OWNING property in Cebu’s booming southern tourism destinations is a good source of passive income, a top official of a homegrown property developer said.

Ramiro Espina, Primary Homes Inc. (PHI) vice-president for sales and marketing, said that many foreign tourists and balikbayans have been eyeing properties in Southern Cebu because of its rising tourism potential.

“Due to the rising trend of tourism in that area of Cebu, demand for vacation homes has gone up. Owning a property in that area and having it rented is a good form of investment,” said Espina.

On top of building 59 villas in its Argao Royal Palms project, PHI decided to add 396 walk-up condominium units called the Tropical Flats to cater to the demand of beachfront vacation homes, rentals and investments markets.

“Based on marketing our villas, we see there is also a demand for smaller units. Foreigners in the south have problems with the available rental units there because some don’t prefer big units,” said Espina.

A condo unit at Tropical Flats can yield six to 10 percent per annum if leased. Another option is reselling the unit after five years, which can yield an average return of 30 to 40 percent.

The Tropical Flats is within Argao Royal Palms, a 2.9 hectare beach front house and lot development. PHI owns a four hectare property in Argao, of which the company is earmarking P500 million in investment for its development.

PHI is strengthening its campaign to promote the attractive tourism destinations in the south-coast side of Cebu. Argao, for instance, has easy access to seven waterfalls in southern Cebu.

PHI is also eyeing the lucrative condotel business in Cebu. In the short or medium term, Espina said the company will include condotel development to its portfolio, recognizing the emerging demand for this kind of real estate project.

“We are going into that direction, considering that the tourism arrivals and demand for accommodation are consistently uprising,” said Espina.