Cebu tops the list of most popular provincial locations in 2020, according to the latest trend report from Lamudi, Hotspots Unwrapped: 2020’s Most Popular LocationsIn 2019, Metro Cebu also ranked first in the most in-demand provincial locations.

The study showed that Cebu is a renter’s market, garnering 62.56% of pageviews and 60.65% of leads in the area. The finding suggests that the market may have considered more affordable housing solutions amid the economic woes brought by the pandemic.

Top Business Hub

According to the Lamudi report, Cebu remains popular amid the pandemic because of its business environment. It’s a top location choice for establishing entrepreneurial activities outside the capital region.

Metro Cebu has business districts that provide strong infrastructure to companies, with Cebu Business Park (CBP) and Cebu IT Park (CITP) among the most attractive destinations, especially for the information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) industry.

Citing the results of the Tholons Services Globalization Index 2020, Colliers International Philippines said that Cebu is the 15th most competitive outsourcing destination in the world, the Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported. This provides a positive outlook for the metro, attracting more locators to invest as the market sentiment amid the pandemic improves.

Colliers added that the recovery in major business districts mentioned will be at a faster pace.

The availability of industrial parks, such as the Mactan Economic Zone II in Lapu-Lapu City, likewise makes Metro Cebu a leading choice for investment location.

Infrastructure on the Rise

Development projects can further solidify Metro Cebu’s property market resilience. In fact, public officials expect an era of “Ceboom” (Cebu boom) as several infrastructures rise soon in the area, Sunstar reported last October. In the 1990s, the area experienced economic progress when business districts and the Transcentral Highway were constructed.

Today, the most anticipated projects are the P80-billion fourth Cebu-Mactan Bridge and coastal road construction project, P28-billion Metro Cebu Expressway project, and the P74-billion Metro Cebu Monorail Transit System project.

1st District Representative Congressman Eduardo Gullas said that these initiatives will improve accessibility, trade, and mobility, while creating job opportunities for locals, ultimately spurring Cebu’s economic growth.

Back in August, Sunstar reported that the 4th Cebu-Mactan Bridge was set to secure initial funding this year. The project, which has a jumpstart fund of P1.2 billion, will feature a 3.3-kilometer-long road bridge and a 4.9-kilometer coastal road.

Meanwhile, Sunstar reported in October that the 3rd bridge was more than 60 percent finished. The Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway will be completed this year.

The Metro Cebu Expressway project was recently announced as part of the solicited projects of the Philippine public-private partnership (PPP), according to Manila Bulletin. The infrastructure, connecting Naga and Danao, will cut travel time between the two cities from three hours to an hour and a half once construction is completed.

The Metro Cebu Monorail Transit System project, meanwhile, is part of the government’s priority after recalibrating the list of infrastructure projects in light of the pandemic and recent natural disasters, PNA reported.

Recovering Tourism Scene

The gradual return of tourists in Cebu can likewise contribute to better property demand in the next months. The hospitality and retail industry will particularly benefit from the recovering tourism activity, especially as the travel bubbles between Visayan locations are expected to expand further.

Cebu hotels have been tweaking their efforts to further entice tourists. In celebration of Sinulog, some hotels offered discounted rates on rooms and dining services, promoted staycation, and transformed spaces into a Sto. Nino shrine, according to Sunstar.

The local government is likewise ramping its initiatives to bring back the traveling public’s confidence. Last December, the Cebu City Tourism Commission launched the “Stay Cebu, Celebrate Cebu” campaign, aimed at encouraging tourists to travel around the city and stay in hotels, Yahoo News reported.

Meanwhile, malls in the city have observed a gradual recovery of foot traffic as early as August last year, amid the general community quarantine (GCQ), according to PNA.

The retail buildings improved sanitation and health measures, complying with mandatory temperature checks in entrances and wearing of masks, as stores observed reduced capacity in accommodating customers. The return of tourists may further bolster recovery in the retail industry.

Sources: PNA, Sunstar, Manila Bulletin, Yahoo News