POPULATION GROWTH, including continued local migration to one of Mindanao’s economic and education hubs, is expected to keep Davao City’s real estate sector robust at least in the next three years.

But with no public transportation options definitely planned, it could also mean the same traffic woes that plague the country’s other main urban areas.

“The real estate industry in Davao City has boomed in the last six years. And the trend is still upwards,” said Lea C. Walker, a licensed broker who owns and manages Allea Real Estate based in the city.

This city classified as highly urbanized has a population of 1,449,296, according to a 2010 census by the Philippine Statistics Authority which also noted an average growth rate of 2.36% from 2000.

At this growth rate, the PSA said “the population of Davao City would double in 30 years.”

An analysis made by Web-based real estate firm Lamudi Philippines in September last year, partly using PSA data, predicted the city’s population would be at least 1.83 million by 2020.

Jacqueline van den Ende, managing director of Lamudi Philippines, said cities that are growing really fast are those that are also popular with online property-hunters or where numerous real estate projects are currently underway.

She said Davao is the 10th most searched city on their site.

Ms. Walker said in her experience, the “biggest sellers” have been low- and mid-cost properties, “although high end ones aren’t that far behind.”