Cebu Landmasters, Inc. (CLI) has began pouring some P12 billion in investments with its decision to enter the real estate hot spots in the Visayas-Mindanao (Vis-Min) area.
Officials of the number one real estate developer in Metro Cebu believe now is the time to this. With flagship infrastructure development projects set in the region in line with the Duterte administration’s pump priming of growth outside of Luzon, CLI expects the Vis-Min area to continue to be a booming hub for investment.
CLI has recently filed an application to raise up to P3.8 billion from an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission to help fund its Vis-Min expansion.
“Seeing a compelling mix of opportunities posed by record growth in the region, we are broadening our expansion to key rapidly growing cities like Metro Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, and Bacolod,” said Jose Soberano III, CLI president and CEO.
Government data displays high growth rates in the gross domestic products for the aforementioned cities, with Metro Davao posting a 10.7 percent growth, Cagayan de Oro 8.7 percent, Iloilo and Bacolod Cities 9 percent, and Metro Cebu 8.4 percent.
This favorable investment environment is buoyed up by the projected further growth of the BPO industry from the current 1.7 million to 2.1 million full-time workers by the year 2022.
Economic reports noted 20,000 new jobs were generated by the BPO industry in Cebu alone in 2016. The global business outsourcing think tank Tholons has declared Metro Cebu as a top outsourcing destination in the world, ranking seventh worldwide.
Iloilo, Bacolod and Dumaguete have also been dubbed as “Next Wave cities” where BPOs are fielding operations in search of new talents. This BPO boom in Vis-Min has fueled real estate growth.
“Increasing traffic congestion has raised demand for housing. Rather than spend long hours commuting, BPO workers are opting for more convenient residential options nearer their places of work,” said Soberano.
To fill in Cebu’s rising demand for office and residential space as a favored BPO hub, CLI is completing the top-end Baseline HQ office project in a strategic Metro Cebu location.
CLI will soon begin construction of Latitude Corporate Center, destined to be a prestige office address for small and large business and BPO’s in Cebu Business Park.
That a significant 33.4 percent of overseas contract workers hail from the Vis-Min has also driven the growth of the real estate industry in the region. Total remittances rose from USD25.61 billion in 2015 to USD26.9 billion in 2016 and exceeded government growth target.
“Many overseas workers use their remittances to acquire real estate back home. Our Casa Mira projects in Linao, Minglanilla, Naga City, and Cagayan de Oro, for instance, cater to the OFW market. Some 60 per cent of CLI residential buyers are OFWs.”, he adds.
Tourism growth in the region, with Metro Cebu leading the pack with its average growth rate of 11.58 percent in the past four years, has contributed to the real estate boom in Visayas and Mindanao.
This January 2017 for example, some 122,613 visitors entered the Philippines through the Mactan-Cebu International Airport and 51,939 arrived the Kalibo International Airport. The Department of Tourism in Mindanao expects a maximum tourism growth of 20 percent.
To meet visitors’ growing needs, CLI is building a Citadines Cebu City Hotel with 180 rooms to be completed in 2019 in time with the completion of the new Mactan International Airport. Two more hotel projects are also in the offing.
According to Soberano, CLI is developing 11 new projects in 2017 alone, in the identified Vis-Min hotspots in Metro Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, Bacolod, and Dumaguete. These projects will comprise a mix of residential, offices, commercial and hospitality developments.
In 2016, the company registered a 41.5 percent rise in revenues to P2.18 billion from P1.54 billion in 2015. Also, the firm currently accounts for the second largest market share or 11 percent of the total supply of residential condominiums in Metro Cebu, only second to real estate giant Ayala Land.
As economic development spread out from Luzon to the other islands of Visayas and Mindanao, CLI counts on its homecourt advantage of being a homegrown Visayan firm to better understand and respond to the real estate needs in the region.
“We have seen how Vis-Min property markets have transformed in recent years. Our ability to conceptualize and market projects across all real estate product lines and deliver personalised service, quality and great value makes us uniquely equipped in the region to maximize available opportunities,” Soberano said.