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SM Prime pushes back plan to build low-cost housing projects to next year

Posted on July 26, 2015 09:02:00 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
SM Prime Holdings, Inc., the Philippines’ largest builder by market value, has pushed back till next year a plan to foray into low-cost housing, a company official said. 

The listed developer originally planned to build horizontal projects this year in Cavite and Pampanga. 
“We’re still consolidating the properties so that will happen next year,” Jose Mari H. Banzon, the company’s residential business unit head, told reporters. 
The company needs a minimum of 30 hectares for the low-cost housing project, which will offer house and lot packages ranging from P850,000 to P1.5 million. 
“We want a decent size to make it optimal then will apply for conversion to residential [use],” Mr. Banzon said. 
SM brought roughly 8,000 condominium units to the market in the first six months with its launch of five residential towers. 
Those projects are located in Quezon City, Taguig City and Pasay City. 
Reservation sales were “considerably bigger” compared to figures in the same period last year, Mr. Banzon said, without giving specific figures. 
“Our first half has been very strong. We expect it to accelerate in the full year,” he said. 
Reservation sales increased by an annual 47% to 3,721 units in the first quarter, translating to a 34% uptick to P9.5 billion in value terms in the same period from P7.1 billion a year earlier. 
The property developer plans to roll out five more projects in the second semester, bringing its full-year launches to 12,000 to 14,000 units, Mr. Banzon said. 
“We ended last year with about 14,000 units [of inventory]. We expect to sell about 14,000 units this year so we will launch 14,000 units,” he said. 

“We need to have 12,000 to 14,000 any one time during the year.” -- Krista Angela M. Montealegre
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