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Despite COVID-19, CLI’s H1 housing sales up 41%

July 8, 2020

Property developer Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI) reported a 41 percent year-on-year growth in residential reservation sales in the first semester as end-user demand for affordable homes remained robust despite lockdown restrictions prompted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

A significant 40 percent of sales came from projects in Cebu City, where the enhanced community quarantine was recently extended due to the unabated increase in COVID-19 infection.

Iloilo City and Cagayan de Oro accounted for 23 percent and 19 percent of sales, respectively. These are classified as low-risk areas by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the management of emerging infectious diseases, along with Bacolod and Bohol which contributed 10 percent and 8 percent of sales, respectively.

CLI updated its June 24 estimate of reservation sales for the semester to include sales take-up in the last two weeks of June.

“The pandemic has heightened the realization that good housing means good health. In March, we began helping our buyers afford our homes by offering stretched payment terms and other promotions. Market response has been overwhelming and we are now speeding up plans to offer our flagship Casa Mira residential brand to more VisMin (Visayas-Mindanao) cities,” CLI chair and chief executive officer Jose Soberano III said in a press statement on Wednesday.

Casa Mira, CLI’s fast-selling economic housing community, accounted for 65 percent of first half sales in 2020. Its residential units are priced between P1.5 million and P3 million and require a monthly amortization of P4,000 to P5,000 a month after units are turned over.

CLI’s garden series, which are seen to appeal to mid-market buyers with higher disposable incomes, accounted for 26 percent of sales.

Until the end of 2019, 40 percent of CLI buyers were mostly overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). But in the second quarter of 2020 when the VisMin area was locked down, the share of OFW buyers dropped to 20 percent, albeit domestic buyers made up for the slack, said CLI vice-president for sales Rose Yulo.

“Our buyers today are mostly end-users who realized the importance of owning their own homes during the start of the lockdown period. COVID-19 seems to be prompting them to realign priorities and make the big step of buying a home in a well-managed, well-planned, safe and secure community. These kinds of communities are what CLI is offering,” Yulo said.

At the same time, Yulo expects the low interest-rate environment to temper cancellations. – By Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

Published in Philippine Daily Inquirer