QUESTION: Sir John, what is the impact of typhoon Ondoy to real estates in Metro Manila?
ANSWER: The flood on Metro Manila real estate caused a surge in movement in the sales and lease of estates located in higher elevation. In our small subdivision alone, Rancho 3 Marikina, which is an upland, there were at least five brand new cluster of townhouse constructions and at least 4 brand new houses built within one year from the event of Flood Ondoy. The two tenants I have accomodated for leasing are transferies from the lowland who were traumatized by flood.
The story below is a nice article about flood impact to real estates in Provident Village.
‘Panic’ rooms: Now, Provident lives up to its name, clearly
By Niña Calleja
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:40:00 09/26/2010
MANILA, Philippines—A room with a view it may be.
But Ariston Dawang Jr. built it right on top of his two-story house not really to have a prettier scenery but a better chance of survival.
The businessman had a “panic room” constructed in case another Tropical Storm “Ondoy” unleashes 15- to 20-foot floodwaters on the middle-class Provident Villages in Marikina City, one of the areas hit hardest by the killer storm exactly a year ago today.
Neighbors have been made aware of his project: The 2 x 10-meter refuge can pack up to 20 people. Inside, a steel cabinet contains the essentials like flash lights, canned goods, clothes and first-aid supplies.
Dawang conceded that, seen from outside, the room is incongruous and unadorned like an oversized “pigeon coop.”
But aesthetics takes a back seat to function: The room is the family’s refuge, possibly the only life-saver they’ve got if another monster flood comes rushing in.
“There’s always a possibility that it can happen again. When that day comes, we will be prepared,” Dawang told the Inquirer in an interview at his residence.
80% chose to stay
Life, indeed, goes on—but with a few serious precautions—for Provident residents a year since Ondoy turned what was supposed to be a secure, well-tended community into a village of horror.
It was from Provident that the nation got some of the first harrowing accounts of Ondoy’s unusual fury: Floodwaters reaching the second-floor ceiling in a matter of minutes, families trapped on their rooftops for hours.
That fateful Saturday, Ondoy dumped a month’s volume of rain in just six hours, submerging large portions of Metro Manila and Luzon, killing 464 people. Some 185,000 homes were destroyed and overall damage to agriculture, infrastrucure and property was placed at P11 billion.
But contrary to speculations, Provident never became a ghost town in Ondoy’s aftermath.
About 80 percent of the residents chose to stay rather than rebuild their lives elsewhere, according to the homeowners association president, Aracelli Bumatay.
“I am still here because I have no choice. The others (who stayed) believe another great flood would not happen in their lifetime,” said Bumatay, who survived the flood by rushing to a church and clinging to the chandeliers and floating pews for several hours.
She said many residents had since followed Dawang’s lead and built their own panic rooms, while others had three-story houses constructed in lots that used to serve as car parks.
Massive paint jobs have also restored Provident’s vibrant urbanscape. Perhaps the only physical trace left of Ondoy is the rusty streak on the metallic letters that spell out “Provident Villages” at the subdivision’s main gate.
Dawang’s house, for example, has been completely repainted. The roof and ceiling have been replaced—with a “skylight window” now added. Perhaps to give him early warning signs of impending bad weather?
He had also restored his front yard garden and fishpond, but this time installed with an improvised flood alarm system.
All these improvements were borne out of the bitter lessons of Sept. 26, 2009. Dawang said he began that seemingly normal rainy day by attending a weekend business meeting in the morning.
By the time he sensed the need to rush home, he already had to wade through the waist-deep waters to get back to Provident.
“When I arrived at our house, the car was blinking and the flood had reached our living room. All along we were thinking the water would no longer rise; we were used to that level of flooding,” he added.
But around noon, just when his family had secured most of their valuables on the second floor, the water further rose “in a blink of an eye,” he recalled.
With their lives now in danger, Dawang and his family climbed to the roof and jumped over to that of their neighbors, one rooftop after another, until they reached a house that had a third floor.
“There were, at least, 100 people crammed there,” Dawang said. They spent the night in that house before they could return to their own, mud-covered homes.
After Ondoy, Dawang said, he actually had the means to relocate but his two children preferred that the family stay at Provident.
Here to stay
“Ask the residents of Malabon why they still live there despite the regular floods, and I will give you the same answer,” he said.
Like Dawang, another resident, Lulu Velarde, found it difficult to just abandon a lifetime investment.
And besides, Velarde said, “who would want to buy our house now that Provident has been associated with that great flood?”
“It’s better to stay,” said Velarde, a retired sales agent and Provident homeowner for more than 10 years.
Bumatay said she personally knew, at least, three homeowners who packed up and left after Ondoy. “One of them didn’t even bother to clean her house,” she said.
A year later, the storm’s blow on Provident’s image as a real estate prospect continues to be felt. “There have been very few apartment rentals and buyers of land,” Bumatay said.
A lot in Provident now sells at around P5,000 per square meter, which Bumatay considered “bagsak-presyo” (knocked-down price) considering that the pre-Ondoy value ranged between P8, 000 and P10, 000 per sq m.
Professional property appraiser Federico Cuervo said he had learned of Provident homeowners offering their homes at a discount of as much as 60 percent “but they still had no takers.”
“That’s because there’s such a thing as reputation,” said Cuervo of the Pasig City-based Cuervo Valuers and Advisory Inc.
Signs of recovery, like that shown by Dawang, tend to hide Ondoy’s long-term effects on the community. One look at his house today would convey no hint that, in its vicinity, corpses and debris once floated by.
“Parang hindi siya na-Ondoy (It was as though Ondoy spared him),” Bumatay said of her neighbor.
That is until one looks up and sees the extra room, that “pigeon coop” Dawang has built—and is told of its grim purpose. With a report from Daxim Lucas