THE 5.7-million housing backlog nationwide remains to be the top challenge in the real estate sector, citing that the 40 percent unused land regulation triggered hesitation on the part of investors to engage in housing.

Chamber of Real Estate and Builders' Association, Inc. Davao chapter president Engineer Joel Lao told reporters during Kapehan sa Dabaw on Monday, October 23, that the housing backlog nationwide rose to 5.7 million in the country. He, however, said that he could not provide the data of backlog in the region yet.

He also said that industry players' concern is that 40 percent of the land to be developed will be allocated for open spaces and green spaces, among others, and only 60 percent will be used for the houses to be built.

"Investors are hesitant to engage into social housing especially because of the 40 percent. Kasi kung kukunan ng 40 percent yong lugar, the tendency is tataas ang presyo kasi kokonti na lang yong gagawing subdivision," he said.

He said that there are high-end subdivisions, condominiums, mid-cost and low-cost housing to address the income categories depending on the financial capacity of the buyers.

"Although that is laudable but we have to consider the profitability and viability of the project," he said.

Thus, during the 26th National Convention on Wednesday, October 25, it will gather industry players to address various challenges confronting the real estate sector and address their concerns.

"We are doing our best as much as possible that is why we are having this convention so we can address this together with the government," he said.

Their five-point agenda include long-term and affordable funds for socialize and economic housing, affordable homes in urban areas nationwide for informal settlers, equitable allocation for human settlements and agriculture and environment efficient housing regulation.

They will also push for the creation of a housing and urban development department to address housing concerns and fast-track resolution of the housing backlog to coordinate with the private sector.

"Yon yong mga dapat i-address how we can balance the environmental issue as well as the housing issue. Isa sa pag-uusapan sa convention," he said.

They have invited various stakeholders such as legislators, executive department and national government agencies involved in real estate sector to find solution in solving these challenges.