Manila ranked worst property investment site in Asia
By Abigail L. Ho in Manila/Philippine Daily Inquirer | ANN Thu, Sep 15, 2011

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Foreign investors looking to invest in real estate-related businesses have ranked Manila as their last choice among various key cities in the Asia-Pacific.

According to the Emerging Trends in Real Estate Asia Pacific 2011 survey conducted by the Urban Land Institute (ULI), global real estate investors gave Manila a score of 4.56 points out of a possible 9, placing the city a few points below "fair" and somewhere within the realms of "abysmal."

Topping the survey was Singapore with a score of 5.96 points, followed by Shanghai with 5.87, Mumbai with 5.79, and Hong Kong with 5.70.

In an interview with the Inquirer, ULI global trustee and South Asia chairman Simon Treacy said the Philippines, in general, was suffering from a negative image, prompting investors in publicly listed real estate firms to bypass the country when deciding on where to allocate their funds.

"Manila is at the bottom of the pack because the Philippines hasn't gone to the next level. The country's image hasn't really improved. Even with the new administration, there's still a negative perception of the country," Treacy said.

"The Philippines rarely ranks when it comes to investment allocations. Since the Philippines doesn't get a lot of airplay, its real estate prospects become undervalued.

Marketing is very important, on a national level, because not a lot of real estate investors look to the Philippines when deciding where to put their capital," Teacy added.

One of the ways to attract real estate capital here, he said, was to put in place a viable real estate investment trust (REIT) environment.