[ Manila Bulletin Online ] January 29, 2009
CEBU CITY — Aboitiz Land Inc. (ALI), the real estate arm of the Aboitiz group, has kept its confidence in the overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs) market even as this sector has suffered retrenchment of jobs.
ALI President Andoni Aboitiz said his company has acknowledged that more overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), its top market, are suffering from the global financial meltdown but this does not prevent the company from continuing to look for properties to develop next year.
He said about 50 percent of Aboitiz Land’s clients are overseas Filipinos and OFWs.
"We hope that 2009 will just be a bump on the road. At this point, we don’t really know how the global financial crisis and displacement of OFWs will affect us," Aboitiz said, noting that last year was the "best real estate year" for ALI, with 50 percent of the sales coming from OFWs and overseas Filipinos.
"There will be an effect but hopefully, not a dramatic one. Although we take it one year at a time, we always look at things in the long term," he said.
"Real estate, by nature, is a boom and bust industry. Our plan is not to enjoy the boom nor suffer the bust; we want to be as steady and stable as possible," he added.
Aboitiz remains grateful that none of Aboitiz Land’s buyers is speculative because its projects are designed for end-users. He said that about 80 to 90 percent are long-term investors.
He noted the company does not only develop lands but nurture communities, which make them among the preferred residential choices in Cebu.
At this time, Aboitiz said, ALI is already in the planning stage of developments they hope to set up in the next three years. (Malou Mozo)