but these will not be high end units, and what sort of Rent do you think they will pay?

This is rodeo #5 or #6 for me. And each one plays out a little differently, and it is interesting to see what the quirks are, and what tricks the developers use to hide their over-supply and over-valuation problems.  they have already been papering-over problems for months, and now it will be much harder to do that. So let's watch and monitor what they are trying




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PHILIPPINES REAL ESTATE - in Lockdown / David Leechiu

"another month or two of Lockdown"

"Something is needed to keep the economy going"

Projecting ZERO transactions in 2nd Qtr ("conservatively"), and then a sharp pick-up,

"We are going to see a lot of Projects delayed, and that will delay supply to"

"WE expect Demand will normalize in 2021."

"There's a lot of pent-up Demand, and the Sellers want pre-Covid prices"

Comment from a Viber chat

"This guy seems quite positive on medium term view of Phillipines property mkt, no big bubble burst, growing REIT mkt, everyone supportive.  But a number of POGO friends more negative, say 20 to 30% of POGOS have relocated to counties like Malaysia.  Need to check this." - RL

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Manila’s Condominium Prices to Fall 15% This Year, Says Colliers


Jazz Condo, makati

(Bloomberg) -- The Philippine capital region’s condominium market is set to cool for the first time in a decade, according to Colliers International Group Inc.

Residential condominium prices this year will drop by 15% from a year ago before slightly recovering in 2021, said Joey Bondoc, a senior research manager at Colliers in Manila. “The Philippine economy and property market are facing a tremendous challenge,” he said in a briefing on Wednesday.

Empty Manila Offices Seen Increasing as Virus Hits Small Firms

The property services firm’s estimates assumed an economic contraction this year and the containment of the coronavirus next quarter. Condominium prices last fell during the global financial crisis, when it declined by 1.5% in 2009, Colliers data showed.

Other Highlights

  • Colliers sees residential property rents declining by 5.5% in 2020 while vacancy rate will rise 15% this year from 11% in 2019.
  • It expects about 11,000 condominium units to be completed this year, down from a 14,000 estimate previously.
  • Remittances, low-interest rates and expansion of the outsourcing sector fueled an unprecedented property boom in the Philippine capital in the past decade.


15% DOWN... is only the Opening Bid imho.  From there, it will keep dropping, I believe

Colliers has a chance of being right at "only 15% down" - where Rents hold at the level they expect: "Colliers sees residential property rents declining by 5.5% in 2020 while vacancy rate will rise 15% this year from 11% in 2019.

15% Vacancies would leave alot of Investors without income

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> source: pg.53

David Leechiu's update

David Leechiu- real estate developer had a webinar re Philippine real estate. Here’s the summary:

Business Forecast
by David Leechiu:

Here are my thoughts on whats happening now and post lockdown -

1. Bpo will resurge sometime year end because by then both phils and usa should have adopted to a new normal. Best example : one of our biggest brands clients just gave us a requirement for 4,000 seats to be concluded before september - thats anywhere from 20,000 to 30,000 sqm.

2. The global recession will compel the west to offshore more jobs to bangalore manila cebu clark.

3. As the article says, 95% of office rents were still collected last april. Despite theboffices not being used.

4. MOST Office landlords have given rent deferment only, a few have given rent discounts or partial waiver; fewer still have decided to give ZERO concessions (there are big names in this segment).

5. More than half of restaurants wont survive, especially those outside the malls, which will cause a drop in ground floor rents, but it will open up more opportunities and brands to emerge, and new players, that couldnt before covid because they couldnt get space.

6. The lower middle class and below will repopulate the malls; the middle middle and up will migrate most activities to online transactions.

7. Pogos will make a big come back as soon as travel bans are lifted. The pogos from india may come and enter the market this year, which will add to the demand, and it will be meaningful, but not as big as china.

8. Domestic tourism will flourish because we have been locked up for so long. Foreign tourism will take a while. Pinoys going abroad will be limited also because of fear.

9. Residential will soften : presales are almost zero, developers will provide deferred payments to buyers currently paying monthly. The big drop will is happening in the upper middle market, because they have borrowed heavily, and their incomes are compromised; the middle middle and low end will follow next; the high end market last.

10. China based customer service operations owned by western companies will diversify and open new centers in the philippines, and this will be a new demand driver and they will import chinese labor to live and work in phils, similar to what the pogos have done; but i think this labor segment will be if a much higher profile than what we are seeing from pogo. This is very very exciting. It will add another layer of demand not just for office but also residential retail and tourism.

11. Japan will rediscover the philippines and this will push them to have philippines in a longer term strategy: retirement, customer care operations, health care.

12. WORK FROM HOME (WFH) is not sustainable in the phils for many reasons: poor telecom connectivity, too many relatives and therefore distractions (domestic violence being a major factor),  its simply too hot because 70% of households dont have roof insulation nor airconditioning nor access to clean water, and corporate fraud will accelerate significantly because in work from home there is very little supervision and therefore more risk for fraud and corruption across all levels. The upper management can work from home - except that their spouses wont be able to tolerate their presence for this long and so their marriage (and therefore assets) will be at risk.

13. For some companies, the social distancing has required MORE office space so for example companies with 1,000 people use 6,000 sqm... but with lockdown only 40-50% are on site, another 25% WFH, and the other 25% are just on standby because they cannot do WFH. So when lockdown is lifted many companies will practice social distancing so they will need 9,000 to 12,000 sqm TEMPORARILY, while social distancing is necessary. So this will create more demand.

14. Theres only 34,000 sqm of PEZA space entering the market this year so those of you here with peza space it will be a good ride from august onwards.

15. Back to normal and big bounce back once vaccine is off the shelf - if Bill Gates is right, then vaccine should be here between Feb to May 2021 - the need and demand will be so great that global supply chains will be activated to churn the supply and production of these vaccines. Theres a strong chance that this vaccine will not come from usa or germany or switzerland, where medicine have traditionally come from... in 2002 during sars, there were very few r&d facilities globally: today the r&d labs in china sg hk israel, india, australia, taiwan, south korea, etc are as effective if not better. The exchange in ideas and data, technological advances, less war and strife, new and almost infinite capital, the economic consequences - all these are drivers to improve the chances of finding a cure sooner than later.

Anyway... this is plenty. If the vaccines will indeed be out by may 2021, then we just have to tide the next 11-12 months. The infinite levels of fiscal stimulus, creation of new bpo and pogo jobs, all these should tide us over.

Hope this helps. Would be happy to answer questions and we would welcome your feedback.  

Be well and stay safe!
- David Leechiu

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The NEWS is starting to catch up with the Forecast in this thread

Some Property prices are already off by 30% from the Peak

Philippines Is Bracing for Deepest Slump in Three Decades ...

The Philippine economy could face its deepest contraction in more than three decades, with the government now projecting it to shrink by 2% to 3.4% this year in the wake of the pandemic.

The coronavirus outbreak will cost the economy 2 trillion pesos ($40 billion) this year or nearly a tenth of gross domestic product, the Development Budget Coordination Committee said in a statement on Wednesday. Massive spending will bloat the budget deficit to as much as 8.1% of GDP so the economy could return to growth of a 7.1% to 8.1% next year, it said.

A 2% contraction will be the deepest since a 6.9% drop in 1985, according to Economic Planning Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon. The economy will slump by 2.4% in 2020, before growing by 7% in 2021, according to a Bloomberg survey from May 7 to 12.

“While that’s a significant revision, I think the forecast range may still be subject to downside risks given the need to be very cautious in re-opening the economy,” said Euben Paraculles, an economist at Nomura Holdings Inc. in Singapore. “Large-scale fiscal easing is also urgently needed but unfortunately the timing of passing a sizable support package is still unclear. That puts the onus on monetary policy in the near-term.”

/ 2 /

New study out on residential in MM ( per MDS )

- MM residential unit inventory flat at 25,690 units but average days on market continue to rise to 100-125days.
- more discounts are given. Down 30% from peak (perhaps also linked to inventory mix).
- pre sale value expected to go down 25%
- expect additional 6-12m delay on current completion

/ 3 /

WHAT WE STILL do not know is: Can they find tenants for properties people may buy? And: what will rental levels be? 

If we get additional Disappointment on the tenant side that may undermine the market even more

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The Confidence & discovery challenge exists in PHL, as in the US

US PROPERTY: "Nothing's Happening"

....due to an impassable Uncertainty gap,  "there is not enough price discovery" (yet).

The expectations of the future are so confused that almost no one has the confidence to price a transaction (where they can see an advantage in dealing)

/ Billionaire Sam Zell on Market Valuations, Real Estate, Post-Virus Economy >

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