Demand for Residential Property in Cebu Now on Par with Metro Manila
A steady growth in remittances and outsourcing jobs in the Visayas-Mindanao (VisMin) area has led to unprecedented residential demand in the area that now rivals that of Metro Manila, according to Jose Soberano III, president and CEO of Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI).

CLI’s application for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) was recently approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Soberano, who is pouring some P12 billion in investments in the region through CLI, cited reports on VisMin’s robust construction activity. Ongoing residential constructions based on building permits, particularly in Region 7 or Central Visayas, is on par with Metro Manila, according to Leechiu Property Consultants, referring to Philippine Statistics Authority 2015 data. Of the 15.7 million square meter gross floor area under construction in the same period, Central Visayas accounted for 10 percent, same as Metro Manila.

This is the first time construction in other regions are as lively as Metro Manila, said executives of Leechiu Property Consultants at a recent briefing. For the first time too, residential construction in Region VII where Cebu is located is on par with Metro Manila, thanks to the projects of local and national developers.

Cebu Landmasters, which sold the most number of condominium units in Metro Cebu after Ayala Land in 2016, is optimistic of the growth potential in Visayas and Mindanao. It targets to be the region’s dominant local player in three years with new projects in Davao, Dumaguete, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod and Iloilo. It currently has 28 completed, ongoing and newly launched projects in Vismin.

Soberano said Cebu Landmasters is keen on Regions 6 and 9 (Western Visayas and Northern Mindanao) which also promise to be hot spots for residential development, as illustrated by the significant increase in building permits filed.  Region 6 accounted for 5 percent of total building permits in 2015 while Region 9 registered 6 percent of the total.

The builder is intending to boost supply with townhouse housing developments that carry its Casa Mira brand and residential condominiums. Casa Mira is a townhouse format with units ranging from P800,000 to P1.7 million. Its residential condominiums are priced from P1.8 million to P5 million and targets the mid-market with incomes from P50,000 to P90,000. Its economic offering in Metro Cebu, Casa Mira Linao, sold 725 housing units in one month.

Soberano observed that being a homegrown VisMin brand that shares the values of its client, CLI has been able to offer projects priced right for the market and perceived to be offering more by way of location and amenities. Consequently, its key projects have sold out in less than a year of selling with its economic offering in Metro Cebu, Casa Mira Linao, selling out 725 housing units in one month.

“Our ability and capacity to serve the full range of residential market segments gives us great flexibility in the Vis-Min area,” Soberano said. “This allows us to meet the demand for high-end projects in well-developed markets like Metro Cebu as well as to meet demand for economic housing in places like Bohol and Dumaguete.”

Founded in 2003, Cebu Landmasters witnessed the surge in demand for housing in Metro Cebu and elsewhere in the region. Two of its projects were named the fastest selling residential condominium developments in Cebu City by Santos Knight Frank in 2016. In Cagayan de Oro, it sold out 504 units at MesaVerte Residences’ phase one in just 10 months. Just recently, it sold out 80 per cent of the 694 units of MesaTierra Residences in Davao in just one month of selling.

In 2016, CLI reported sales total of P2.17 billion, a 40-percent increase from P1.54 billion in 2015. It registered a net income of P702 million, a 30-percent increase from P537 million in 2015.

Manila Bulletin | May 1, 2017


How a Family Business Became Cebu’s Top Local Developer

Jose Soberano III likes to keep it all in the family.

In 2000, he left his post as vice president of an Ayala subsidiary to build his own real estate company, Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI).

Soberano is CLI’s president and chief executive officer. His wife, Marose, is the executive vice president for finance. His son Franco is the senior vice president and chief operating officer, while his daughter Joanna Marie is also vice president and marketing director.

But Soberano also considers his employees – all 177 of them – as family.

Even their customers are treated like kin: in the homeowner associations of their residential condominium and village projects, the family sits as board members so that they can stay abreast of their customers’ needs and concerns. CLI also has an in-house customer care and property management team to maintain customer satisfaction, during, and after turnover.

As the company gears up for aggressive expansion in the Visayas and Mindanao (VisMin) region this year, Soberano’s family will grow even bigger.

And since CLI is eyeing an initial public offering (IPO) in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) next month, soon, the public can be part of Soberano’s financial growth, too.

Homegrown success

Though his company is only 13 years old, Soberano is a veteran in the VisMin real esate scene. He has three decades of experience in the property industry, including 23 years with the Ayala Group. He was part of the team that built Ayala’s Cebu Holdings, Inc. (CHI).

In 2016, CLI’s sales reached P2.17 billion, a 41% increase from 2015. Net income was at P702 million, higher by 30% from the previous year.

In 2003, he founded Cebu Landmasters. His first project was a village in Balamban town, for employees of a Japanese shipbuilding company. The houses sold out very well and Soberano replicated his success in other cities in the countryside of Cebu. Economic housing became CLI’s flagship development.

But Soberano didn’t stop there, and in 2010, CLI began venturing into vertical projects in Cebu City’s premiere business and residential districts. Aside from condominiums, CLI has also built office and mixed use properties, and even struck a hotel partnership deal with Ascott.

Majority of their residential projects are sold out within 12 months, some even selling out within a few months. Now, CLI has 11% market share and is Cebu’s top local developer next to Ayala Land.

In 2016, CLI’s sales reached P2.17 billion, a 41% increase from 2015. Net income was at P702 million, higher by 30% from the previous year.

The company has already 28 completed and ongoing projects under its belt in Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Davao. Cebu Landmasters is also investing P12 billion in 14 additional residential and commercial projects that will be launched not just in key cities like Cebu, Davao, and Cagayan De Oro, but in also in Iloilo, Bacolod, and Dumaguete.

Soberano is confident about CLI’s success in these ventures. Since CLI is a homegrown company, they are deeply familiar with the needs and wants of their market: the price point, connections, partnerships and the buyers.

“We feel that these are places in VisMin with strong potentials and where there is need for more housing,” Soberano said. Global services firm PwC has identified Iloilo, Cebu, Bacolod, and Davao as some of VisMin’s “investment hotspots,” where real estate will be a key driver in economic growth.

VisMin makes up about 27.3% of the Philippine’s annual gross domestic product (GDP). The influx of tourists and BPO companies in the region is creating a need for more commercial and mixed-use developments.

The spike in OFW remittances since last year is also expected to increase demand for good value housing across the country.

‘We build with you in mind

Last year, CLI revamped its tagline, “we build with you mind.” It mirrors their promise to always deliver value for money for their clients.

The company’s core strengths are its local roots and hands-on approach to real estate. They’re familiar with the exact needs and wants of their customers. They’re known for always completing projects on time.

They’re also better positioned to get the best deals from the region’s top players. Because CLI is a trusted joint venture partner of prime landowners in VisMin, they can build projects that are never more than 2km away from a main road.

But even now that CLI is a multimillion-peso company, Soberano still adds his personal touch to the company and treats it like a family business.

He’s never missing in the company’s activities. He is on top of the selection and visits for land prospects and is always present in community talks, groundbreakings, launches, and even press briefings. He hopes to lead by example and encourages his family and employees to embrace the same values.

His vision is for CLI to become the most preferred developer in VisMin, not just in the residential and commercial segment, but also in the hospitality industry.

To fund the expansion, he is now welcoming the public to his family.

Cebu Landmasters intends to be the first homegrown Cebuano developer to be publicly listed in the PSE. The company has filed an application with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to sell up to 580 million common shares through an initial public offering, targeted to be available by May. The SEC has granted CLI approval last April 20.

The company plans to raise P3.8 billion from sold shares, which will be priced up to P6.65 per unit. –

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Cebu Land Masters Pours P12 Billion for Vismin
CEBU Landmasters Inc. (CLI) has began pouring some P12 billion in investments with its decision to enter the Cebu real estate hot spots in the Visayas-Mindanao area. With flagship infrastructure development projects set in the region, CLI expects the Vis-Min area to continue to be a booming hub for investment.

CLI recently filed an application to raise up to P3.8 billion from an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission to fund its Vis-Min expansion.

That a significant 33.4 percent of overseas contract workers hail from Vis-Min has also driven the growth of the Cebu real estate industry in the region. PR

Sun Star | March 30, 2017

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