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Housing backlog may soon be over

Monday, June 22, 2009 [ ]

HOUSING and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chairman Vice President Noli de Castro said the Philippines is looking to complete the housing backlog of close to 3.8 million, as more potential buyers have been flooding the mass housing market. Majority of the people looking for new houses or condos come from the business process outsourcing or call centers, the working class, retirees, and overseas Filipino workers.

De Castro said the rejuvenated market in mass housing and condos can be attributed to the offers by the HUDCC and the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund), for lower interests and further adjustments to its end-user financing program.

The result of a lower interest and easier access to housing loans also created additional housing loan brackets with corresponding lower interest rates. The rate adjustments are aligned with the redefined housing packages set by the HUDCC.

De Castro explained that the new Pag-IBIG housing loan interest rate structure retains the 6 percent rate for loans up to P400,000, and 7 percent for loans over P400,000 up to P750,000.

This means that under the new interest rate, the monthly amortization for a loan amount of P400,000 will be just P2,398.20 from the previous P2,661.21.

Interest rates have been slashed from 10.5 percent to only 8.5 percent for loans over P750,000 up to P1 million, and to 9.5 percent for loans over P1 million to P1.25 million.

Meanwhile, interest for loans over P1.25 million to P2 million remains at 10.5 percent.

He explained that as an example, a loan amount of P1 million under the old rate, which is P9,147.39, can now be paid with just P7,689.13 under the new rate.

Along with the latest rate adjustment, the Pag-IBIG Board also approved the increase in maximum loanable amount to P3 million, at an interest rate of 11.5 percent per annum for loans starting at over P2 million.

PhilProperties International Corporation’s (PPIC) Manny Florendo lauded the amendment in the Pag-IBIG housing loan program saying it made housing more affordable to members, especially workers in highly-urbanized areas whose housing needs often range from more than P750,000 up to 1 million.

“It actually gave Pag-IBIG members a wider range of choices in buying a house,” he said. “Now, more than ever, is the best time to buy and market real estate in our country—whether for end-use, investment or retirement,” Florendo added.

-- Francis Earl Cueto


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