CENTURY PROPERTIES Group, Inc. is launching its residential line catering to first-time homebuyers within the second quarter, as it expands its portfolio consisting mostly of luxury and mid-priced condominiums in Metro Manila.

The listed property develo-per made the announcement about three months after partnering with Mitsubishi Corp. for a P2-billion horizontal residential development in Tanza, Cavite.

Century Properties will offer residential units with a starting price of P1.1 million, which translates to a monthly amortization of around P9,000, under the new product line.

“This unbeatable value at this price point will make first home buyers proud to own and live in a Century home,” Marco R. Antonio, the group’s chief operating officer and managing director for the first home unit, said in the statement.

Century Properties is targeting the growth areas in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon as potential market for first-home developments, as the region hosts about 33% of overseas Filipino workers.

In November, Century Properties signed a partnership with Mitsubishi for the development of housing projects, starting with 2,877 homes within a 26-hectare community near the Cavite Export Processing Zone.

In an earlier interview, President and Chief Executive Officer Jose E.B. Antonio also revealed a plan to develop around 5,000 first-home units within a 44-hectare property near the National Capital Region.

“This new division of Century answers the dreams, needs and aspirations of first-time homebuyers through a complete housing package that go beyond the essential propositions of a good location, convenience and attainable price points,” Mr. Antonio said.

“Century’s first home unit democratizes home ownership and makes it available to a wider set of Filipinos who aspire for an enhanced quality of life. As this is their first experience to acquire a home, we will simplify the process and make each step convenient for them.”

The housing backlog in the Philippines has reached 5.56 million, according to Century Properties, citing data from the Housing and Urban Development Council.

Aside from tapping an underserved market, the company known for upscale developments will effectively expand its portfolio and diversify its income stream with the launch of the first-home brand.

“The launch of this new segment effectively expands the company’s portfolio of residential offerings, from luxury and mid-priced condominiums in the business districts and city centers to competitively priced first homes within boom towns outside of Metro Manila, while maintaining Century’s tradition of quality, innovation, and unique customer experience across all market segments,” Mr. Antonio said.

In its Century 2020 blueprint, the property developer charted its expansion in affordable housing along with leisure and tourism, given the housing backlog and continued increase in tourist arrivals in the Philippines.

In the leisure and tourism sector, Century Properties is looking to develop properties in Batulao, Batangas and San Vicente, Palawan. The company had earlier announced a P4-billion investment for the projects.

Century Properties is banking on the diversification of its product offerings, among others, to improve its financial performance moving forward.

In the first nine months of 2016, the company booked a 50% year-on-year decline in net income to P649.4 million, following a 37% drop in real еstatе sales to P4.19 billion partly on the lack of new project launches.

Shares in Century Properties closed a centavo or 1.96% higher at 52 centavos apiece on Monday, bucking the downtrend that pulled the Philippine Stock Exchange index by 0.37% to 7,232.47 and the property sectoral index by 0.56% to 3,275.24.

Source: Businessworld Online | February 28, 2017