Published on July 07, 2012, Inquirer.net:

Written by Charles E. Buban

With the release of fresh housing start statistics—estimated number of new construction based on building permits issued—the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association Inc. believes it may now have a much better and accurate tool that could be utilized for strategic planning and decision making.
“While the housing start is a good indicator of economic performance, it is also a tool for our members for spotting and tracking trends,” announced SHDA president Paul Tanchi during a joint briefing held last week with Carmelita Ericta, administrator and civil registrar general of the National Statistics Office.
Tanchi said the updated estimates on housing starts was based on the newly released NSO buildings data, which measure private construction projects per year, according to the number of building permits recorded by the government.
Accurate figures
“We are glad for this partnership as we will now be able to provide more accurate figures that better reflect growing trend in housing preference and other developments,” Ericta said.
According to the updated statistics, private construction projects in the first quarter of 2012 totaled 29,585, a 4.4-percent increase from the figure posted in same quarter last year (28,347).
A 3.1-percent increase in applications over the same period of last year was also observed for residential constructions, from 20,784 to 21,424.
Among the regions, Calabarzon reported the most number of construction projects with 6,362, accounting for 21.5 percent of the total numbers built nationwide. Other regions that reported significant numbers include Central Visayas with 3,830 (12.9 percent); Central Luzon with 3,814 (12.9 percent); and Davao Region with 2,186 (7.4 percent).
The National Capital Region reported 3,179 buildings built or 10.7 percent of the total.
Highest value
The NSO said that among the regions, the value of construction for the NCR remained highest at P16.8 billion, accounting for 34.3-percent share of the total value. Calabarzon and Central Luzon ranked a far second and third, with respective shares of 16.5 percent or P8.1 billion and 13 percent or P6.4 billion, respectively.
Ericta added that when it comes to provinces, it is Cavite that reports the biggest number of construction projects with 2,015 or 6.8 percent of the total. This was followed by the province of Cebu with 2,007 (6.8 percent) construction projects; Bulacan with 1,768 (6 percent); Laguna with 1,533 (5.2 percent); Rizal with 1,262 (4.3 percent); Davao del Sur with 1,237 (4.2 percent); and Batangas with 1,151 (3.9 percent).
Tanchi believes the continued construction of residential developments in major areas of the country is due to the good economic signs that SHDA members are seeing.
“It is great to learn that while the average gross domestic product growth across the Asean countries slowed to 4.8 percent from 6.9 percent, the Philippine economy managed to grow at 3.7 percent in 2011. The Philippines was able to withstand the weak global demand,” he said.
During the briefing held in Makati City, SHDA board adviser Joe de Guzman reported that total value of residential construction hit P23.3 billion, which accounts to a total floor area of 2.8 million sq m and translates to an average cost of P8,236 per sq m.
Single-house type
Of the residential constructions being done around the country, 86.2 percent of these are single house-type with condominiums accounting to just 0.1 percent of the total.
Total value of this type reached P14.7 billion covering a total floor area of 1.8 million sq m, which translates to an average cost of P7,260 per sq m.
“As one may notice, most of the developments happening within the NCR involves mid-rise as well as high-rise condominiums because there is simply no available vacant land to build on. The trend is different outside NCR where the bulk of residential projects involves single-house types as well as duplexes and quadruplexes,” shared Romarico Alvarez, president and CEO PA Alvarez Properties and Development Corp., a major residential developer in the provinces of Laguna and Cavite.
Residential licenses
Data release by global real estate adviser Colliers International Philippines showed that in Metro Manila, supply remains considerably high across condominiums with some 33,000 units completed and over 50,000 units launched in 2011. Completion grew by over 48 percent annually while some 40,000 units more are expected toward the end of 2013.
While developers continue to favor high-density projects, Colliers International Philippines, reports that the presence of Grade B condominiums continues to augment the number of issued licenses.
In 2011, over 50,000 units were launched in Metro Manila and for Colliers International Philippines, this gives a major indication that licenses in this segment may continue to rise over the remainder of the year (as of February this year, some of the projects which recently obtained licenses are 704-unit The Chelsea Residences in Alabang, the 690-unit Sorrento Oasis in Pasig, the 922-unit 8 Adriatico and 655-unit One Archers Place in Manila.