NEWS

The key to buying real estate

By EPI FABONAN III

Basic financial wisdom dictates that we should invest in things or possessions of value. This is important because this is a measure of how much you are getting in return from investing in such things or possessions. And since value appreciates or depreciates depending on certain factors involved, it’s crucial that one understands how values change over time and how to deal with it before making critical investments.

One practical application of this principle is in buying real estate. Land values go up or down depending on its location, accessibility, condition, the infrastructure built on it, as well as its surroundings. If you buy a piece of land, say, a beachfront property with fine white sand and picturesque sunset views, then you’ve got a jewel in your hands. But if you buy, say, farmland on a mountain surrounded by thick rainforest in a remote section of a province, with little to no prospect of agriculture or development because of environmental laws and lack of access infrastructure, then you’re in for loss.

The same applies to buying property in the city.

An urban property increases its value if located in vital economic and political hubs as well as transport links, such as central business districts, government centers, airports, seaports, and major highways. It’s even more valuable when it is surrounded by essential structures such as malls, hospitals, hotels, parks, transport stations, museums, and churches, among others. And, with the recent clamor for a greener, more environmentally-conscious lifestyle, values have risen for land that takes in consideration its harmony with the natural environment, promotes a healthy lifestyle through physical activity, and encourages inclusive mobility.

Ever wondered if such a valuable real estate development exists in the confines of bustling city of 11 million people like Metro Manila?

It does. It exists in the form of ARCA South, a 74-hectare development that will rise in a portion of the old FTI property in Taguig City.

This new, campus-type township is the next ideal location to work, live, and play south of the metro. Built with changing trends in real estate, transport, technologies and urban living in mind, this new development is the prime exemplar of a future-proof community. Developed by Ayala Land, Inc., the country’s leading property developer, the company has earmarked P80 billion in the first five years to realize the vision of ARCA South.

As Colliers International Research and Advisory Services director Julius Guevara elucidates, “ARCA South has the potential of emerging as a new CBD in Metro Manila. Located just south of Makati and Bonifacio Global City, which are now becoming built up, it has the opportunity to absorb spillover demand in the near term and take over as a dominant CBD once they are fully built up.”

He adds that the emerging CBD has the benefit of being right next to the South Luzon Expressway and along a planned access ramp to the Skyway. Furthermore, ARCA South will be beside of the future South Integrated Transit System (ITS), which will be the terminus for all public utility buses coming from Southern Tagalog. This provides a strategic advantage, since provincial travelers can easily hop on and off the buses at the ITS, shop at the mall, and work at the various offices in ARCA South. It is also anticipated that ARCA South will have access to C-5, making it a more convenient and strategic place to live and work in.

“Apart from the South-ITS bringing shoppers from the provinces to ARCA South, the immediate vicinity could be serviced by the retail offerings in ARCA South. Furthermore, the planned residential and office components will create additional demand for shopping and F&B,” Guevara adjoins.

ARCA South is envisioned to house a premiere Ayala Mall, offering a wide variety of dining and lifestyle options with its 72,000 gross leasable area. Nearby, a 265-room Seda Hotel will also serve as an immediate domicile for travelers coming in from NAIA. There will also be six corporate buildings for BPO clients totaling 96,000 sqm in size and a 250-room QualiMed Hospital to serve the health needs of its residents and workers.

These strategic advantages are what make ARCA South a valuable real estate investment in terms of location and accessibility, especially for career-driven millennials and baby boomers.

And it’s evident that since ALI launched the project, investors are seeing its value and putting their stakes on the development.

As ALI project development manager Stephen Comia reveals, “Values of commercial lots we’ve launched in 2013 has increased by 40 percent. These values continue to appreciate as we complete development of our Phase I infrastructure. Furthermore, based on the sales take-up of all of our residential brands present in ARCA South, they have a combined take-up rate of 72 percent for Phase I and we’ve recently launched Phase II early this year.”

ALI residential brands within ARCA South include the luxury Ayala Land Premiere, the mid-range Alveo, and the affordable Avida. Such choice in residential brands ensures a wide range of options in this promising township that’s within their desired specifications.

And speaking of desired specifications, advocates of green and healthy living will be happy to learn about ARCA South’s green living considerations.

“The estate is also very walkable. About 40 percent of the development will be dedicated to open space and it will have wide walkways and dedicated bike lanes. Also, ARCA South will have its own privately managed transport system that will service the development and connect to our other CBDs such as Makati, BGC, and even NUVALI.” Comia confirms.

He also added that an integrated basement parking system will cover 40% of the estate wherein you can enter anywhere in the development and exit where it is more convenient for you. This frees up the streets to pedestrians, joggers and cyclists. Knowing that ARCA South encourages a lifestyle that’s healthier, more active, and with a lesser carbon footprint, will delight the fast-paced, environmentally-conscious, also allowing for even greater value appreciation for the development.

With a seamless mix of strategic location, accessibility, commercial offerings, residential options, and environmental consciousness, such a valuable and promising development is a real estate gold mine.