THE continuous growth of the Philippine economy has boosted all segments of the property sector. For instance, the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) has experienced a tremendous uptake of condominium units in the high-end market with rents that lesser mortal could only dream of. 

The high-rise luxury market is thriving with monthly rentals for three-bedroom units at The Beaufort in Bonifacio Global City, some with full views of the golf course, going for as high as P180,000 per month.

Filinvest Development Corp. (Filinvest), the property-development unit of Filipino-Chinese tycoon Andrew Gotianun, is a major player in BGC focused on the luxury market. One of the company’s significant developments goes by a British-inspired name—The Beaufort, a 43-story structure that veers away from the usual offerings of ultra-high-end condos. 

Curtain walls and efficient space planning—both of which make units at The Beaufort seem more spacious than they are—are highly valued by lessors of luxe units. They also pay keen attention to the elevator-resident ratio.

The Beaufort is a hit among expatriates because it caters to their definition of luxury in BGC. The monthly rent of P180,000 is enough to convince people that this piece of property is only for the high and mighty. Aside from the elite, expatriates and returning residents who have lived abroad, and high-income households continue to drive this rental market concentrated in BGC and in Makati City.

“We are seeing a strong take up of The Beaufort units, which, in addition to exclusivity, offer superior technology, great views of both the Manila Golf and Makati skyline, as well as close proximity to premium destinations—the key elements of the best addresses in the leading capitals of the world,” according to Josephine Gotianun-Yap, president and chief executive officer of Filinvest.

Maita Herce Siquijor, a licensed realtor who recently sold units at the project carrying the Filinvest Premier brand, said the demand for these affluent products will continue to grow as the economy keeps on growing and as there is a demand for it.

Siquijor explains that tenants of luxury units have very discriminating tastes, as they actively seek innovations in residential projects that deliver greater comfort and conveniences for them.

For tenants with housing allowances between P100,000 and P200,000, changing residences is worth the effort since they will enjoy benefits like having only three neighbors  on a floor, amenities like a mini theater for private screenings or plush seating areas at the lobby that have the feel of a hotel.

Despite being a tyro in the luxury market compared to its listed counterparts, Siquijor said investors are noticing that its units offer them more value, which they, in turn can use to attract lessors.

Completed in 2013, units at The Beaufort have already appreciated in the secondary market because of this perception.

Tenants of luxury units actively seek innovations in residential projects, like The Beaufort’s mini theater for private screenings.

Once an expat in Singapore where her husband was assigned, she noted, “Expat tenants tend to highly appreciate low-density developments with high-grade amenities like the curtain wall of The Beaufort and its efficient space planning, which make the place seem more spacious than it is.” They also highly value their time and pay keen attention to the elevator-resident ratio, which at The Beaufort is four units to a floor and serviced by three elevators per tower.

A Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) Asia-Pacific study released at the end of 2014 ( explained that investment demand for this segment “continued to tread positively supported by the healthy economic conditions and low-interest rate environment.” Furthermore, JLL reported “the expanding offshoring and outsourcing industry, as well as the positive outlook on the economy, will likely continue to support leasing and investment demand” for luxury projects.

With prices ranging from P8 million for a one-bedroom unit up to P30 million for a three-bedroom unit at the East Tower, The Beaufort’s units and others in this segment account for an estimated 7,000 units only in Metro Manila.

“The Beaufort is one of BGC’s more premium developments offering only four units to a floor. Its penthouse units in the two towers situated above a six-story banking podium were among the first to be sold, indicating the quality of the development,” said Catherine Ilagan, executive vice president of Filinvest Alabang.

Aside from luxury living, Filinvest fills in the demand for a high level of security just like lessors who are closely affiliated with the diplomatic corps.

The Filinvest Group addressed this concern at The Beaufort with a sophisticated building management system that provides real-time monitoring, command and control, automation and report management—all from one platform. Each resident is issued a preprogrammed card that gives him elevator access only from his parking floor to his residential floor and from the ground floor lobby to the seventh floor, where amenities are located.

Other details that lessors in the high-end market look for include the floor-to-ceiling height of the units, the waiting time at the elevators and even the turning ratios at the parking floors.

Only 14 percent of the units priced from P8 million and up are still available. Most of them range from one- to three-bedroom units.

Source: Business Mirror