Top Cebu Properties, Condo Market

Condo market ‘getting stronger’


       Despite the global financial slowdown, the local housing market for residential condominiums has become “robust” now that more and more Filipinos are aware of the benefits of acquiring a condo unit.


       Primary Homes sales manager Ramero Espina made that observation, adding that there is now a high demand for residential condos.


       However, several condominium projects in the market will be turned over only in 2012. The immediate demand has prompted real estate developer Primary Homes to deliver its condominium development, Woodcrest Residences, ahead of schedule.


       Woodcrest, which started last year, was first targeted to be completed toward the end of 2010 but it will be finished by the first quarter next year. Turnover of units will start in December. The buyers can then start using their properties by February 2010.


       Woodcrest is located in Guadalupe, Cebu City. It has studio units, two-bedroom units, three-bedroom loft units, and townhouses. It specifically targets the mid-market.


       At present, Primary Homes has already reported a 70-percent sale of Woodcrest’s 174 units, 150 of which are condos and the rest are townhouses. Espina said these buyers include Filipinos with most of them supported by OFW (overseas Filipino worker) relatives, businessmen with investments in Cebu, and foreigners with Filipino spouses.


       He noted that the shift from residential subdivisions to residential condos has been spurred by lifestyle change, even when the condominium is considered a new trend in Cebu’s real estate industry.


       “Living in an upscale residential subdivision requires high costs for maintaining the house's amenities like the swimming pool and for hiring security guards while living in a condo only requires a unit owner to pay less monthly maintenance dues,” he said.


       Some of Woodcrest’s amenities are a swimming pool, fitness gym, clubhouse, multi-level parking area, porches and mailboxes for every unit, and waste water treatment facility. It also has a 24-hour security, equipped with closed circuit television system.


       A Woodcrest investor also has the option to earn through renting out his space with the help of Primary Properties Management Corp.


       “Real estate is a great investment. A property is equipped with fire alarms and sprinkler system so risks are controllable. It can also be insured and if it will be rented out, it ensures better returns than putting funds in the bank,” Espina said.


       He cited Woodcrest investors who are assured of “higher yields at eight to 10 percent per annum.”


       He added that another advantage of Woodcrest is its location in the south of Cebu City.


       “The trend for business now is going south as the area ushers in more development, especially with the opening of the South Road Properties. The property is (near) hospitals, schools, malls, and offices. It is also located in one of the city’s most peaceful districts,” he said.


       After typhoon Ondoy left large parts of Manila submerged, Primary Homes is anticipating more potential clients from Manila to reside in Cebu.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 9, 2009