Vol. XXII, No. 125 [ BusinessWorld Online ]
Tuesday, January 27, 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES
DAVAO CITY — Local developer Holiday Garden Island Development Corp. is tapping the market of Filipinos working abroad and expatriates for Linmarr Towers, a residential condominium complex in this city.
Wesley C. Bangayan, marketing manager of the company, said they were taking advantage of these markets’ desire to own a property in the city.
"[They see] Davao as a prime retirement destination and owning a property is a high priority for them and their families," he pointed out.
He said several expatriates who have married local residents have decided to settle in the city, which has "earned its mark as a safe, friendly and clean city complete with amenities one desires."
Mr. Bangayan noted that with a much lower cost of living compared with other cities in the country, the ocean a stone’s throw away, and the laid-back lifestyle, "who wouldn’t want to retire here?"
The city is among the priority areas being promoted by the government-run Philippine Retirement Authority.
The project, consisting of three buildings with six floors each having more than 100 units per building, is set to be finished within the year.
The smallest unit in the condominium, measuring 28 square meters, costs P1.4 million. The biggest unit at 71 square meters costs P4.4 million.
Company officials declined to disclose the cost of the condominium complex, which is one among several major property projects in the Davao Region.
Government officials and major real estate company executives here earlier downplayed the effects of the global economic slowdown on the property industry.
Lawyer Jayvee Paul D. Francisco, head of the local unit of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said real estate was among the top investment areas in the Davao Region last year, surpassing agriculture.
The local chapter of an organization of architects and officials of the city government shared the optimism.
Mr. Francisco noted that with its potential, the region, particularly the city, would continue to attract real estate investments.
"If you check around Davao, you will see several developments happening and more projects are due to start. This is proof that the global economic crisis we are reading about is not affecting the Davao region the same way as other parts of the world," Mr. Bangayan said.
Aside from the condominium complex, the Bangayan group is also setting up an upscale resort village on nearby Samal Island, which is just about 10 minutes by boat from Davao City. — Carmelito Q. Francisco