SM helps bridge huge housing gap

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The residential condominium market has undergone a major shift from 10 years ago when there were just a handful of real estate firms building condos and only a few who could afford living in such units. Today, with a housing backlog of over three million homes, SM Development Corp. (SMDC) has found itself at a pivotal position to address a huge gap in the Philippine housing sector.

“Over a decade ago, condo living was relatively for the wealthy. Now, the landscape has changed,” Jose Mari Banzon, SM Development Corp. (SMDC) executive vice president said.

Prior to the aggressive entry of SMDC into the housing market in 2007, Henry Sy Jr., the eldest son of businessman Henry Sy had a vision to make housing more affordable for Filipinos without sacrificing quality. This gave birth to SMDC’s aggressive move into vertical housing development. In just 10 years from the construction of its first project, SMDC was able to launch a total of 28 projects, representing more than 80,000 units. These developments were spread across the nation, particularly in the cities of Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Manila, Taguig, Makati, Quezon City as well as in Tagaytay.

As the economy drew more strength in the last 10 years largely from a vibrant business process outsourcing (BPO) sector and rising overseas remittances,  SMDC saw the huge opportunity to cater to the growing and young middle class who aspires for a better life and is equipped with increased spending power.

Government statistics show more than a three million backlog for housing in the country which grows by an average of  over 340,000 units every year. The bulk of the backlog is in the middle to economic income segments where demand appears insurmountable, and these are the markets that SMDC focuses on.

“We offer affordable five-star living to the middle market by providing a well-integrated development,” Banzon said.

To give more value for money, SMDC’s trademark offerings include five-star amenities such as hotel-like grand lobbies, function rooms, and resort-style amenities with swimming pools and landscaped gardens.

SMDC developments provide spaces for retail establishments, banks, restaurants, supermarkets and other services for greater convenience. Light Residences, which sits at the juncture of EDSA and Mandaluyong, is the first SMDC condominium to offer a retail podium with 12,672 square meters for shopping, dining and entertainment, and digital cinemas for theenjoyment of the residents and nearby communities.

SMDC also develops its residences near SM malls, schools and transport hubs to make its homes more accessible, helping residents beat the city traffic. What makes all these possible are the strong synergies between SM’s diverse businesses in property, retail and banking.

Despite the steady growth of the middle market, there remains a majority of the population in need of even more affordable homes. SMDC is therefore preparing to enter the economic housing market which starts at just over P1 million.

“We see very strong growth in this market. This is really where the rising middle class belongs,” Banzon said.

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