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Philippine property giants turn to retail

Philippine property giants are entering record capital expenditure programs in 2016, on the back of strong economy, according to the global property advisor Savills.

Three of the eight biggest property developers – Ayala Land, SM Prime Holdings and Robinsons Land – are also the biggest mall developers in the country.

“When the real estate boom started, residential sales were the sweet spot. It seems that the residential market is becoming more saturated that’s why developers are shifting to the commercial side,” said Antton Nordberg, research and consultancy manager at KMC MAG Group.

The 2016 capex budget will mostly fund the development of large-scale mixed-use communities, mostly commercial components such as office and retail, Nordberg said.

Nordberg said real estate firms – mostly listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange – could spend an all-time high of P369 billion (US$7.9 billion) this year, surpassing the record investment of P360 billion last year by 2.5 per cent.

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