Century Properties to invest P15B in '09

By: Administrator  |   12/19/2008 12:42:29 AM

HONG KONG -- Century Properties Group, a top non-listed Philippine developer, plans to more than double its spending next year to build condominiums in the country, its chairman, Jose E.B. Antonio, said Wednesday.

Despite a global financial crisis that has led some property developers to pull back, Century Properties will spend as much as P15 billion ($303 million) for its various projects in the country's business districts of Makati, Ortigas and Fort Bonifacio, up from P6.0 billion this year, Antonio said.

"We want to take advantage of the lower costs of construction materials. With oil prices down, prices of steel and other materials have also fallen," Antonio said in an interview on the sidelines of the Clinton Global Initiative conference in Hong Kong.

The company is targeting marketing efforts among the estimated 11 million Filipinos who work abroad, hoping they will buy its mostly high-rise residential units, he said.

Remittances by Filipinos working overseas have remained buoyant despite the global financial crisis, which has prompted developers around the world to cut or postpone investments, sending property prices spiraling downwards.

Data from the Philippine central bank showed that funds sent home by Filipinos living abroad rose 17 percent to $12.3 billion in the January-September period from a year ago.

"Despite the financial crisis, property prices in the Philippines are holding up. That's because of the demand from overseas Filipinos," said Antonio. "Also, unlike in other countries, the Philippines still has a limited supply of housing units."

The company has 27 offices outside of the Philippines to market their projects to Filipinos working and living abroad, he said.

"Filipinos working abroad is a huge market. They have the spending power, and they find property prices in the country relatively cheaper than, say, in the UK," he said.

Source: http://business.inquirer.net

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