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Retention sought of P3M cap for housing tax breaks

[ ] January 20, 2011
The Subdivision and Housing Developers Association Inc. (SHDA) is asking the Board of Investments (BOI) to retain at P3 million the ceiling per housing unit that is entitled to income tax holiday (ITH).
SHDA said with P3 million as a ceiling, there has been a marked improvement in the quality of houses since developers pass on the tax savings to buyers.
According to BOI’s computation, a P2 million cap would translate into a more affordable amortization for a two-income family based on the allowable loan it could take out from the Pag-IBIG Fund.
The SHDA said the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) itself defined a low-cost mass housing unit at a price ceiling of P3 million. But the BOI said the definition of HUDCC need not be adopted by the BOI in determining the kind of incentives that housing should get.
BOI executive director Lucita Reyes said the BOI board even has the power to restrict availment of incentives not needed by a project.
Manuel C. Crisostomo, SHDA national president, said the ITH incentive results in more affordable selling prices of houses which in turn significantly increase the sales volume of the developer.
He said the P3 million cap should be retained for low-cost mass housing in both subdivision and condominium projects, including those located in Metro Manila. Cristomo said demand for condos is increasing in the metropolis where the "housing crisis is most acute."
He said low-cost vertical mass housing condominium projects of less than P3 million caters to workers who live outside but work in Metro Manila.

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