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Property sector to pick up 6 mos. after Duterte assumes presidency – Colliers

The property market is expected to pick up six months after the next President is sworn into office, real estate consultancy firm Colliers International said on Wednesday.

"Maybe about six months after Duterte assumes his presidency [the market will pick up]," Julius Guevara, Colliers International Research and Advisory Services director, told GMA News Online at the sidelines of a briefing in Makati City.

Investors were reported to be on a wait-and-see stance, waiting for the economic platform of presumptive President Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who is currently leading the unofficial count of the election returns from the May 9 polls.

As of 11:45 a.m. on May 11, Duterte remains the breakaway winner of the presidential race with 15,840,605 votes, according to the partial and unofficial results from the transparency server of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Guevara noted the property market positive outlook on a Duterte-led administration.

"Generally optimistic... He has a very good platform across crime, his jive in improving services would really... facilitate [improvement in the properties sector]," he said.

Asked how much the market would benefit from the leadership change, Guevara said: "We don't know yet, we cannot speculate."

In the first three months of the year, Colliers noted the property market in Metro Manila has improved, primarily driven by an increase in office space.

Seven office buildings with a total floor area of 156,000 square meters and three residential buildings were completed in January to March.

The retail properties market also rose by as much as 107,000 square meters over the past two quarters, Guevara said.

In a separate interview with Reuters, Duterte's spokesperson said the presumptive President intends to pursue an annual economic growth of 7 to 8 percent or even higher in a drive to cut poverty.

"If we want to reduce the poverty rate, we need a higher growth," Peter Laviña told the news wire.

Under the administration of President Benigno S.C Aquino III, the average annual economic growth has topped 6 percent.

The full-year gross domestic product last year, however, registered at 5.8 percent as the El Niño cut agriculture output and a sputtering global economy slowed demand.

The Philippine Statistics Authority is scheduled to release the first quarter 2016 GDP on May 19.  The government earlier set a target of 6.8 to 7.8 percent target this year. – VDS, GMA news