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ALI eyes P1.6 billion from low-cost housing units


By Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) Updated March 19, 2010 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Property giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) is eyeing P1.6 billion in sales from the maiden offering of affordable housing units under its newly-formed subsidiary Amaia Land Corp., gearing to become the biggest brand in terms of units sold, sales and profitability in five years.

For its first project, Amaia is building a P1-billion residential subdivision, Amaia Scapes Laguna, which will make available a total of 1,828 house and lot units ranging from 25 to 75 square meters. Units are priced at between P600,000 to P1.2 million each.

In a press briefing yesterday, Bobby Dy, head of ALI’s Residential Business Group, said the group is very bullish about the prospects for affordable housing which has perhaps been the most neglected segment of the real estate sector in the past but today, is attracting large-scale investments from private developers.

“This is what we think will be the next growth driver for the group. The market is underserved,” said Dy, as he pointed out that Amaia’s goal would be to reach out to more people and not increase the barrier to owning a home. Industry experts foresee this segment as having the maximum demand in the near future. Some big real estate players are shifting their attention to the largely-untapped affordable housing segment, which currently accounts for 34 percent of the more than 17 million households nationwide.

Avida Land president and concurrent Amaia president Leo Montenegro said Amaia Scapes, which will rise on a 19.6-hectare lot in Calamba, Laguna, is scheduled to be launched in April and has already attracted a lot of interest from prospective homebuyers.

The units will be available to families that have a combined salary of P20,000 to P50,000 a month and a minimum monthly amortization of only P4,000.

“We want to break the stereotype that to own an Ayala Land product you have to be well-off.

Amaia represents our thrust to broaden our market and to ensure the longevity of the Ayala Land heritage,” Dy said.

Ricky Celis, vice-president of Avida, said Amaia Scapes will come with a one year warranty on worksmanship in line with its goal to provide better service to the people.

To capitalize on this huge housing backlog estimated at between 3.8 million and 4.2 million, Amaia has lined up six projects over a three-year period that will translate to 12,000 housing units located in the selected industrialized rural areas in Southern and Central Luzon, where demand for housing is expected to be strong.

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