Property market enjoyed explosive growth in 2018
Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - December 29, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  True to what stakeholders have projected at the start of 2018, the real estate industry in Cebu made an “explosive” performance, as sales of properties surpassed developers’ targets for the year.


“The year 2018 is the best year for us compared to previous years. Our sales registered the highest since we entered the real estate business in Cebu,” said AppleONe Properties Inc., president Ray Go Manigsaca.

Manigsaca’s company, the developer of the luxury Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort and Residences, among other condominium and commercial projects, considered 2018 a defining year as robust sales prompted the homegrown firm to shell out about P8 billion for more projects starting 2019.

Township developer, HT Land Inc., likewise echoed Manigsaca’s assessment, saying the year 2018 finished its sales production with flying colors.

“We surpassed our target for the year,” shared HT Land Inc., project director Gilbert Ang.

Surprisingly, local buyers equaled the hyper interest of foreign investors wanting to own a more than one unit of residential condominium within the 20-hectare Mandani Bay project.

While residential condominiums, including condo-tel products were selling like hotcakes in 2018, developers on the other hand were slapped with much stricter regulations implemented by the government, led by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).

Real estate marketing specialist and broker, Anthony Gerard Leuterio said the decision of HLURB to slow down the releasing of LTS (License To Sell) of new projects blocked the developers to launch new projects in 2018.

About 90 percent of the planned projects for 2018 was not launched, Leuterio said, this is due to the government agencies’ unhurried posture in providing necessary permits, such as LTS.

Leuterio agreed with developers that pushing sales production to unexpected high was not a problem, but what needs to be addressed is the government’s helping hand in supporting the industry’s robustness.

Leuterio who owns the country’s largest brokerage network under the Filipino Homes group, confirmed that sales performance in 2018 was almost unbelievable.

“What we sold in the last four years [combined], equaled to the sales we made only for 2018,” Leuterio said confirming the market’s hyper-active interest in buying properties in Cebu and neighboring provinces in Visayas and Mindanao.

Boardroom Meetings

As developers were mostly waiting for necessary permits to be signed and approved, property capitalists utilized the hang-time to meetings in boardrooms drawing strategies for long term masterplans in real estate.

Other developers also invested good amount of money to study the market intensively and getting the right pulse of what the government really wants, Leuterio said.

But those who were able to prepare three years prior to 2018 reaped the rewards and registered impressive sales performance.

There are few that only realized the real estate’s high yielding potential on lately, and panicked.

Boardrooms of real estate developers from the smallest to largest conglomerates never been busier until 2018, as the industry made its first blow of “explosion,” Leuterio described the general industry’s rhythm of the year.


Aside from the hyper-active market, improved purchasing power of local consumers, matured mindset of OFWs in investing, Leuterio attributed the exceptional real estate performance in 2018 to developers’ openness to partner with brokers and property agents.

According to Leuterio successful developers are the ones who considered the suggestions of brokers who bring the real market pulse.

“Developers’ ask opinions of brokers, which is a good thing to start a productive partnership,” explained Leuterio adding that a stronger partnership between developers and brokers was further magnified in 2018.

Leuterio said joining hands together will not only push the industry to its highest potential, but also drag the government’s hands to work together with the industry, instead of creating a hump to distract growth.

As 2018 real estate industry in Cebu exploded with flying colors, stakeholders are thrilled what 2019 brings as it starts the real estate 20-year high-growth journey.

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