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Demand for affordable housing remains unmet: Colliers PHL

Posted on February 11, 2016 08:56:00 PM [ bworldonline.com ]

PROPERTY DEVELOPERS are scrambling to serve the demand for residential products serving the lower segment of the market, but challenges remain to making home ownership more affordable for Filipinos, real estate advisory firm Colliers Philippines said in a briefing yesterday.

Julius M. Guevara, head of advisory services at Colliers Philippines, said there has been a mismatch in terms of actual demand from the end-user market compared to housing projects developed over the past years.

“The demand is there. The product, however, is still not there. It’s still quite expensive. A big portion of housing backlog is those that could not afford housing,” Mr. Guevara said.

Application for licenses to sell at the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board dropped 14% last year, with the socialized housing segment one of the few bright spots, he said.

“The developers have recognized this given the slowdown in the Metro Manila condominium developments. They are going out there, looking for areas so they can sustain their revenue growth,” Mr. Guevara said.

The number of sold condominium units has been falling from the peak in 2012, dropping to 32,400 units last year from almost 40,000 in 2014, Mr. Guevara said.

“We are now approaching more rational levels, but not all these households can afford housing,” he said.

Key to addressing the backlog is to “strike the ideal financing structure” for this sector, said Ieyo de Guzman, executive director for investment services at Colliers Philippines.

“If you look at real demand, it’s coming from [the lower segment of the market], the demand for that is still unmet and I’m not so sure if in my lifetime if it will be met and the reason for that is it is heavily dependent on financing and capability of buyers,” Ms. de Guzman said.

Lower interest rates, extended payment terms and relaxed financing requirements from the Home Development Mutual Fund, or Pag-IBIG Fund, will allow more Filipinos to afford homes, Mr. Guevara said.

“We still have a lot to do a lot to increase the capability of those that could not afford housing… The government should step in to help in similar to what other countries are doing,” he said. -- Krista Angela M. Montealegre         
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