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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Low-rise condos solution to scarce urban lots

THE scarcity of land in the urban areas but the preference for low-rise housing structures prompted a homegrown developer to expand its portfolio on low-rise condominiums.

In a press briefing yesterday, Primary Homes Inc. unveiled its newest project, The Courtyards at Brookridge.

Located in a 7,000-square-meter lot at the Happy Valley Road in Cebu City, the 222-unit walk up condominium project spread in three buildings will be the second walk-up condo project of the developer after The Courtyards at Banawa.

Ramero Espina, Primary Homes vice president for sales and marketing, said there remains a preference for horizontal housing over condominiums in the local market, but the scarcity of land in the urban areas discourages such sprawling developments.

To maximize the space without compromising the preference for low-rise structures, walk-up condos, standing three to four-stories high, are being developed. Walk-up stairwells and open-air common areas replace elevators and lobbies of high-rise condos, the developer said.

Espina said Primary Homes first attested to the warm reception of the local market for such developments after its 130-unit The Courtyards at Banawa sold out.

Within the year, Espina said the company will launch two more walk-up condo projects in Mandaue City and Lapu-Lapu City, estimating P250 million investments for each development.

The Courtyards at Brookridge complements the existing pocket subdivision project of Primary Homes in the same location. The development is expected to be turned over in the first quarter of 2017.

Espina remains optimistic on the future of the property sector in Cebu, citing the growing demand for housing brought about by migration to Cebu and the dynamic business process management sector, which has increased the purchasing power of the locals.

In addition, Espina said the banks have been highly supportive to the housing sector.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, in its recently released real estate price index, reflected the healthy performance of the country’s property sector. The central bank said real estate prices exhibited a 9.2 percent overall rise year-on-year in the first quarter of 2016, which dismissed real estate bubble speculations, according to financial and housing officials.

Meanwhile, challenges also confront urban housing developments, particularly water shortage. But Espina was quick to dismiss that Primary Homes-built housing communities have been spared from such problems, having in place water catchment facilities inside their developments.

Currently, 40 percent of the units at The Courtyards at Brookridge have been sold. Prices of condominium units start at P1.8 million.

As it maintains a rosy picture in the housing sector, the 22-year-old Primary Homes assured that it will launch three to four more projects in Cebu in the next few years.
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