Freeman Cebu Business

Low-cost housing inventories to rise in 2016

Ehda Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – Cebu will see more inventories of economic housing projects in 2016 along with tourism-related investments adjusting to the real need of the market.

"For the past three years, property projects are more investment-driven, thus falling short in catering to the real need of the market, which is affordable housing," said Philippine Allied Chamber of Real Estate brokers and Licensed Salesmen (PhilAcre) president Anthony Gerard Leuterio.

Likewise, developers who have enough land-bank up for development are seen to step in into mixed-use or tourism related projects, which encompasses the need for residential, at the same time commercial use.

Taft Properties, a company owned by the Metro Gaisano group announced its re-entry to economic housing segment beginning 2016, through its six-hectare property adjacent to the upscale village Beverly Hills in Lahug.

Jack Gaisano, chairman and president of Taft Property Venture Development Corporation, said this project will jumpstart the company's serious stance to address the economic housing backlog in Cebu.

As long as interest rates will continue to settle in the lower level, interest of the market is not a problem, as well as capacity to buy or acquire properties, he said.

Simultaneously, the company will also expand its venture in developing more township projects, exploiting the fertile tourism business in Cebu, Gaisano said.

Gotianun-led property development firm, Filinvest Land Inc., (FLI) also started its re-entry to house and lot projects in Cebu, after building more condominium units in the metropolis.

This time, the publicly-listed company will focus on providing economic housing inventory to the growing mainstream market in Cebu, said FLI-Visayas project development officer for home and MRB (medium-rise buildings) Archie M. Igot.

"We are running out of inventories [for house and lot package]," said Igot.

FLI's recently launched  "Futura Homes" project,  a 4.6 hectares economic housing situated in barangay Marigondon, Lapu-Lapu City, will kick-off the company's move to fill in the shortage of affordable housing choices in Metro Cebu.

According to Igot, FLI is currently brewing subdivision project plans from northern to southern parts of Cebu, more economic-housing project will be unveiled in the coming months.

FLI's ideal target areas for subdivision expansion include Minglanilla, San Fernando, Carcar, Lilo-an, and Compostela.

A 25-hectare property in Mactan is also being eyed for a possible development of township project that will primarily feature housing units.

Although, the contemporary living afforded by condominium homes, is still on the hyper-demand level, Igot said FLI also has to catch up with the equally growing demand for horizontal housing products in Cebu.

Sunberry Homes, Inc., an affiliate company of Contempo Property Holdings Inc., is also up to provide at least 2,000 affordable units to fill up the expanding shortage of supply in the economic and socialized housing supplies in Metro Cebu.

The company started its economic housing offer through Sunberry subdivision in Mactan island.

Sunberry Homes Inc., chief executive officer (CEO) Beverly Dayanan said that the company had already invested P300 million for the maiden project, which provides a total of 400 house and lot units of socialized and economic segments combined.

"We are going to intensify our development in the low-end segment in the residential projects," said Dayanan.

Dayanan, whose expertise is deeply carved in the affordable segment in residential real estate sector, understood the growing clamor from the mainstream market for socialized and economic type of housing products.

Known for its expertise in providing affordable house and lot packages, Local real estate developer Cebu Landmasters Inc, (CLM) is further expanding its capital expenditure (capex) to accommodate the strong movement of real estate market in Cebu.

CLM  president Jose Soberano III said the company already started to pour in P3 billion to the company's capex to create economic housing, including socialized subdivision projects in Cebu, on top of their parallel plans to build more commercial, condominium type of projects in Visayas and Mindanao.

Citing industry records, Soberano said that the country has about 3.5-million in housing backlog, and most of these are potential buyers in the low to mid-income market segment.

A per unit price of a socialized housing starts at P400,000 while low to mid-income houses are between P800,000 to P1.5-million per unit.

Meanwhile, Cebu Real Estate Board (Cereb) president Samuel O. Lao said Cebu is ripe for this kind of development, while most developers had been building condominiums to accommodate the "hungry" market, Cebu had been suffering from shortage of economic or affordable housing supply.

While the limited flat land of Cebu generated the mushrooming of mid to high rise condominium projects, introduction of pocket-subdivision that provides house and lot package still tops the market's choice.

Thus, 2016 will carry out this type of mainstream housing developments, alongside with continuous building of integrated projects, like townships, and tourism/retail concepts.

Economic housing or affordable town house are the residential projects, which the market had been needing in the couple of years, Leuterio reiterated adding that people now have the capacity to buy.

The Philippines is facing a huge 3.9 million housing backlog, which is expected to reach to seven million by 2030.

With this active stance of Cebu-based property builders to address this concern, more families will be able to own a decent house and lot property, with the aid of Pag-ibig Fund's adjusted housing loan terms for the members, and market's all-time low interest rates. (FREEMAN)












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