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[ Davao City ] Realty firm sees market for mass housing

Vol. XXII, No. 101 [ BusinessWorld Online ]

Monday, December 15, 2008 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

DAVAO CITY — A local property firm is unfazed by the threat of slowing demand next year, announcing a couple of low-cost and mass housing projects here and nearby Panabo City.

Maryline C. Lim, general manager of Foothills Realty and Development Corp., said the company had started building Samantha Homes in Bago Gallera in Davao City which, once finished, will have 800 housing units. A unit will cost P475,000 to P670,000, she said.

The subdivision will bring to eight total projects of the company in the city and in Davao del Sur after Matina Aplaya, Padada (Davao del Sur), Catalunan Grande, Toril, Pangi and Catalunan Pequeno.

These projects consist of 3,120 housing units on lots ranging from 72 to 170 square meters. Most of the company’s clients are rank-and-file employees, Filipino workers abroad, the self-employed and migrants from neighboring provinces.

Starting next year, Ms. Lim said, the company would start building a subdivision in Kaganguhan, Panabo with about 400 houses. "We will open the project in Panabo in the first quarter of next year and we envision it to become a Pag-IBIG city," she said, referring to the government agency that provides low-cost home financing.

She said there was still a large market for low- and mid-cost housing in Davao City. According to the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, Davao City has a housing backlog of about 40,000 units.

Roberto U. Teo, chief of the Davao City Investment and Promotion Center, said investors should not be deterred by the projected downturn in real estate activity next year. "Everybody has to tighten his belt and keep the money for the basic necessity because Davao City will really feel it next year."

"But if I’m an entrepreneur, this is the right time to invest if I have the money because everything is cheap," he said. While the realty sector may experience a downturn that may last for a year, Mr. Teo said Davao City would benefit from slowing expansion by business process outsourcing firms in Metro Manila and the Visayas. — Joel B. Escovilla


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