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CONDOTELS (CONDO-HOTELS) – New Hotel Phenomenon Set to Sweep the Philippines

Interest in the Philippines condominium hotels sector has increased significantly in the past two years following many years of intermittent development and association with other shared ownership vehicles, says Beth Collingz in her recent report: ‘Condominium Hotels-The Philippines Latest Hotel Phenomenon’

Beth Collingz, Overseas Marketing Director, Investment Sales for PLC International Marketing the lead marketing partners for Pacific Concord Properties Inc’s Lancaster Brand of Condotels in the Philippines explained: A condominium hotel is a hotel operating unit which is sold to individual equity investors, where each owner acquires a room, suite or studio whilst the whole enterprise is managed as a hotel operation under a single brand.

Buyers own their units the same as regular condos. There is no time limit to ownership. All Condos come with freehold title deeds. The Condotel model is similar to the serviced apartment or apart hotel sector and is suitable for an investor who wants to test the water in hotel investment.

We are seeing more and more sophisticated customers coming to the market and a change in demand patterns; the traditional timeshare products seem past their prime. This, plus an increase in investment appetite for the hospitality sector, suggests that the condominium market looks set to grow Collingz continued: Many international hotel brands have also declared that the Philippine hotel landscape is ready for condominium hotel developments, either in conjunction with self-contained hotel operations, as fully self-contained condominium plans or as a part of a mixed-use development plan such as the Lancaster Brand.

Condominium hotels are significantly less developed in the Philippines than in the US, in part owing to a low cost residential focused market as well as the lack of development in the hotel sector since the 1997 Asian Crisis. Alternative hotel ownership are featuring more and more in the hotels sector, with the rise of condominium hotels and a shift in investor strategy, thus creating a new investor profile. At the moment, the Philippine condominium market is being targeted and driven by private retail purchasers, typically reasonably net worth individuals attracted by a city centre or a resort investment foothold although we are now seeing more and more first time property buyers moving into the Condominium Hotel marketplace said Collingz.

Metro Manila and Cebu are particular favorites as an investment destination. There is room for a wider pool of institutional and real estate investors to invest in a portfolio of condominium units or the establishment of an investor-developer partnership.

Collingz continued that a lot of this interest is being driven by the relatively cheap market prices in the Philippines compared to Europe, specially UK Housing prices, and the easy payment options available for our Condo Hotel Developments, but there are other factors, too. Offshore Property Investors, Foreign baby boomers as well as overseas Filipinos, are looking for ways to maximize their return on investments as they approach retirement, and so are purchasing second homes, particularly Condo Hotel Investments where they can use the Condo for vacations and rent it out through our In-House Condotel Management when they are not using the unit thereby gaining rental incomes that on today’s purchase prices, give a projected ROI on their investments of some 12-16% depending upon the mode of payment for the unit.

Pacific Concord Properties Inc’s Lancaster – The Atrium, Shaw Boulevard, Metro Manila, Philippines is a “Full Service” Condominium Hotel offering Studio, One, Two and Three Bedroom Suites for sale. To be completed and ready for turnover from December 2010, the Lancaster Atrium will provide unit owners with premier residential condo units with option of enrolling their units in the Lancaster Condo Hotel Rental Pool and earn Rental Incomes as owner Non-Residents when not using their units through Condotel Management. This makes the Lancaster Brand of Condotels, one of the Hottest Investment Opportunities in the Philippines.

Part of the success story for this sector will be the education of a whole new investor base previously accustomed to buy-to-let residential plans or conventional commercial real estate investments, together with the emergence of a secondary market in the Philippines to demonstrate transparency and liquidity said Collingz.

The emergence of the condominium hotel sector is becoming ever more apparent in the Philippine Hotel investment landscape. This alternative investment vehicle is already well established in the US and Europe and is set to become a part of the Philippine Hotel scene.

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