Property market still strong, group attests

THE developer of a New York-inspired office and residential building, 38 Park Avenue at the Cebu IT Park, has reported a fast sales take-up for its residential units, with 50 percent sold since the project’s launch late last year.

This, said EL Camino Developers Cebu Inc., has prompted it to explore more growth opportunities to take advantage of the real estate sector’s momentum.

“We are exploring other avenues and at the same time we are looking at the present land banks of our partners,” said El Camino President Jose Soberano III.

He, however, declined to disclose details of the next project, except to say it will depend on the location, timing, and opportunities. He added the group will not have difficulty looking for properties to develop, as each partner has its own real estate developments.

“We have our own land banks. When we feel that it is ripe and this can be considered as another El Camino project, we will explore that possibility,” said Soberano, also chairman of the listed-firm Cebu Landmasters Inc.


El Camino is a consortium of five homegrown companies: Cebu Landmasters Inc., Acrissor Development Corp., 12 Sika Holdings Corp., RKD Property Holdings Inc., and Gothong Southern.

Last Thursday, the group began the construction of the first phase of 38 Park Avenue, a project that sits on a 1.17-hectare property in the Cebu IT Park.

The first phase of the project, which includes a 38-storey tower with 745 units, is scheduled to be completed in December 2020. The second phase will consist of office spaces and progress will depend on the project’s take-up.

Soberano said the encouraging sales take-up of the project reflects optimism about the country’s real estate industry, despite peace and order problems in some parts of the country.

“Generally, we have felt that the market at this point is pretty strong. There is still some confidence in the air as far as real estate products are concerned. We are happy about how things are doing despite certain issues being faced in Marawi City,” said Soberano.

He is hoping the conflict in Marawi will be resolved soon and that the declaration of martial law in Mindanao will be lifted.

Days after the declaration of martial law in Mindanao last May 23, economic managers of the Duterte administration said the country’s solid macroeconomic fundamentals will shield the economy from the adverse effects of the current unrest. According to a survey the Bangko Sentral released last week, the percentage of households who saw the current quarter as a favorable time to spend for big-ticket items went up to 33.9 percent from 31.5 in the previous quarter.
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