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Developer KMV Asia focuses on environment-friendly projects

KMV Asia Development Corp. founder and CEO Kaydee Velasco
By Cathy Rose A. Garcia Associate Editor

KMV Asia Development Corp. is hoping to distinguish itself from other real estate firms by focusing on sustainable and environment-friendly projects.

Kaydee Marie O. Velasco, founder and chief executive officer of KMV Asia, is a “green” architect, having been one of the first BERDE-licensed professionals in the country.

BERDE, which stands for Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence, is the voluntary green building rating system created by the Philippine Green Building Council.

“For me, you should select what is best for your country. BERDE is the rating system for the Philippines. To compare, the main component of LEED is power… In Philippines, the main problem is drainage… BERDE’s main points are drainage system, rainwater harvesting, sewage treatment and accessibility to the public,” Ms. Velasco told BusinessWorld in an interview earlier this month.

A BS Architecture graduate of the Far Eastern University (FEU) in 2011, she said the school “honed me, helped me get out of my comfort zone.

After graduation, Ms. Velasco started at Palafox Associates, where she became an associate architect.

“I worked with Architect (Felino “Jun”) Palafox from OJT (on-the-job training) to my first months, I was directly coordinating and studying with him. The main point I learned was conceptualization to have a longer period, we don’t jump into planning. I learned a lot from the development side,” she said.

At Palafox, she worked on projects for the American Battle Monuments Commission, Friday’s Boracay, and Department of Health.

But in 2013, she decided to leave Palafox and start her own company KMV Architectural Design Creations. One of the firm’s first projects was the Gregorian Mall in Legaspi, Albay.

“I incorporated sustainable features. We saved the trees. We planned the building was surrounded by trees. We made sure there was passive cooling and natural ventilation, and saved the natural resources and components of the site. I started all my developments like that, so they tagged me as the sustainable architect,” Ms. Velasco said.

With her own company, she worked on commercial and industrial projects, including the master plan for industrial parks.
“To make (industrial parks) more sustainable, you have to incorporate everything — mixed-use, residential component, hotels, administrative, because before it was only administrative. All of the utilities, warehouses are in the industrial park. So it’s live, work, shop, dine and play,” Ms. Velasco said.
In 2016, Ms. Velasco incorporated KMV Asia as a real estate development company. KMV Asia was also tapped as the principal architect and project manager of Singapore-based Barons Group of companies.
The same year, the company partnered with businessman Dr. Robert C. Sy for a sustainable community called Venessa’s Heights in Liliw, Laguna.
“It’s a three-hectare development, expandable to 10 hectares. We donated 3,000 sq.m. of land to the municipality. We’re building a mall. We’re in talks with Robinsons, Savemore, Handyman, and Daiso (for the mall),” Ms. Velasco said.
Venessa’s Heights also offers house-and-lots in a residential community, and has a food park called Parque de Lilio, which is scheduled to open in June.

In Metro Manila, KMV Asia’s projects include Vive, a six-storey mixed-use development along Montojo St., Barangay Tejeros, Makati City.

“In our (condominium) developments, we have 10% less in saleable areas because we make sure our hallways are artsy, more sustainable. Our hallways have graphics, have natural ventilation, sustainable plants or artificial plants mixed with real plants. We have natural lighting,” Ms. Velasco said.
Vive Makati offers 40 units between 26 square meters (sq.m.) and 29 sq.m. Price ranges from P3.1 million to P4.4 million. Construction is ongoing, and the project is expected to be completed by March 2021.

Ms. Velasco said the company is developing another condominium project along Araneta Avenue corner Quezon Avenue, Quezon City.

“For me, I want to make sure to have our projects have the three E’s — Economy, Environmental and Efficiency,” she said.

KMV Asia currently has ten to 12 projects in the pipeline.

“We’re venturing in different things. Our closed developments include a 15-storey hospital in Roxas Boulevard for the Daughters of Charity… We also have (a project) in Carmona, Cavite. We have another Vive in Makati, and another in Quezon City near Fisher Mall,” she said.

Aside from property development, Ms. Velasco said the company is now expanding into food and beverage.

“We do have leasing. We are expanding. What’s our edge over other companies? We’re not just developers. We’re an all-in-one dynamic firm into sustainability rating, master planning, architecture, engineering, project management, development management and real estate development. If you need a development manager, we can do that as well,” she said.

Office tower boosts QC image as business hub


BUSINESS process outsourcing (BPO) companies, insurance firms, and real estate developers have identified Quezon City as a good location to establish a satellite office, according to Phillip Anonuevo, executive director of Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC).

A recent report by LPC showed Quezon City has built up an inventory of office buildings that is expected to keep growing up to 2023.

Aryton Zalamea, LPC manager, said buildings like the 13-storey Mpire Center, located along West Avenue, are expected to boost demand further in Quezon City.

Mpire Center, which offers a gross leasable area of 14,100 square meters, is owned and built by Mprime Development Corp., an affiliate of Monolith Construction and Development Corporation.

“Most of the occupiers inquiring about Mpire are surprised to find a building of such quality in QC,” Mr. Anonuevo said.

The building is pre-certified for LEED Gold, which means it has incorporated energy saving features including double glazed windows, VRF Air-Conditioning, a garden roof deck, etc. for its occupiers.

Mpire Center also has a multi-purpose court for basketball and other sports events and ground floor retail area.

RLC plans township in Pampanga


By Arra B. Francia, Senior Reporter
ROBINSONS Land Corp. (RLC) will be developing close to 200 hectares of land in Pampanga into a mixed-use estate, as the property firm rides on the robust economic growth in the province.

The Gokongwei-led firm said it has acquired one consolidated parcel of land near the Clark area that will be turned into Mont Clair, an integrated township with residential, commercial, hotel, and industrial park components.

“We have acquired significant land bank in the Clark area. We think that it will be an important integrated township for the company,” RLC President and Chief Operating Officer Frederick D. Go told reporters after the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Ortigas late Wednesday.
Mr. Go said the company has already finished the master plan for the project, but declined to comment on how much investments they are pouring into the development.

“We really believe in the future of Clark,” he said.

Businesses have increasingly been expanding their footprint in Clark, in response to the government’s push to establish it as the next business district outside Metro Manila. Firms that currently have projects in Clark include Dennis A. Uy’s Global Gateway Development Corp. and Gotianun-led Filinvest Development Corp.

Meanwhile, RLC has scheduled to launch P12 billion worth of residential projects this year. Three of these are in Pasig City, namely Sync, Cirrus, and Sapphire Bloc. It will also build the Woodsville condominium in Parañaque City.

“We are expecting their take-up to be really fast and to do really well. When that happens, we have more projects that we are lining up like residential project in Cainta. We are looking at the first residential building this year in Cainta, in our project which we are now calling Sierra or Sierra Valley,” Mr. Go said.

The company also has two joint venture projects scheduled for launch in the second half of the year, which Mr. Go noted are excluded in the firm’s computation of expected sales in 2019. The first one is called the Aurelia in partnership with Shang Properties, Inc. located in Bonifacio Global City. This will consist of about 81,000 square meters (sq.m.) of net saleable area.

It will also unveil its project with Hong Kong Land Group in Bridgetown East in Pasig City by the second half of the year. The P5.6-billion condominium will have 33,000 sq.m. in net saleable area.

The six projects is expected to deliver more than 4,000 residential units for RLC.

RLC earlier said it will spend P27 billion in capital expenditures this year, the bulk of which will be for investments and project development. About P4 billion has been allotted for land acquisitions, in a bid to expand the firm’s current land bank of 762 hectares.

The company grew its net income by 19% to P1.84 billion in the first quarter of 2019, after revenues also went up seven percent to P6.78 billion.

Shares in RLC fell 1.6% or 40 centavos to close at P24.60 each at the stock exchange on Thursday.

DoubleDragon to install more solar panels in its properties

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DOUBLEDRAGON Properties Corp. will be installing solar panels that can generate up to 100 megawatts across its properties in the future as part of its sustainability efforts.

In a statement Monday, the listed property developer said it has inaugurated a 1,098-panel high efficiency solar installation on the rooftop of DoubleDragon Plaza in its DD Meridian Park project in Pasay City.

DoubleDragon engaged Lopez-led FP Island Energy Corp. to design and install the rooftop solar system, which is expected to displace 418 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent to more than 13,565 trees planted.

“DoubleDragon expects to soon host 100 megawatts of solar power on its various properties across the country which will add considerable additional revenues to the company,” DoubleDragon Chief Investment Officer Marianna H. Yulo said in a statement.

The solar installation could also enhance operational efficiencies at DoubleDragon Plaza that has been pre-certified by the United States Green Building Council to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver standard.

“We endeavor to build sustainable and eco-friendly structures that will blend well with the community and should remain productive and relevant in the next 100 years,” DoubleDragon Chairman Edgar J. Sia II said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the company said it has already leased out all five towers in DD Meridian Park. It now hosts more than 20,000 employees, and is seen to further rise to more than 50,000 by the end of the year. The number of employees will support the customer base of its retail tenants located on the ground floor of the office complex.

DD Meridian Park was developed to help meet the company’s goal of having 1.2 million square meters under its leasable portfolio by 2020. This will come from a combination of community malls, office spaces, hotels, and industrial facilities.

DoubleDragon’s net income attributable to the parent climbed 45% to P767.30 million during the first quarter of 2019, as gross revenues also increased 33% to P2.44 billion.

Shares in the company shed 0.83% or 20 centavos to close at P23.90 each at the stock exchange on Monday. — Arra B. Francia

DHSUD eyes P50B annual housing fund

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THE IMPLEMENTING rules and regulations (IRR) of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Act will be signed by June 15, according to Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chairman Eduardo D. del Rosario.

In an interview at the Palace on May 20, Mr. del Rosario told BusinessWorld that the final draft of the IRR will be signed by the HUDCC, Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), and other concerned agencies by June 15.

Nagsimula na kaming gumulong ‘yung (We have started moving along with the) six months [transition period]. Three months for the completion of the implementing rules and regulations, so it will be completed and signed by June 15,” he said.

“After that, we will have our organizational structure and staffing pattern para ‘yung (so that the) different bureaus and regional offices will be defined with their corresponding heads,” he added.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11201, also known as the DHSUD Act, on Feb. 14. Mr. del Rosario said the HUDCC and the HLURB are now crafting a roadmap for the new department, which will be operational beginning 2020.

“So it depends now on the budget, we presented our proposed budget for 2020 to the DBM (Department of Budget and Management),” he said, which “at the moment” will be “about P50 billion a year.”

Most of the budget, he explained, will go to the informal settler families nationwide.

“Those living in areas whose lots are not theirs and those living in hazard areas,” he said.

“We would like to achieve our housing need. They call it backlog, I call it housing need of 6.5 million from 2017 to 2022. In order to achieve that, we need about a minimum of P35 to P40 billion. But the budget for the housing sector for this year alone is only P2.7 billion. How could we possibly achieve that? So it is very timely that the department is created so that in 2020, we can possibly scale up,” he said.

Mr. del Rosario also noted that the current housing agencies are drafting a proposed bill to address the country’s housing needs.

He said the bill is “for the housing production so that there will be an allocation of at least P50 billion a year to construct for over 20-year period… about two million housing units.”

“We are now drafting the proposed bill. Once the next Congress resumes, we will request a senator or a congressman to sponsor the bill so that we can have a yearly budget allocated for housing. Because previously, it’s about P30 to P33 billion already. It ran down to P2.7 billion this year,” he added. — Arjay L. Balinbin

DAR working to complete CARP land acquisition, distribution by 2022

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Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)

THE DEPARTMENT of Agrarian Reform (DAR is positive it can achieve the complete acquisition and distribution of land under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) by 2022.

“There are three things that the administration of President Duterte wants us to accomplish. First is the distribution of government-owned lands as mandated under Executive Order No. 75, second, the parcellation of collective CLOAs (certificate of land ownership awards), and most of all, ensuring that the country is LAD (land acquisition and distribution) Free by 2022,” DAR Secretary John R. Castriciones was quoted as saying in a statement on Friday.

Mr. Castriciones said he has instructed all regional and local officials to come up with a plan for the LAD. He added that over 600,000 hectares of land are still to be covered under the CARP and distribution of these within three years may be impossible without a concrete plan.

The official said this during a three-day national conference for the proper accounting of the remaining land for distribution to agrarian reform beneficiaries. The conference also included the formulation of strategies and recommendations to speed up the acquisition and distribution of land, which will be presented to President Rodrigo R. Duterte at a June 6 Cabinet meeting.

“At present, we have already done initial steps in streamlining the land conversion process. The Inter-Agency Task Force on land use conversion has already drafted its implementing rules and regulations. If approved by the Cabinet and President Duterte, then it will be implemented immediately,” Mr. Castriciones said in the statement.

The said task force was formed to speed up processing of requests for land conversion to residential, commercial, and industrial use, as well as submit a report on inconsistencies in the conversion processes.

The DAR has been working to acquire all government-owned land suitable for agricultural use but are no longer used for this purpose as stated in Executive Order 75. It also aims achieve zero backlog in resolution cases related to agrarian justice delivery.

“We have set our targets starting this year until 2022 to achieve a zero backlog for both the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board and Agrarian Legal Implementation cases,” Mr. Catriciones said.

“We are incorporating all of this into a cohesive and strategic program. We hope a favorable response from the President and the Cabinet. If all goes well, immediate implementation will follow,” he said. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang

SM opens office building in Iloilo

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Courtesy of SM City Iloilo Facebook page
SM Prime Holdings, Inc. has opened a new office tower in Iloilo City targeted toward business process outsourcing (BPO) firms, as its seeks to boost the presence of outsourcing companies in the area.

Located along Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue, the Sy-led property developer said the Strata Tower offers 23,000 square meters (sq.m.) in total leasable area. Office spaces will be located on 13 floors, while the ground floor will house retail shops such as SM Savemore Supermarket.

“Strata Tower aims to establish BPO and office presence within the city and its neighboring towns,” the company said.

The office building is located across SM City Iloilo, and is accessible to the mall through a covered bridgeway on its second floor.

Strata is one of SM Offices’ 35 operational office properties covering a combined gross floor area of about 642,000 sq.m. across 20 locations.

The office group accounted for about nine percent of SM Prime’s revenues in the first quarter of 2019, alongside other leasing businesses such as hotels and convention centers. The segment saw its revenues rise 14% to P2.3 billion.

Overall, SM Prime’s consolidated revenues climbed 14% to P26.5 billion, resulting to a 16% increase in net income to P8.8 billion.

Shares in SM Prime fell 1.52% or 60 centavos to close at P38.80 each at the stock exchange on Friday. — Arra B. Francia

Megaworld to build P1.2-B mall in Bacolod

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THE Upper East Mall is located within Megaworld Corp.’s township in Bacolod City. — COMPANY HANDOUT
By Arra B. Francia, Senior Reporter

MEGAWORLD Corp. is investing P1.2 billion to develop a three-storey mall inside its 34-hectare Upper East township in Bacolod City.

In a statement issued Friday, the listed property developer said the Upper East Mall will cover 24,200 square meters in gross floor area. It will have restaurants, four cinemas, an open-air food hall, and an indoor garden.

The Upper East Mall will also feature a 48-meter clock tower, seen to serve as a landmark for the township’s six-lane main avenue spanning from Lopez Jaena Street to Circumferential Road.

“We are curating an architectural masterpiece that depicts the cosmopolitan vibe of our Bacolod township. This is just the first mall that we are building in this township because there is still more room for future expansion,” Megaworld Chief Strategy Officer Kevin Andrew L. Tan said in a statement.

Megaworld will use a solar panel roofing for the mall, as well as other energy efficiency features including perceived airconditioning cooling design, escalators with crawling features, rainwater harvesting system that will use the collected water for plants, and gray water recycling system.

A gray water recycling system means that water discharged from the sewage treatment plant will be used for secondary flushing of the mall’s toilets and urinals.

Megaworld expects to complete the mall by 2021. It will be then be directly connected to the transport hub that the company is building across the township’s central park, which in turn faces two residential towers called One Regis and Two Regis.

Upper East Mall forms part of the company’s P28-billion investment to develop the Upper East in a span of 10 years.

“In the next three to five years, we will see the residential towers, office towers, commercial buildings, hotel, church, parks, and this new lifestyle mall rising. We will also be opening the Upper East Avenue to the public in two years,” Mr. Tan said.

Aside from the Upper East, Megaworld is also developing a 54-hectare township called Northill Gateway along the Bacolod-Silay Airport Access Road. The estate will have its own lifestyle mall and residential villages — Forbes Hill and Fountain Grove.

Megaworld’s net income attributable to the parent grew by 16% to P3.8 billion in the first quarter of 2019, after consolidated revenues surged 15% to P14.9 billion.

Shares in Megaworld dropped 0.91% or five centavos to close at P5.44 each at the stock exchange on Friday.

Housing developer offers affordable homes to Filipinos

Mass housing developer Bria Homes makes it easier for hardworking individuals to become homeowners with its affordable house and lot packages. The Golden Bria Holdings, Inc. subsidiary offers packages as low as P1,897 a month. Aside from affordability, the housing developer takes pride in its fast construction time and delivery of homes built to last through the years. Bria Homes’ communities are located in progressive towns and cities in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Housing developer offers affordable homes to Filipinos
Bria Homes offers house and lot packages for as low as P1,897/month. 
In Luzon, Bria Homes has developments in the provinces of Pangasinan (Urdaneta), Tarlac (Paniqui), Pampanga (Magalang and San Fernando), Bataan (Mariveles and Hermosa), Cavite (General Trias, Trece Martires, and Indang), Batangas (Balayan and Lipa), Bulacan (Plaridel, Malolos, Santa Maria, San Jose Del Monte, and Norzagaray), Rizal (Teresa, Binangonan, and Baras), Laguna (Calauan, Calamba, Sta. Cruz, San Pablo, Alaminos, and Bay), and Camarines Sur (Pili and Iriga).
In Visayas and Mindanao, its affordable housing options are in the provinces of Negros Oriental (Dumaguete), Samar (Calbayog), Leyte (Ormoc), Misamis Oriental (Cagayan de Oro, Balingasag, and Gingoog), Bukidnon (Manolo Fortich, Valencia), Davao del Norte (Tagum, Panabo, and Carmen), Davao del Sur (Davao City and Digos), North Cotabato (Kidapawan), and South Cotabato (General Santos City). 
Housing types include Elena, a 22 square meter unit on a 36 square meter lot; Bettina, a 44 square meter unit on a 36 square meter lot; and Alecza, a 36 square meter unit on a 81 square meter lot. Homeowners in all Bria Homes are ensured of safety by perimeter fences and guarded entrances. Residents are promised fresh and tranquil ambiance thanks to trees planted throughout the communities.
To foster community spirit and a healthy, active lifestyle among its residents, Bria installs facilities such as covered basketball courts, play areas for children, and venues for events and recreational activities. Each community is located near retail and leisure establishments and other residential locales, making day-to-day errands easier to accomplish and leaving more time for the people and activities that truly matter in our lives. 
To allow more Filipinos to own a home, buyers may avail of either bank financing or Pag-ibig for ease of payment. The fastest-growing mass housing developer in the Philippines, Bria Homes is primed to bring affordable house and lot packages and condominium units closer to ordinary Filipino families. Call 0997-725-0187 or follow Bria Homes’ on social media for more information.

DMWAI tops off Pixel Residences

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A SUBSIDIARY of D.M. Wenceslao & Associates, Inc. (DMWAI) recently topped off its first residential condominium development in Aseana City, Parañaque City.

Pixel Residences, a project of Aseana Residential Holdings Corp. (ARHC), is a 15-storey residential development with 170 units. It offers studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units with sizes ranging from 36 square meters (sq.m.) to 88 sq.m. Construction started in 2017.

“In less than one year, this low-density residential development swiftly sold out its 170 units, a resounding success amid a highly competitive development landscape,” the company said in a statement.

Designed by CASAS + Architects, the project will have a pixel-patterned façade and naturally ventilated corridors. It will also have retail areas and amenities such as indoor gym, indoor swimming pool, a function hall, and a kid’s play area.

“We want our residents to go home to a peaceful space amidst the busy city living. Pixel Residences is where people can live their life with comfort, safety and security,” Julius M. Guevara, vice president for corporate planning of DMWAI, said in a statement.

Pixel Residences is located within the DWAI’s mixed-use flagship project Aseana City. — V.M.P.Galang

Horizon Land fast tracks projects

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FEDERAL LAND, Inc. is fast-tracking developments under its main brand Horizon Land in Pasay, Manila and Cavite, amid continued strong demand for homes.

In a statement, the property unit of GT Capital Holdings, Inc. said construction continues for Palm Beach West, a four-tower resort-inspired project in Bay Area, Macapagal Boulevard, Pasay City.
A concrete pouring ceremony was recently held for Baler, the project’s fourth tower. Set for completion by 2022, Baler offers 236 units, ranging from studio, one bedroom, two bedroom, and three bedroom units.

At the same time, Horizon Land recently broke ground for the last of eight towers at its Peninsula Garden Midtown Homes in Paco, Manila. The Mimosa Tower will have 20 floors with a total of 240 units, and expected to be finished by 2021.

Horizon Land is also developing a Mediterranean-inspired community Florida Sun Estates in General Trias, Cavite. It broke ground for the community’s Orlando Model House Cluster that featured three model houses. It also started construction on the amenity area of the Orland phase of the community.

“All of these developments are master-planned communities ideal for families, young professionals, retirees, business owners, or immigrants — different types of home buyers seeking to settle in a safe and well-designed neighborhood while staying close to the city center where business hubs, educational institutions, medical facilities, as well as commercial and industrial establishments abound,” the company said. — V.M.P.Galang

Amaia Land continues provincial expansion with residential community in Iloilo

Amaia Scapes Iloilo is located in San Miguel, Iloilo.
AMAIA Land Inc. is developing a residential development on a 15-hectare property in Barangay San Jose in San Miguel, Iloilo.

Amaia Scapes Iloilo, located in the heart of the Iloilo-Guimaras metropolitan area, offers 314 “innovatively-designed” homes.

The project provides different housing options, such as the Bungalow Pod, Carriage Pod, Single Home, Twin Home and Twin Pod. The units have “cleverly laid-out” living and dining areas, a kitchen, one or more bedrooms, and one or more bathrooms. There are also multi-level units available, and most units can be expanded.

Amenities include a basketball court, mini-soccer field and swimming pool.

Amaia Scapes Iloilo is located near Shops at Atria, Robinsons Place Iloilo, SM City Iloilo, Iloilo Technohub, Western Visayas Medical Center, and Qualimed Iloilo. It is also a short drive away from the University of San Agustin, University of the Philippines Visayas, and Central Philippine University.

“Amaia Land makes affordable, functional, and stylish homes more available to Filipinos by offering low monthly amortization rates and flexible payment options such as cash, deferred cash, and bank financing,” the company said in a statement.

During the first quarter of 2019, parent company Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) reported P7.322 billion in net income attributable to equity holders, a 12% increase year-on-year.

Real estate revenues rose 6% to P37.44 billion, on the “sustained performance of its property development business and the surge in commercial leasing revenues.”

ALI reported that Amaia Land revenues surged 47% to P2 billion in the first quarter on increased bookings from Amaia Steps Nuvali Parkway in Laguna and Amaia Skies Cubao Tower 2 in Quezon City.

Earlier this year, Amaia Land said it is set to launch five residential projects and expand eight other existing projects. This includes two townhouse projects in ALI’s mixed-use developments Vermosa Estate in Cavite and Nuvali in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, as well as a building in Capitol Central in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. It is also developing a house-and-lot community in Binangonan, Rizal.

Existing projects that will be expanded are those in Sucat and Bicutan in Parañaque; General Trias and Trece Martires in Cavite; Novaliches in Quezon City; Cabuyao in Laguna; Bulacan; and Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City.

Manila’s most expensive condo costs P550,000 per square meter

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The Estate Makati is a luxury condominium in the heart of the central business district. -- HTTP://WWW.ESTATEMAKATI.COM/INDEX.HTML
A LUXURY condominium project is now pre-selling at a whopping P550,000 per square meter (sq.m.), making it the most expensive in Metro Manila, according to Colliers International.

“Strong demand in the pre-selling market has continued to raise residential prices, with the most expensive condominium project now priced at approximately P550,000 ($10,400) per sq.m.,” Colliers said.

While Colliers did not identify the project, it is reportedly The Estate Makati, a high-end condominium in the heart of Makati central business district (CBD) along Ayala Avenue across from Rustan’s Makati. It is being developed by SM Development Corp. and Federal Land.

“With the dearth of developable land, the most expensive pre-selling project along Ayala Avenue in Makati CBD is very attractive among investors; it being the last opportunity to own a pre-selling property in the Philippines’ primary business district,” Colliers said.

Luxury residential projects have been growing over the past three years in terms of take-up and launches. Colliers noted there is strong appetite for these projects, as developer continue to launch high-end condominiums in Fort Bonifacio, the so-called Bay Area and Makati CBD.

For the overall residential market, Colliers reported 3,700 units in Metro Manila were completed during the first quarter. This pushed Metro Manila’s condominium stock to 122,500 units as of end-March, from 118,900 units as of end-2018.

Nearly half of the new condo units delivered during the January to March period are in the Bay Area. About 1,800 units were turned over after Shore Residences Building 4 was completed.

Added supply also came from completion of the 490 units of Lincoln Tower of the Proscenium at Rockwell in Makati City, the Sandstone at Portico Tower 1 in Ortigas Center with 370 units, Verve Residences in Fort Bonifacio with 560 units, and Escala Salcedo and Two Roxas Triangle in Makati CBD with 430 units.

By 2021, Colliers expects Metro Manila’s condominium stock to reach about 142,000 units, with the Bay Area and Fort Bonifacio accounting for 75% of the new supply.

Colliers also noted average rents for prime three-bedroom units in Makati CBD, Fort Bonifacio and Rockwell Center inched up 0.8% quarter-on-quarter.

“In 2019-2020 we see rents in the three business districts rising by an average of 0.6% due to the delivery of more units before rising to an average increase of 1.0% in 2021 as the completion of new units slows,” it added.

Capital values are also rising, with the average prices of prime three-bedroom units in the secondary market in Makati CBD, Rockwell Center, and Fort Bonifacio ranging between P139,000 and P350,000 ($2,600 and $6,600) per sq.m., 6.7% higher quarter-on-quarter.

“We expect prices to increase by an annual average of 6.3% from 2019 to 2021 as we factor in the new supply,” Colliers said.

At the same time, Colliers said leasing demand for residential condominiums was “firm” in the first quarter, especially in hubs where Chinese offshore gaming companies have set up shop.

“We recommend that developers with several ready-for-occupancy (RFO) units offer creative leasing models such as co-living, highlight features of projects such as landscaping, retail options, and accessibility; and launch more mid-income units,” Colliers said.

For investors, Colliers said they should cash in on the potential capital appreciation of condominiums, as the government starts work on rail projects in the greater Metro Manila area. — V.M.P.Galang

QC could put land value hike on hold

Quezon City hall

By Vann Marlo M. Villegas Reporter

QUEZON CITY (QC) residents and businesses are likely to get a reprieve from an already deferred hefty increase in real property tax looming in January next year, as Mayor-elect Maria Josefina “Joy” G. Belmonte said she plans to put on hold implementation of higher land fair market values (FMV) pending “further consultation with the people.”

The city government issued QC Ordinance No. SP-2556, Series of 2016, in December 

2016, increasing FMVs. But the Supreme Court (SC) halted implementation as it issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on April 18, 2017 in response to a petition of Alliance of Quezon City Homeowners’ Association, Inc. (AQCHAI). The high court lifted the TRO on Sept. 18, 2018, allowing the hike to proceed. But the QC government suspended 

implementation to January 2020 through Ordinance No. SP-2778, Series of 2018 on Dec. 6, 2018.

“There’s still confusion about it and some taxpayers… asked that it be reviewed more thoroughly so they can participate more [in discussions on this tax issue],” Ms. Belmonte said in a telephone interview on Wednesday last week.

“I made the declaration that I will not implementing this ordinance; well, until such time additional revenue is necessary to run the city.”

Noting that “may mga iba pang mga homeowners’ magfa-file ulit… ng isa pang TRO (there are homeowners that will again seek a TRO from the court),” she said that “rather than mag-file kayo nang mag-file ng TRO, we’ll hold it in abeyance.”

“Let’s not implement and let’s just do further consultation with the people.”

Ms. Belmote said she will consult the Department of Finance (DoF), Commission on Audit and the Department of the Interior and Local Government on this plan.

Kung okay naman sa kanila na wag muna i-implement, hindi muna natin i-implement in my first term (If it is okay with them, we will not implement it in my first term) and possibly even more years should I be reelected. But I could only speak for my first term,” she said.

Elected local government officials serve a three-year term and can seek reelection for two more consecutive terms.

Ms. Belmonte said she will propose to at least devote her upcoming term as mayor to “further inform, further clarify with the homeowners what this means” in order to avert any application for another TRO.
While she said during her recent election campaign that such a higher tax could be warranted by new major projects, she said in last week’s interview that “chances of that are very slim.”
QC Ordinance No. SP-2556, Series of 2016, raised the FMVs of residential, commercial and industrial real properties by 400-733.33%, in turn raising tax payable by real property owners by an estimated 39-131%. New assessment levels are set at five percent for residential and 14% for commercial and industrial lands. The adjustments are expected to yield an additional P700 million in real property tax collection in the measure’s first year of implementation.

FMVs were last increased in December 1995 despite the requirement of Republic Act No. 7160, or the Local Government Code of 1991, to adjust them every three years.

Sought for comment, DoF Assistant Secretary and spokesman Antonio Joselito G. Lambino II said the department “welcomes the opportunity” to dailogue with the mayor-elect regarding her plan. “I would be happy to share with her our proposal for the package three of the tax reform program. In fact, when I attended one of the meetings of the League of Cities of the Philippines, it was one of the proposals we were told was something the mayors found quite appealing,” he said in a telephone interview on Friday.

House Bill No. 8453, or the proposed “Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act,” that was approved on third and final reading by the House of Representatives in November last year, aims to centralize valuation and assessment of real properties. The measure will be the basis of local appraisers and assessors for the schedule of market values that will be the basis of national and local real property-related taxes. It also tasks the Bureau of Local Government Finance to develop standardized valuation system, in line with international standards.

Sought for comment, AQCHAI President Danilo Liwanag called for more consultations with real property owners.

“(W)ala naman problema ‘yun sa mga homeowners association… hindi kami nag-o-object sa pagtaas ng FMV, kasi tama ‘yan; eh kasi since 1995 pa hindi tumataas ang FMV (Homeowners associations do not have a problem with the higher FMVs per se, since these values have not been adjusted since 1995),” Mr. Liwanag said in a telephone interview on Thursday last week.
Ang ino-oppose namin ‘yung sobrang taas ng real property tax na naka-base doon sa FMV. Pwede naman kasing gumawa ng isang formula na hindi magiging masakit sa bulsa ng mga magbabayad (What we oppose is the very big increase of real property tax that is based on the FMV. There could be a formula to make sure any increase will not be too much of a burden for taxpayers.)
Mr. Liwanag added that the city government should inform constituents about where the additional funds will be used.
’Yan ang importante: humarap sila sa amin. Pag-usapan kung ano ang ikabubuti ng siyudad. (That is what is important: they should face us and talk about the betterment of the city),” he said, adding that consultations conducted had been attended by only a few real property owners.
Mr. Liwanag said his group is poised to ask the court for a new TRO since the current ordinance setting a January 2020 implementation remains in force. “Kami naman, kailangan ulit magipon… kami ng mga tao, magrereklamo para ipa-TRO nanaman ’yan… gumagawa na kami ngayon talaga ng paraan para mapa-TRO ulit yan (Our group is again gathering people and finding ways in order to secure another TRO against that ordinance)”, he said.

Also sought for comment, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-QC President Sarah P. Deloraya-Mateo said in a mobile phone message on Friday that “… [t]he policy behind the proposed implementation (of the increase) should be discussed with the public so the people can properly make a sound judgment,” and asked that “increased rates… be justified by a lawful purpose that will benefit QC stakeholders.”

Ms. Deloraya-Mateo noted that the chamber and other business organizations were consulted in 2016, “but not all agreed with the increase.”

GT Capital seeking partners to develop property in Cavite

By Arra B. Francia Senior Reporter

GT Capital Holdings, Inc. is looking for local or foreign partners to help develop portions of the P20 billion worth of land it received after its divestment from Property Company of Friends, Inc. (Pro-Friends), a top official said last week.

GT Capital President Carmelo Maria Luza Bautista said they are developing a master plan for 600 hectares out of the 702 hectares in selected assets from Pro-Friends, which cover parts of Imus, General Trias, and Bacoor in Cavite.

“Once the master plan is developed or is better defined, the intention is to look for local or foreign joint venture partners to facilitate it so we can monetize the asset, given the overall size of the project,” Mr. Bautista said during a briefing in Taguig City last week.

Mr. Bautista said they can tap both local and foreign partners for the project given its size.

“If you can identify another Isetan Mitsukoshi equivalent for masterplanned communities, then that will be the case,” Mr. Bautista said, referring to subsidiary Federal Land, Inc.’s partner in developing its residential and retail complex project in Bonifacio Global City.

“We also have very good partnerships with local conglomerates and we are open to some of them,” he added.

GT Capital returned its 51% stake in Pro-Friends in exchange for the 702-hectare land earlier this month, explaining that rising property prices no longer make their land bank suitable for affordable housing projects. It noted that land values of other property players in the area range from P17,000 to P52,000 per square meter.

The transaction is still awaiting approval from the Philippine Competition Commission.

Once approved, the company plans to develop the Cavite portion into a mix of mid-rise residential properties and commercial projects that will target the mid-income segment.

“Ongoing infrastructure projects may translate to higher land prices in the medium-term,” the company said.

These infrastructure projects include the Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx) and the CAVITEx C-5 South Link that will both be finished by 2021, as well as the Cavite-Laguna Expressway that will be completed in 2022.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bautista said the remaining parcels of land in Metro Manila can be developed into high-rise condominiums by Federal Land. These are located in Shaw Boulevard, Santolan, and along Daang Hari road.

GT Capital’s net income attributable to the parent dropped by eight percent to P3.42 billion in the first quarter of 2019, even as revenues added three percent to P47.02 billion. The conglomerate was weighed down by lower sales from its auto and property business units.

Central bank moves, speculation over timing of REIT listing propel Ayala Land stock movements

By Mark T. Amoguis Senior Researcher

AYALA LAND, Inc. (ALI) was one of the most actively traded stocks last week following the easing in monetary policy as well as traders speculating on the timing of the company’s plans to conduct a real estate investment trust (REIT) listing on the stock exchange this year.

A total of P2.577 billion worth of 54.539 million Ayala Land shares were traded during the May 14-17 period, data from the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) showed.

Shares in the real estate arm of the Ayala group closed P46.75 apiece last Friday, shedding 0.5% from the P47 finish on May 10.

Since the start of the year, ALI’s share price went up by 13.2%.

“For me, the main factor that affected [ALI’s] stock performance is the 25-bps (basis point) interest rate cut. This is a positive catalyst for the company and for the property sector in general as this would induce more consumer loans which would consequently flow to property investments,” Wendy Estacio, research head at Unicapital Securities, Inc., said in an e-mail interview.

In a phone interview, AP Securities, Inc. Research Analyst Rachelle C. Cruz said that the investors remained “positive” on ALI following its first-quarter earnings report.

She added that the reserve requirement ratio cut on the big banks “seems to be positive on the property developers like Ayala Land because reserve requirement cut will pave way for lower interest rates, which could increase the appetite of property buyers on the local side.”
“Fundamental-wise, Ayala Land is still okay,” AP Securities’ Ms. Cruz said.

In its third policy review this year on May 9, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) Monetary Board slashed benchmark interest rates by 25 bps to a range of 4.25% to 5.25% amid easing inflation. This partially dialed back a cumulative 175-bps hike to benchmark rates last year as monetary authorities scrambled to put a lid on accelerating inflation.

A week later, BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno told reporters that the central bank plans to slash the big banks’ reserve requirement ratio (RRR) by 200 bps in three stages: 100 bps by May 31, 50 bps by June 28, and 50 bps by July 26. This would bring the RRR down to 16% from the current 18%.

Aside from the monetary policy easing, analysts said that investors may have also speculated on the timing of ALI to tap the REIT market that could turn out to be the country’s first.
Jeffrey Lucero, equity analyst at RCBC Securities, Inc., said that ALI’s plan to do a REIT offering may have continued to generate interest from investors.
“We generally see ‘REIT-ing’ as net asset value accretive, particularly with REIT’s tax benefits. The capital that will be raised… will also help fund [ALI’s] expansion plans,” he said in an e-mail.

For her part, AP Securities’ Ms. Cruz noted the current REIT’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR) that was released in 2010 following the REIT law’s passage the previous year as “very disadvantageous” to property developers like ALI.

Ms. Cruz said that developers are hesitant to tap the REIT market, citing one of the provisions such as the high minimum public float required by the existing IRR.

“So, if Ayala Land will push through with that without changes to REIT IRR, it could be a risk to them,” she said.

ALI announced last April its plans into offering REIT — eyeing to raise P25-26 billion — after filing to rename One dela Rosa Development, Inc. into Ayala Land REIT, Inc. that will serve as the vehicle for the REIT listing. Once further clearances are secured from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and PSE, it will use Ayala Land’s office buildings located in the Makati Central Business District for the REIT.

Ayala Land plans to push through with the listing regardless of whether or not the SEC will revise the REIT IRR.

Passed into law in 2009, Republic Act (RA) No. 9856 — or the REIT Law — allows creating corporations that will pool investor funds and manage real estate assets.

Property companies were interested at first but expressed objections on stringent rules via REIT law’s IRR such as the 12% value-added tax slapped on the initial transfer of real properties into the REIT company as well as the high minimum public float requirement of 40% upon listing the company at the local bourse, then raising it to 67% within three years.
Since then, the SEC has favored a lower public float of 33%, while the 12% value-added tax on the transfer of real properties has been removed under RA 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law. However, the SEC has yet to release a revised IRR governing REITs as the Finance department wanted assurance that the funds generated via REITs will not be spent outside the country.
Earlier news reports noted the new REIT rules are targeted to be out within the first half this year.
Meanwhile, analysts were bullish that ALI will meet its P40-billion profit target by 2020 as they project above 10% growth this year. For the company to achieve this target, it needs to grow by at least 17% this year.

The company’s net income attributable to equity holders of the parent company rose 12.4% to P7.32 billion in the first quarter from P6.52 billion in the same period in 2018.

“Although [the first-quarter result] was slightly below our full-year forecast, we believe [Ayala Land] would be able to hit our net income target of P36.9 billion in 2019 (or an 11% growth from 2018), mainly driven by the residential and office segments. Also, it has P142-billion unbooked revenues that could further boost our forecasts,” Unicapital’s Ms. Estacio said.

RCBC Securities’ Mr. Lucero penciled in a 14% annual increase to Ayala Land’s core net income to P33.3 billion by yearend.

“Both the rental businesses and real estate sales will drive growth for the full year. While in the [first quarter], real estate sales wasn’t as stellar, I expect it to pick up in the coming quarters since the reason for the lower-than-expected real estate sales in the 1Q was only revenue recognition timing,” Mr. Lucero said.

For this week, Ms. Cruz of AP Securities expects Ayala Land to trade with a support price at P46 and resistance price at P48, while Unicapital’s Ms. Estacio pegs the company’s support and resistance prices at P46 and P47.70, respectively.

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