Property developer credits OFWs for sustained sales

Overseas Filipino workers are “the main drivers of our growing middle class,” said a top property developer who credits strong end-user demand, mostly from financially independent OFWs, for his company’s sustained sales.

“The demand is driven by our 11-million strong Filipino expatriates, coupled by a growing local market with increased purchasing power,” said Century Properties President and Chief Executive Officer Marco Antonio.

“This is one of the strengths of the Philippine property industry,” he added.

Filipinos are becoming more financially independent, Antonio observed, adding that the domestic market has become “more attracted to the proposition of paying for an amortization of P6,000 to P12,000 a month, rather than spending the same amount to rent out a place.”

He added that the majority of OFWs are first-time buyers, with the option of leasing out their units to earn additional income.

The company’s sales performance thus reflects the “resiliency” of the Philippine real estate market, Antonio said, citing the favorable standard down payment of 20 to 30 percent and low bank interest rates of 5 to 8 percent.

The high-end real estate firm posted P944 million in net income for the first half of the year, up 90 percent from the comparable period last year.

Its pre-sales meanwhile went up 18 percent to P10.7 billion in the same period. This is already 54 percent of their P20 billion pre-sales target for the full year 2012, the property developer said.

Also, with a below-60 percent home ownership rate – lower compared to that of Singapore and Taiwan, “Residential unit purchases here are non-speculative because majority of the buyers are end users,” Antonio noted.

Century Properties has completed 20 condominium buildings with 4,128 units as of 2011

Source: GMA News Online | September 10, 2012

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