Home prices rise further in Q1

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 1) — Home buyers had to spend more in the first quarter, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said, with condominiums posting the biggest rise from a year ago.

Home prices picked up by 3.1 percent in the Philippines during the quarter, faster than the 2.1 percent increase logged in January-March 2018, according to the central bank's residential real estate price index.

The cost to acquire houses actually saw mixed movements. Condominium units saw prices surge by 10.9 percent nationwide, followed by a 9.6 percent pickup in the appraised value of townhouses. This was offset by an eight percent decline in the purchase prices of duplex units and a 1.7 percent drop for single houses.

By location, property prices rose by 8.7 percent within Metro Manila. The increase in the regions was more modest at 0.4 percent.

Condominiums were the hottest buy in Metro Manila, where the price surge is steeper at 11.6 percent year-on-year. This is followed by a 1.8 percent increase in townhouse rates, while the tags for stand-alone homes eked out a mere one percent gain.

In contrast, duplex units in the capital plunged to just a third of last year's prices, according to BSP data. These account for just 0.5 percent of new home sales in the country.

Outside Metro Manila, townhouses saw the biggest price spike at 13.9 percent from a year ago. The selling price of duplexes rose by 7.8 percent while condominium units also went up by 6.8 percent. Single detached homes are the favorite of provincial dwellers as the year opened, with prices even sliding 1.8 percent lower versus last year.

The BSP keeps track of property prices to make sure that the volatile real estate sector is safe from a bubble, which could trigger a financial collapse if left unchecked.

Latest home loans data from the central bank showed that three-fourths of new credit lines were granted for the purchase of new housing units. Of this, 46.2 percent were for single detached homes, 44.5 percent are for condominiums, and roughly a tenth were for townhouses.

Majority of borrowers came from Metro Manila at 42.5 percent, followed by Calabarzon (28.5 percent), Central Luzon (9.1 percent), Central Visayas (6.5 percent), Western Visayas (4.4 percent), Davao Region (2.6 percent) and Northern Mindanao (two percent).