A 400-member brokers’ organization continues to enjoy an upbeat real estate sector in Cebu, amid demand for properties and houses expanding outside main cities.

For the seventh year celebration of the Cebu Real Estate Expo, Cebu Real Estate Board Inc. (CEREB) first vice president Eva Miñoza said residential projects, both subdivisions and condominium developments, attract buyers of different backgrounds, including local professionals and business owners, overseas Filipinos, and expats.

However, majority of local buyers still prefer house-and-lot units over condominiums. The younger market, especially those in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, has started to embrace condo living, prompted by the need for a closer work-home distance and worsening traffic congestion in Cebu.

“Many still prefer detached house and lots but projects like these are getting farther from the city. So if they see a townhouse offer in the city or near their workplace, they grab it. Others, especially those in the BPO, who can afford the monthly amortization for condo, they get one for themselves,” said Miñoza in Cebuano.

She said one way to measure the good condition of Cebu’s real estate sector is with the property prices.

“So far, it is okay. Property prices have never gone down since. That means real estate is doing well and people are buying.”

In addition, the spread of real estate projects outside major cities like Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu, proves that development has trickled to the countryside, although largely, jobs and business are still heavily concentrated in the urban areas.

The broker said demand for industrial properties has also gone up, especially for warehouses.

“Both for rental or purchase, we see increasing demand from as small as 3,000 square meters to as big as three hectares,” noted Miñoza, adding that many companies from Metro Manila are seeking industrial spaces in Cebu.

With the anticipated completion of the New Cebu International Port in Consolacion, she said buyers can expect higher property and rental prices in the town as well as in the nearby municipalities.

As an investment, real estate pays off in the form of rental income in the shor -term and property appreciation over the medium and long term.

For this year’s seventh Cebu Real Estate Market Expo, CEREB gathered 10 developers at the lower ground of SM City Cebu to showcase their projects.

These were HT Land for Mandani Bay, Landtraders World Properties Corp., 8990 Housing Development Corp., Pueblo de Oro Development Corp., King Properties, Citrineland Corp., Saekyung, Paramount Property Ventures, VestaHomes Commercial for La Menda Residences, and Tytans Properties for Tambuli Seaside Living. The Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) also participated in the expo, which runs until Sept. 18.