Developers wooing home buyers with low prices, interest rates, flexible terms

Bruce Rodriguez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 10 2020 07:36 PM

Construction of a new building progresses in the foreground of the Metro Manila cityscape from Quezon City. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News file photo

MANILA – Some of the biggest property developers in the Philippines said homebuyers should take advantage of low interest rates, prices and flexible terms currently being offered by developers amid the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

At a webinar organized by online real estate platform Lamudi, Julius Guevara, vice president for corporate planning at DM Wenceslao and Associates said "developers have become more flexible in terms of their payment terms."

"There are a lot of discounts, some are even deferring the payments down the road just to compel some home buyers to make that decision," Guevarra added.

Likewise, the country's state-owned home mortgage Pag-IBIG Fund, has also reduced rates for its members to as low as 4 percent.

Developers also noted that the Bangko Sentral has relaxed local lenders' real estate loan limit from 20 percent to 25 percent, which is estimated to have freed up P1.2 trillion in liquidity.

"If you do have the money and you were considering buying a house, right now is the time to invest," said Cary Lagdameo, First Vice President, at Davao-based Damosa Land.

Lagdameo said they also expect banks to continue to lend to credit-worthy developers and credit-worthy end-users.

Franco Soberano, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Cebu Landmasters also said, the real estate market is now more attractive for end-users, or those who need to buy a house or residential unit.

Soberano also called on fellow property developers to begin looking for other growth areas across the country, especially in places where there is demand but a lack of supply.

He said, these include cities like Iloilo and Ormoc which are both in the Visayas island group of the country.

Looking in the next two to three years, Guevara, meanwhile, said, property prices will continue to be soft.

Mico Racelis, Business Unit General Manager of Robinsons Homes, agrees with this view but adds, there may be some pockets of recovery every time there is positive news regarding the pandemic.

"On a near-term, possibly at least within a one to three year perspective, we'd like to maintain, probably, our prices at the moment where they are, unless probably some major development happens."

These include the news of a vaccine against COVID-19 or new protocols that would further open up the local economy.