Cebu’s infrastructure impeding real estate, Japanese investor says

IF Cebu’s public infrastructure can catch up to Cebu’s progress, the real estate sector, one of the province’s fastest growing, is projected to perform better than it does today, a Japanese property investor remarked.

Hisatoshi Tachibana, 60, a university professor in Japan who is also into purchasing condominiums in Tokyo and Southeast Asia for investment purposes, said that the current state of Cebu’s public infrastructure is hampering the growth potential of Cebu’s real estate sector.

“People in Cebu are already good and security here is better than Manila. Many see Cebu as a good place to invest, except for the infrastructure,” Tachibana said in an interview on Saturday.

In social media alone, netizens have aired out their criticisms about Cebu’s worsening traffic conditions, defective drainage, and poor mass transportation system.

“If infrastructure improves, many will come to Cebu,” the Japanese national said, referring to foreign real estate condominium buyers.

Tachibana has already purchased units in Manila and Thailand. He also started investing in Cebu when he bought four condominium units in one of the developments of a homegrown developer in Cebu City.

As an investor, Tachibana said he rents out his units, and when the value of the property significantly increases overtime, he resells it.

Under Philippine laws, foreign nationals are only allowed to own condominium units. House and lot properties, meanwhile, are only limited to Filipinos.

Tachibana said his investments in Cebu registers an average eight to nine percent yield annually. Meanwhile, investment in his home country grew at an average of four to five percent.

“Property in Japan is very expensive. If compared here, it (Cebu property) is cheaper,” Tachibana said.

Some Japanese retirees, he said, are looking at Cebu as their retirement home given the low-cost of living here, especially when it is compared to that in Japan.

However, some may not find the place very appealing because of security reasons the present state of infrastructure.

Japan, meanwhile, is known for its efficient transport system.

Tachibana said Japanese employees receive an average of P3 million retirement benefit and if they spend it in Japan, the amount could not go that far.

When Tachibana has to retire from teaching in the next five years, he sees himself retiring in Cebu.

Tachibana said he is planning to tie up with Grand Land Inc., the real estate arm of the Gaisano Grand Group, to help market the developer’s projects in Japan, as well as promote Cebu as a retirement destination.
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