By Lee C. Chipongian
Residential real estate prices were up by 3.1 percent year-on-year in the first quarter as shown in the Residential Real Estate Price Index (RREPI) which increased to 119.9 from 116.3 end-March last year, the central bank said.
On a quarterly basis, RREPI was up by 1.6 percent. The RREPI includes the average prices of various types of housing such as single detached houses, duplexes, townhouses, and condominium units.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which gets its data from banks’ housing loans as basis for the RREPI, said prices of condominium units and townhouses increased by 10.9 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively, in the first quarter.
Prices of single detached housing units, in the meantime, decreased by 1.7 percent year-on-year while duplex units’ prices also dropped by eight percent. Duplex units have a mere 0.5 percent share of total new housing units.
The BSP noted that, residential property prices in both the National Capital Region (NCR) and in areas outside of NCR increased during the period. Housing prices in the NCR was up by 8.7 percent and 0.4 percent for areas outside of NCR.
“In NCR, the rise in the average residential property prices was largely due to the increase in the prices of condominium units. In areas outside of NCR, all types of housing units registered price increases, except for single detached houses, which recorded a decline,” said the BSP.
Based on banks’ data, about 74 percent of residential real estate loans (RRELs) were used to buy new housing units. By type of housing unit, 46.2 percent of residential property loans were for the purchase of single detached units, followed by condominium units with 44.5 percent, and townhouses with 8.6 percent, said the BSP.
By area, most of the RRELs granted in the NCR were for the purchase of condominium units, while RRELs granted in AONCR were for single detached houses, the BSP added.
By region, 42.5 percent of RRELs were from banks in the NCR areas as of end-March.
The RRELs in areas outside of the NCR were mostly from banks located in CALABARZON, accounting for 28.5 percent of total housing loans during the period. Central Luzon accounted for 9.1 percent of RRELs in the first quarter, while Central Visayas, Western Visayas, Davao Region and Northern Mindanao accounted for 6.5 percent, 4.4 percent, 2.6 percent and two percent, respectively.
“Together, NCR and these six other regions accounted for 95.6 percent of total housing loans granted by banks,” said the BSP.
The RREPI was introduced in 2015 and according to the BSP, it provides a valuable tool in assessing the real estate and credit market conditions in the country. It is computed as a weighted chain-linked index that is based on the average appraised value per square meter weighted by the share of floor area of new housing units.