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Ayala Land sees recovery signs, launches first project in Pasig

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES [ BusinessWorld Online ]


SIGNS OF renewed interest in the property sector have prompted Ayala Land, Inc. unit Alveo Land, Inc. to launch its first project for the year.

The townhouse project is also the group’s first in Pasig.

"[The launch] reflects our confidence to the local economy. Buyers are back and we are encouraged by the market’s response to [our previous projects]," Ayala Land, Inc. President Antonio T. Aquino told reporters.

Mr. Aquino said there has been an "across the board" improvement in all three residential property sub-sectors — high-end, middle and low — during the past months, but did not disclose any figure, saying Ayala Land has yet to close its books.

"Domestic buyers have been able to [post a good] take-up [on] our projects which is why [we deemed] it important to have a project in Pasig City," he said.

Dubbed as Ametta Place, the six-hectare residential project will rise on Mercedes Ave.

Ayala Land has allotted close to P1 billion for the project, which will have 280 townhouses of two or three storeys and three bedrooms each. The smallest unit will measure 127 square meters (sq.m.) and will be sold for P7 million while the biggest is a 183-sq.-m. unit priced at P9 million.

Alveo, the midrange unit of Ayala Land, has already started the construction of the project and expects Ametta Place to be turned over by the first quarter of 2012. "The major advantage of the project is its proximity to business and commercial areas," Mr. Aquino said.

Mr. Aquino did not disclose how many projects Ayala Land plans to launch this year but said the company is continuously looking at different locations.

Profits of Ayala Land were cut by half to P907 million during the first three months of the year with the real estate market softening as a result of the economic downturn. Revenues from Alveo were flat from January to March, while low-end unit Avida Land, Inc. went up by 4%. Revenues from the high-end Ayala Land Premier meanwhile declined by 24% because of the absence of new bookings.

Shares in Ayala Land went down by 4.7% or P0.40 to P8.10 yesterday. — K.J.R. Liu

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