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Phinma ventures into more socialized housing projs

By Neil Jerome C. Morales (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 5, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Real estate developer Phinma Property Holdings Corp. is venturing into more socialized housing projects, a niche market that it plans to tap by partnering with local government units (LGUs).

The property arm of investment firm Phinma Corp. is also fasttracking the launch of larger projects as it expands outside Metro Manila for the first time, an executive said.

“We continue to expand in the sense that whatever capacity we have, we’re channeling also our resources, almost equally, to socialized housing projects,” said Phinma Properties president Willy Uy.

“It’s an area where our competitors are not willing to get into because of the very slim margins,” Uy said, adding that the company’s building system allowed it to squeeze better margins than conventional contractors.

Phinma Properties, which has been involved in socialized housing projects since early 2000s, is the firm behind Bistekville housing project that offers around 1,100 residential units through row houses and three-story condominiums in Quezon City.

In the pipeline are three more socialized housing projects priced at a maximum of P450,000 per unit in Quezon City, Uy said.

Several LGUs have also approached Phinma Properties, which already signed a memorandum of agreement for a socialized housing project with the Bacoor LGU.

“We are looking as far as Tacloban for rehabilitation,” Uy said, adding that the socialized housing segment could account for at least 30 percent of the company’s total income.

Phinma Properties is also pursuing larger residential projects, or those with 11 storeys and more.

Uy said the property firm is launching four projects, the first time since 2011 when the company limited itself to one development a year. New projects are located in Pasig, Novaliches and two in the Alabang-Sucat area.

“While we’re cautious, we still continue to look at other areas to develop,” Uy said.

Phinma Properties is venturing outside Metro Manila for the first time through high-rise residential projects in Davao and Sta. Rosa in Laguna.

Capital spending is estimated at P600 million to P800 million for this year.

To increase its landbank, the property firm is pursuing joint ventures deals given significantly higher cost of land, Uy said.

Phinma Properties is part of the Phinma Group, formerly Bacnotan Consolidated Industries Inc. The investment firm is also into steel fabrication (Union Galvasteel Corp.), educational institutions (Phinma Education Network composed of Araullo University, Cagayan de Oro College, University of Pangasinan and University of Iloilo) and hotels (Microtel).

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