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Despite the pandemic, the Cebu home market is expected to remain strong

A real estate sector executive stated on Monday that the housing market has remained resilient in Cebu and the rest of the Visayas, which are expected to gain from the post-pandemic economic recovery.

In a virtual investor meeting, Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI) chief executive officer Jose Soberano III said, “Housing has proved to be robust and sustainable since it is now, more than ever, considered a fundamental necessity, particularly with the prolonged pandemic.”

The publicly traded developer has shown great resilience in 2020 and 2021, thriving despite lockdowns and the economic effect of the epidemic.

“In the midst of all of these difficulties, we see possibilities. We are motivated to continue executing our project plans with speed and quality because of the low-interest-rate environment and tax policies that benefit mid- and low-income house purchasers. By the end of the year, we expect to have exceeded our year-end guidance,” Soberano added.

As it rapidly adjusts to the new normal, CLI is aggressively initiating new projects to guarantee sufficient inventory to service strong market sectors.

“We plan to continue to profit from our main business—housing—while also preparing for new possibilities that global recovery and tourism will offer. “We are sure that VisMin (Visayas, Mindanao) will be at the vanguard of this revival,” added the businessman.

The property developer’s first-half income increased by 66 percent year over year, exceeding its growth goals for the year, according to company executives, thanks to outstanding revenue growth from real estate transactions.

The company’s net income increased from PHP792 million to PHP1.32 billion in the first half, continuing its strong upward trend in financial performance.

Construction activity at CLI’s active project locations is currently at 97 percent on average, according to the company. It is in full swing in big cities like Cebu, Dumaguete, and Bohol, with activity levels ranging from 90% to 100% in others, with quarantine regulations the main stumbling block.

In Cebu, Iloilo, and Ormoc, six residential projects totaling PHP11 billion were inaugurated in the first half, using CLI’s economy, mid-range, and high-end brands.

“Real estate sales will be supplemented by recurring revenue from CLI’s leasing and hotel business, which has been scheduled to roll out when the local and global economies completely recover from the consequences of Covid-19,” Soberano said.

CLI plans to expand its hotel portfolio to 1,433 rooms by 2025 when the tourist sector is expected to be on the upswing.

Meanwhile, the completion of five projects in the first half of the year boosted operational cash flows by PHP5 billion in take-out and turnover collections.

CLI has completed 40 projects so far, with 36 more in the works and 14 more in the queue.

The Cebu-based business purchased four hectares of land in Panglao, Bohol, as well as expansion sites for current Casa Mira projects, in order to continue its long-term development.

Over 200 hectares of high-valued land are now being negotiated, with agreements anticipated in the second half of 2021.

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