Changing the housing landscape
Condominium projects, or the so-called vertical developments, have become a practical recourse for those wanting to live in the crowded cities of Metro Manila.
Many of the residential condos in Metro Manila, however, cater largely to the mid-market segment. And since these projects are mid-cost, the “average salaried” Filipinos who comprise the backbone of Philippine business and economy are kept out of the housing and shelter space, according to Januario Jesus Gregorio B. Atencio III, president of mass housing developer 8990 Holdings Inc.
“Vertical projects that cater specifically to the country’s middle to lower income segment are not only practical but a necessity,” Atencio noted.
“The backlog for affordable housing in Metro Manila is growing and supply simply cannot keep up with demand. Metro Manila has a population of 11.9 million, which is composed mainly of hard working salaried Filipinos who just simply cannot afford to purchase the existing condominium units offered by majority of the developers in Metro Manila given that these are more mid-priced and above what they can afford,” he explained.
Rising housing backlog
Citing government estimates, Atencio noted that the affordable housing backlog was estimated to hit 12.3 million units by 2030.
In 2016, the backlog was forecasted to have hit 5.5 million with around half of the demand coming from Metro Manila. Although housing production has ramped up from 2012 to 2013, it was not enough to meet the existing backlog.
“Our decision to go into condominium development was precisely to meet the huge housing demand in Metro Manila. Although the government has already recognized high growth areas outside of the capital, Metro Manila still contributes roughly 37 percent of (the country’s) gross domestic product, and is home to a population of 12 million people,” Atencio explained.
The challenge thus for 8990 was to provide decent housing space at mass housing prices.
Atencio noted that the middle to low income segment “has a very strong desire to purchase their own home in Metro Manila, and for the right price, very able and willing to pay the very affordable monthly amortization payments offered by 8990.”
8990 Holdings is the first developer in Metro Manila to provide affordable housing at such a large scale.
“We have a total of 53,809 units in the pipeline, just a fraction of the 12.3 million housing backlog,” Atencio said.
“This included two ongoing projects, Urban Deca Home Manila, located in Tondo, Manila, and Urban Deca Campville in Muntinlupa. Once completed, Urban Deca Home Manila will deliver 13,212 units, while the Urban Deca Campville in Muntinlupa is expected to bring in 1,024 units,” Atencio disclosed.
The two projects have a combined value of around P19.8 billion. And for 2017 alone, these projects will deliver 4,200 units, equivalent to roughly P5.8 billion.
“So far, the response has been positive. This is mainly because our planned developments are situated in highly dense areas where there is a growing market of residents who would want to own their own homes,” Atencio said.
“Given the ease of financing either through in-house financing or through the Pag Ibig Fund, Urban Deca Homes is the most accessible and affordable mid-rise building project in Metro Manila. We plan to further expand our mid-rise portfolio to Ortigas, Las Piñas, Commonwealth, Balara, and Batasan,” he further said.
Mission to provide
There were challenges, of course, in building affordable projects within Metro Manila and foremost of these hurdles involved the costing.
This is why, Atencio explained, 8990 Holdings has partnered with the right contractor that not only has a track record of building condominium development within Metro Manila but, more importantly, also shares the same vision that “what we do is more than just business, it is a mission to provide homes at affordable prices.”
“When the vision of your company is linked with the mission of providing decent homes to ordinary Filipinos, offering good quality condominium units at an affordable price can easily be solved,” he noted.
“We believe that the main reward for serving this particular market segment is knowing that we are giving middle to lower income Filipinos the ability to purchase a decent home within Metro Manila. We are passionate at what we do and truly believe that our various condominium projects in Metro Manila are key to solving the housing problems of the ordinary Filipino,” Atencio concluded.
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