MANILA, Philippines – Century Properties Group Inc., has partnered with Japanese industrial giant Mitsubishi Corp.,for the development of  horizontal housing units that will target first time homebuyers.

The move is part of the real estate company’s 2020 blueprint, which is to diversify into affordable housing to tap the first homebuyer market in high growth areas in the peripheries of Metro Manila, instead of just remaining as a luxury developer.

Century is led by businessman Jose E. B. Antonio, the company’s chairman and CEO. He is also the country’s special envoy to the United States and the business partner of US president-elect Donald Trump.

“We are currently pursuing more fervently new projects in the first homebuyer market. We will proceed with the same amount of prudence, opportunism, and progressive mentality that we have always employed,” Antonio said.

He said the company would deliver projects that are expected to offer reliable returns over a reasonable payback period.

“These and a few other initiatives will steer the company toward long-term growth and profitability, which can ride the peaks and troughs of real estate cycles,” Antonio said.

For its initial foray into the affordable housing sector, the company has secured a 26-hectare property in Tanza, Cavite to develop around 4,000 homes.

Last year, Century Properties identified affordable housing as one of the two allied real estate segments together with tourism for its business expansion.

Antonio said the joint venture with Mitsubishi Corp. would address strong demand in the affordable segment which has a significant share in the housing backlog of 5.56 million for 2016.

“In our 30-year history, we pride ourselves for our contributions to Manila’s landscape, having built high-quality iconic projects that cater to the luxury, middle income, and affordable market segments. We thank Mitsubishi Corp. for its continued confidence in CPG’s ability to deliver the best value to the market,” Antonio said.

Mitsubishi is one of Japan’s largest sogo shoshas or trading companies. It has various businesses including real estate, energy, chemicals, metals and information technology.

In 2015, Century Properties, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Century City Development II Corp., also partnered with Mitsubishi Corp. to develop, lease out, and maintain the world’s first Forbes-branded commercial building.

Takuya Kuga, Mitsubishi Corp.’s division COO of real estate business, said during the groundbreaking ceremony of Forbes Media Tower in January the partnership with Century is for the long-term.

“I know that with the economic growth, people in middle income class of the Philippines are drastically expanding. On the other hand, I also heard that housing supply for this rising middle class does not catch up with the big demand and this is one of the biggest social problems in the Philippines. We, Mitsubishi, wish not only to catch this big business opportunity, but also to contribute to improvement of living environment in the Philippines together with Century Properties,” he said.

As Century celebrates its 30th year, Antonio highlighted the important values that have propelled the company forward.

Source: The Philippine Star | November 25, 2016