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Ayala Land to venture into socialized housing

Posted on August 09, 2011 10:44:21 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
 
AYALA LAND, Inc. is venturing into socialized housing and slashing downpayment rates to tap the lower-end market which it reportedly is largely unexploited, officials yesterday said.

The listed developer said it intends to broaden its portfolio and launch a socialized housing brand in the south of Manila late this year with units costing as low as P400,000 each to serve the “hugely underrated segment.”

“Historically, Ayala Land is known as a high-end developer. But we’re making significant strides in making our products more accessible to the Filipino people,” Bernard Vincent O. Dy, senior vice-president and head of Ayala Land’s Residential Business Group, said at a briefing.

Mr. Dy said the country faces a backlog of more than three million units, which Ayala Land intends to address via its new brand dubbed Buena Vida.

With the company currently in the planning stage, Mr. Dy said Buena Vida will comprise of units measuring 20 to 25 square meters, with a 50 to 60 square meter lot area initially costing P400,000 to P600,000 in General Trias, Cavite.

The developer also announced it has halved downpayment rates for potential homeowners to 5% from the current 10% rate.

To achieve this, Ayala Land will partner with BPI Family Bank, Security Bank, and RCBC Savings Bank to provide long-term loans, subject to approval, to finance the 95% purchase price.

“Ayala Land...has made it easier for families to make their dream home into reality for as low as a 5% downpayment,” said Thomas F. Mirasol, Ayala Land Residential Business Group sales and marketing head.

Ayala Land also reduced mortgage rates for buyers, subject to pertinent income documents to be submitted to the banks.

“The biggest single hindrance is the inability to raise the required 10% downpayment. Our scheme will allow people to save up, and serve as an instrument to build equity,” Ayala Land Vice-President and Treasurer Augusto D. Bengzon said.

The company further assured the Buena Vida brand will not adversely affect its other higher-end brands.

“This program is not being implemented to spur sales, because regardless of brand or segment, Ayala Land is known for good products.. We are seizing the opportunity given low interest rates at present, and the banks’ willingness to extend assistance,” Mr. Dee said.

Ayala Land currently operates four residential brands: luxury Ayala Land Premier, upper- and middle-income Alveo, “affordable” Avida, and mass-housing Amaia.

Ayala Land shares dropped 4.86% yesterday to P15 from its previous close of P15.70.
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