Tan firms expanding outside MM

By Iris Gonzales

MANILA, Philippines -  Business tycoon Andrew Tan’s companies are expanding outside Metro Manila,  saying there is no property bubble in the country but instead, a housing backlog that needs to be addressed.

Empire East Land Holdings Inc. president Anthony Charlemagne Yu said the company plans to help address the backlog, which according to government data is at 5.7 million, half of which is from outside Metro Manila.

“According to government agencies there is no bubble, there is backlog that is yet to be filled and many of the developers are now going to areas outside Metro Manila so you have developments that are more dispersed than those that we have before which are concentrated only in Metro Manila,” Yu said.

He said there are plans to develop outside Metro Manila to replicate projects in Laguna Bel-Air.

Yu cited data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on the housing backlog in government housing projects.

“Gov. Tetangco said that based on the figures that they have, this supply that we see is actually fueled by actual demands and supported with a fact that we have a backlog of about four million housing units in the country because of the lack of government housing projects. And as you can see the trend, the response of the developers today is to fill up this backlog not only in Metro Manila but it is now dispersed even in the provinces,” Yu said.

He also noted the increase in prices of housing units is not a cause for worry.

“According to BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo, this increase in price represents a very vibrant housing industry and is not a cause for worry,” Yu said.

The company expects to spend about P4 billion to P5 billion for construction and development works in 2017.

“We currently have P2.9 billion worth of properties, with an aggregate area of 404 hectares. As we prepare to roll out new phases for our existing projects, we are intent on coming up with new, creative and memorable ways to keep the company in the mid space of the market. We have, in fact, tailored our out of home advertising strategies to accomplish exactly this,” Yu also said in a message to shareholders.

Another Tan-owned company Megaworld, also highlighted its expansion outside Metro Manila.

“Our diversification story is truly coming to life – we now have 22 townships and integrated lifestyle communities all over the Philippines: four in Fort Bonifacio, six in Metro Manila excluding Fort Bonifacio, five in Luzon excluding Metro Manila, six in Visayas and one In Mindanao,” Tan said during Megaworld’s annual stockholders meeting last Friday.                                     

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