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Cebu real estate boom may sustain until...


CEBU, Philippines - Not only will the Cebu real estate industries continue to flourish in this year of the wooden horse but will also sustain its boom until 2020. This forecast was raised by realtor Ricardo “Ric” Inting, CIPS, president and chairman of Land Asia Realty and Development Corporation (LARDC). Inting said in an interview that Cebu is growing to be a hub of opportunities now that it has been eyed by many as an investment destination for real estate development, business process outsourcing, tourism, particularly medical, creative industries and small and medium enterprises. “Cebu captured the attention of many foreign companies looking for investment. There are also local developers who started to pour investments that dramatically changed the Cebu’s real estate landscape like Primary Homes, Cebu Land Masters, Apple One Properties, Nexus Properties, and Kings Properties among others. These developers are now providing affordable and quality homes for end-user buyers,” he said. The vibrant demand for office and residential properties, he added, is primarily fueled by the fast-growing business process outsourcing industry and the remittance influx of overseas Filipino workers. He said that the domestic market is mainly comprised of high-end and middle-income buyers who want to invest on real estate properties for a long term. Foreigners, on the other hand, are more engaged into buying condominium units in Cebu due to its convenience and practicality. Inting described Cebu as the tourism gateway for the central and southern Philippines. Evident of which are the rich culture, natural white sand beaches, world-class hotels and resorts in the province. Cebu is also the second largest city and fastest growing economy in the country. He said that large-scale malls such as SM Mall and Ayala Mall are aggressively putting up a lot of expansion to cater to the needs of their growing clientele. Last year, the country’s construction sector posted an all-time high performance with Cebu identified as one of the highest performers due to its upbeat economy. Based from the latest record from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-7), around 4,891 new construction projects were approved in the first semester of 2013 valued at P7.83 billion. Eighty-five percent of which were residential buildings while 11 out of 13 projects registered with the Board of Investments (BOI) in the first semester of last year were intended for mass housing projects with an estimated project cost of P3.22 billion. Inting further believed that since real estate plays an integral role in the economy, it should maintain a dominant force in the industry. He cited the need to improve the manpower and marketing strategies of the real estate industry in order to sustain its robust growth in the coming years. He also appealed for a stricter implementation of the Republic Act No. 9646 which is also known as the Real Estate Service Act of the Philippines (RESA Law). “If ever unlicensed brokers will be fully eliminated, our real estate industry in the country will be institutionalized and be globally competitive,” he stated. He said that there are 22,000 licensed brokers and 200,000 real estate agents nationwide. In Cebu alone, there are 3,000 licensed brokers and more than 10,000 real estate agents. He also said that LARDC is laying out innovative strategies and inventive action plans that are designed to cater to the evolving market and maintain its leadership position in the highly competitive industry. With its five-year plan, LARDC aims to expand its market globally by setting up offices in key cities in the Philippines and satellite branches abroad. It celebrated its 21st year anniversary last October 20. For almost two decades, it has developed and trained more than 10,000 real estate agents. LARDC aims to provide professional services that include the acquisition, sale, leasing and management of commercial, investment and corporate real estate. http://www.philstar.com/cebu-business/