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Fil-Estate eyes low-cost market

Vol. XXII, No. 144 [ BusinessWorld Online ]

Monday, February 23, 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES


SOBREPEÑA-LED Fil-Estate Land, Inc. has joined other property companies that will focus more on the low-cost, affordable market as a result of the financial crisis.

"In response to the anticipated slowdown of the economy, [Fil-Estate] intends to focus on the market in need, where demand is strong and remains unmet — the socialized, low-cost and affordable housing markets," the company said in its financial statement.

The property developer said this segment remained attractive since it is backed by government home financing.

Developers can also get tax incentives from the Board of Investments.

"While focus will be on these markets, the company will still address the niche markets for high-end leisure projects in Boracay, Camp John Hay, Tagaytay and Nasugbu," it added.

Fil-Estate said it would continue to work with banks for end-buyer financing for the projects, which would allow it to offer competitive terms to buyers.

Property companies like Ayala Land, Inc. earlier said they would be shifting their focus from the high-end market to the mid- and low-end markets where demand still exists.

Property analysts said realty firms that focus on the mid- and low-end segments would continue growing this year since these markets are less affected by the economic crisis.

In contrast, the purchase of high-end properties such as condominiums for investment purposes could always be postponed.

Fil-Estate posted a net loss of P37.4 million for its first fiscal quarter ending in December, a reversal of its P8.51-million net profit a year earlier, due to rising costs and the absence of a one-time gain.

The company, however, more than doubled its revenues during the three-month period to P182 million from the sale of residential subdivision lots in Southwoods in Carmona, Cavite, golf club and resort shares in Boracay, and condominium units in Eight Sto. Domingo in Quezon City.

For its fiscal year ending in September, Fil-Estate’s net income surged by more than half to P92.5 million as a result of higher sales. — Kristine Jane R. Liu

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