Cebu real estate ‘to do well this year’

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Monday, June 30, 2014


IN TIME for today’s opening of Cebu Real Estate Expo, officials of the country’s largest organization of real estate brokers project that Cebu’s real estate sector will continue to do well this year.

Cebu Real Estate Board Inc. (Cereb) president Marilou Cañizares told Sun.Star Cebu in an interview on Saturday that the growth is driven by project developments by both national and local industry players.

Cañizares said there are more than 200 developers in Cebu, a mix of homegrown and Manila-based companies.

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She said other local businesses that have never been involved in any real estate project have entered the industry now. Most of them start with pocket-sized projects.

She said there were only about a hundred developers in Cebu in the past few years, but this year, the figures have doubled.

Opportunities

“(Some businesses or) first-time developers have entered into real estate because they see business opportunities here,” Cañizares said.

She said there are some developers that are “silent” on their developments but have sold well.

Most of these developers, she said, are growing their projects in the South while others continue to be in the prime cities.

Today and until July 7, more than 30 developers will participate in this year’s Cebu Real Estate Expo in SM City Cebu. Last year, around 20 developers took part.

Cañizares said all participants generated sales during the expo last year. However, Cereb could not provide accurate figures, she added, since some developers chose not to disclose the number of units they sold.

“The fact that their number is growing and they joined again means they are selling,” said Philippine Association of Real Estate Boards Inc. vice president for Visayas Richard Azares, who echoed the statement of Cañizares, describing Cebu’s real estate industry as “bullish.”

However, he noted that aside from just focusing on projects for the upscale market, developers in Cebu should also consider economic housing projects, where the demand is high.

Economic houses

Of the more than 100,000 housing backlog in Cebu, a big percentage is coming from the “lower end” of the market in need of economic or “affordable” housing. Economic houses are priced at about P1.25 million.

Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board 7 and 8 Director Roy Alixes Lopez called in previous interviews for more economic housing projects from local developers.

While economic projects are encouraged, Azares said there are some municipalities like Minglanilla and Liloan that no longer accommodate low-cost housing projects.

He said these towns have decided on this “for the welfare of the community,” for fewer problems in garbage disposal and security.

Upscale or mid-market projects, Azares said, require less security since developers provide their own security personnel and have less garbage disposal issues.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 01, 2014.

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