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