For most Filipinos, owning their dream home is becoming harder as house prices continue to soar.
One company decided to get something done 24 years ago and embarked on a mission of “putting a roof over the heads of Filipino families which they can truly call their own—at a price they can afford.”
“It all started in 1994 with St. Joseph Village 1—named after St. Joseph the Worker—that completely sold out in just four months,” P.A. Properties chairman Romarico “Bing” Alvarez, told the Manila Standard. “It made me realize then the huge demand for affordably priced homes, especially in the provinces south of Metro Manila. Due to growing investment inflows, the potential for job creation is big, and creating well-planned counter-magnet development to a heavily congested metropolis made sense.”
Moving out of the big city
“Buyers today are smarter, as most consider housing prices as important as location,” added Jonathan Lu, P.A. Properties president. “Our database of buyers indicates that there is a significantly high number of young households who are buying houses in Laguna, Cavite, and Bulacan.”
Lu said that while renting would still continue to be the norm for young people, particularly in cities where a shortage of homes would continue to drive higher prices, “we expect that this would encourage more people to rethink about their housing investment options.”
Buying the dream home can be a very expensive affair, yet homebuyers are not averse to stretching their savings to the limit to make it happen. Since banks typically do not lend more than 70% of the value (on average) of the property, at the outset, the buyer has to shell out a lump sum as down payment of the house. Most end up taking a large chunk out of their life savings to make this payment and secure the home loan.
Easy payment options
These nuances (and more) of home ownership were taken into account by Alvarez and Lu, as the company continues to offer low- to medium-cost housing units with easy payment options. The company builds houses with lot areas ranging from 36sqm-100sqm and floor areas from 25sqm and above, at prices as low as PhP1.1M.
“Our formula of building houses within the range of low-income households, average wage-earners and OFWs and arranging funding mechanisms to finance such homes worked wonders for P.A. Properties, Alvarez acknowledged. To date, P.A. Properties has completed a total of 40 affordably priced housing communities, equivalent to over 19,000 units. With 16 housing communities still being developed, the company says 25 more projects, estimated to generate P25 billion in revenues, are now in the pipeline.
Not bad for a company that kickstarted with an initial capitalization of P300,000, and is now worth P3.3 billion.
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