THE real estate industry in Cagayan de Oro City will continue to flourish in the next years with home developers opening new housing and condominium projects to cater to a growing market, a building official said.
Architect Ma. Concepcion Alcantara, Office of the Building Official (OBO) chief, said three of the major real estate players continue to add more units this year.
"Ang Cebu Landmasters nagsugod na sa ilang (are starting on their) Tower 3, ang Camella Homes pud sige ug dugang (keep adding), and Bella Vita mag-add napud daw sila ug (will add) another 1,000 units," Alcantara said.
Data from the OBO shows that in January 2017 alone, there are about seven residential pending applications before the OBO while another 8 are for processing.
In the last quarter of 2016, about 621 residential building permits were also approved.
No condominium buildings have applied as of this time. Condominium developers have reported that most of their units are already sold out.
Cebu Landmasters, Inc. (CLI) opened its 294 new units on the third 15-storey tower of Mesa Verte Residences last year and has already been sold out while its Tower 3 is open for pre-selling.
Early last year, Johndorf Ventures Corporation also entered the real estate property market through its Montierra town houses and late last year, about a third of the 600 townhouses in Montierra have been sold out.
Most of the new homeowners, according to Johndorf, work as supervisors and young managers in companies operating in Northern Mindanao, including transients from Visayas and in Mindanao.
Ayala's Centrio Tower, a high-rise residential condominium completed this year is a 21-storey tower with an area of 3.7 hectare mixed-use development and is a part of the whole Centrio.
In October, Ayala Centrio announced that all 522 units in Centrio Tower have been sold out and the rooms are ready once the owners decide to move in.
Not only is the real estate property experiencing the boost, commercial buildings are seen to rise in the city this year.
Avida Towers Aspira, another Ayala-owned residential condominium, will be completed in June 2018 and is also enjoying fast takes.
Aspira is a two tower, 27-storey condo, which would house a total of 636 units for its Tower 1 alone.
For Filinvest's One Oasis Cagayan de Oro, there are are already 170 units sold out of the 251 units in Building 1 alone.
The One Oasis, located near the Limketkai Mall, is known for its resort-styled amenities designed along the project’s Asian Balinese motif.
This month, there are over 25 applicants seeking for a building permit in residential (subdivisions, housing projects), commercial (boarding or lodging houses, hotels, apartment buildings), institutional (hospitals, schools, etc.), and industrial (ice plants, power plants, pumping plants, cold storage, and creameries, factories, etc) establishments.
Alcantara said that the trend of the application of building permits is increasing since the City Treasurer's Office implemented a decrease of the general engineering tax otherwise known as the construction tax in the first quarter of last year.
In 2015, about 14,705 building permit application was approved by OBO and as of December 20616, the number rose to 28,867 approved applications.
With the said increase, the total collection of the permit fees spiked from P29 million in 2015 to P36 million in 2016.
"Pagka-kunhod sa engineering tax, daghan dayon nag-apply sa ato ug permit, so naka-attract gyud siya ug more investors. For example, para sa mga gagmay nga mga balay, sauna ang ilang mabayran sa tax is P425, karon P225 nalang ilang mabayad," she said.
"We noticed pud nga sa developers nga side, is ganado sila kay nimubo man ang tax, dili pareha sa una. Sa mga investors outside Cagayan De Oro, good indication siya kay nagbaba atong engineering tax, daghan ang nisulod, gawas nga strategic location ta ug tsada atong climate, usa sad siya nga naka-encourage sa investors. Almost 100 percent ang pagtaas sa gi-approve nato nga applications, i-compare atong 2015, so dako siya ug impact," Alcantara added.
The OBO has also improved its annual inspection and building inventory in an aim to register all establishments in the city.
"Amo gyud nga ginapaspasan ang pag-conduct ug annual inspection ug building inventory because we want nga tanan gyud unta nga establishment naay permit, para naa napud mi klaro nga target gyud and we can strive more to provide the best services," she said.
The OBO has recently implemented the Electronic Building Permit Management System wherein applicants can process the building permit application online, but Alcantara admitted that the public is still not aware of the new program.
Elena Perez, 45, is on her fifth day of processing her application for a building permit.
She said she noticed that the OBO office has improved with faster services.
"From what I heard, mas dali nalang lage daw magkuha karon kay online naman pero para sa amo, wala paman mi kahibalo ana so muanhi gihapon mi ug muagi ug manual nga pamaagi sa application. Sa ako pud na-observe, mas paspas gyud karon ug better pud nga while gahulat ka, comfortable naka, naa nay chairs, TV, and naay good ventilation," she noted.
For Alcantara, it would only take an average of two days for an application to be approved, as long as the applicants comply with all the requirements.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 12, 2017.