PHILIPPINE REAL ESTATE and RELATED NEWS in and around the country . . .

Binay: Ban single detached homes

[ ] September 30, 2011
by Rey T. Salita

THE construction of single detached residences will be banned in Metro Manila to optimize land use, Vice President Jejomar Binay told the Senate on Thursday.

“We will start to regulate residential land use. We will have to go vertical and start constructing multi-story houses to maximize the remaining spaces,” said Binay, head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.

Antonio Bernardo, head of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, said the consultations with local government executives would be finished within the year, and the final draft of the policy would soon be out and might include private subdivisions.

“As far as government housing is concerned, we will only construct, finance and guarantee medium- rise buildings, and if the local government units will recommend, the regulation will also apply to private subdivisions.” Bernardo said.

Binay said Singapore and Malaysia had been regulating urban land use and were successful in optimizing the use of the available space in the populated areas.

“Valenzuela already has a pilot project in place,” Binay said.

“They have constructed a community on medium- rise buildings and optimized limited space for other facilities and recreation, day care and multi-purpose enclosures.”

Binay said the relocation of squatters would also be done “in-city” as most of those who had been relocated outside Metro Manila had merely returned to squat in congested areas.

“We have constructed 5-story mass-housing facilities with 20-square-meter units,” he said.

“We will give priority to relocate those from Lupang Arenda.”

Lupang Arenda is a relocation site in Tanay, Rizal, that has proved to be prone to flooding in the typhoon season as it has become a natural catch basin for the overflow spills from Laguna Lake.

Binay said the Housing Council was aiming to provide low-cost housing to 580,000 families in Metro Manila.

He said the Pag IBIG fund had made P5 billion in calamity loans available to members whose houses were damaged by typhoon Pedring. The releases would be equivalent to 80 percent of a member’s accumulated savings.

Robinsons Land drops plan to form Reit firm

[ ] September 30, 2011
by Jenniffer B. Austria

Robinsons Land Corp., the property unit of conglomerate JG Summit Holdings Inc., has joined other listed companies that have abandoned plans to list their assets through a real estate investment trust because of unattractive rules.

Robinsons Land vice chairman Lance Gokongwei said in an interview at the sidelines of the Asean 100 Forum held at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel that it did not make financial sense to do a Reit given the current rules approved by the government.

“Given the constraints, given the current implementing rules, I think it does not make financial sense to do a Reit,” Gokongwei said. “Definitely we are not pushing with our Reit plans,” he added.

SM Prime Holdings Corp., the Philippines’ biggest mall developer, in August said it was no longer pushing through with its plan to raise $500 million through Reit after the government doubled the public ownership requirement for property trusts.

The rules require a minimum public float of 40 percent for a Reit company and 67 percent within three years after listing.

Most real estate companies, however, want to retain majority ownership of the Reit.

Ayala Land Inc., meanwhile, is open to possible talks with the government in amending some of the rules on Reit law.

“The private sector is always willing to dialogue so we can get this thing implemented and moving as soon as possible,” Ayala Land president Antonino Aquino said.

Aquino said he expects “some tension” given the government’s drive to increase revenue collection and the incentives to be given to real estate firms under the Reit.

Aquino said the Reit was one program that could spur the growth and development of the country besides the public-private-partnership projects of the Aquino administration.

Robinsons Land, Ayala Land and SM Prime are three of the biggest real estate companies that earlier expressed interest in Reits for listing in the Philippine Stock Exchange.

PSE president Hans Sicat said the exchange had not received any single application for Reit listing. Bloomberg, AP

SMDC leads in resd'l bldgs in Metro

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) Updated October 01, 2011 12:00 AM 

MANILA, Philippines - SM Development Corp. (SMDC) , the residential development arm of retail tycoon Henry Sy’s SM Investments Corp., remained the top seller of residential buildings in Metro Manila in the first half of the year.

Based on a recent study by Colliers International Philippines, SMDC raked in the highest amount in terms of sales value, having sold 4,117 residential condominium units from January to June this year, worth around P9 billion. This translates to a 22 percent market share in terms of number of units sold in an industry with more than 90 players.

SMDC has been the country’s leading residential developer in terms of sales for the past two years, according to Colliers.

SMDC currently has in its portfolio 15 residential projects, 14 of which are in Metro Manila and one in Tagaytay City. Six projects – Berkeley Residences, Chateau Elysee, Mezza Residences, Field Residences, Grass Residences and Sea Residences – are ready for occupancy.

This year, the company launched two more projects, Mezza II Residences, located at the corner of Aurora Blvd. and Guirayan St. in Quezon City and very near SM City Sta. Mesa, and M Place @ Ortigas, located along Meralco Ave. in the heart of the Ortigas commercial district in Pasig City. M Place @ Ortigas is targeted towards young professionals working within the area, and offers added convenience due to its proximity to transportation hubs, malls and shopping centers.

For the rest of the year, SMDC is scheduled to launch three more residential condominium projects.

Belle says Tagaytay project on track

Posted on September 30, 2011 07:42:07 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

LUXURY DEVELOPER Belle Corp. said it is on track to complete its upscale residential development in Tagaytay by mid-2012, with roughly two-thirds of the lots seen to be sold this year.

Already, some 30% of the 90-lot of the so-called Nob Hill has already been sold as of September, Michelle T. Hernandez, Belle vice-president for marketing said in a telephone interview yesterday.

Belle hopes to complete the sale of the project’s lots in time for their turnover to their respective owners in the second quarter of 2012, she said.

Nob Hill is located in the 1,500-hectare Tagaytay Highlands mountain resort and residential complex, and joins other earlier high-end Belle residential developments such as Saratoga Hills and Lakeside Fairways.

Belle saw it profits drop in the first half on the back of lower revenues, with consolidated net income falling by 43.7% to P102.1 million from P181.3 million recorded in year-ago levels as the company allotted resources to developing its $750-million Belle Grande Manila Bay integrated resort and gaming complex.

Belle shares rose by 3.72% to P3.35 yesterday from P3.23 at its previous close. -- Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente 

Vice President junks amicable settlement with Globe Asiatique

09/30/2011 [ ]

Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday said Pag-IBIG Fund will not enter into an “amicable settlement” with Globe Asiatique over the syndicated estafa case filed by the state housing agency against the property developer.

“The only win-win solution, to my mind, is for Delfin Lee and his co-accused to face justice and go to jail,” Binay said.

The Vice President is chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the Pag-IBIG Board of Trustees.

Binay said that while he understands that Pampanga Rep. Carmelo Lazatin was only expressing concern over the situation of his constituents, GA should not be allowed to walk away from his criminal actions with an amicable settlement.

“Globe Asiatique defrauded the ordinary workers who are contributors of Pag-IBIG Fund. The company defrauded hardworking citizens of Pampanga by selling property they already purchased legitimately to other buyers, a practice known as double selling. They are demanding justice. I’m sorry but if you are proposing an amicable settlement, it is out of the question,” Binay said.

“Pag-IBIG is funded by contributions from its 8 million members. As caretakers of the fund, we are mandated to protect the integrity of the fund at all times. In the case against GA, we cannot take the path of least resistance and enter into a compromise when the evidence is clear and unequivocal. That would be tantamount to abandoning our duty to protect the fund,” he said.

Binay added the case against GA is also proof of the Aquino administration’s determination to stop corruption in government.

“We will not only be letting our President down, we will be letting the people down if we even as much as contemplate a settlement with Delfin Lee,” he said.

Binay also took strong exception to the statement made by the lawyer of GA that it was the borrowers, not the developer, that owed Pag-IBIG.

“Where are the borrowers? Globe Asiatique used ghost borrowers to defraud Pag-IBIG of over P6 billion. They submitted falsified documents,” he said.

Pag-IBIG definitely would not have released the loans had it known that the buyers are fictitious, he added.

“Clearly, Globe Asiatique used Pag-IBIG’s own funds to pay for the previous loan takeouts of the ghost buyers,” he said.

“We can allow replacement of bad loans. But replacing ghost buyers is definitely not allowed and cannot be used to cover up Lee’s crime of syndicated estafa,” added.

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