Published on September 14, 2013, Philippine Daily Inquirer:

Charles E. Buban

Last year’s total volume of houses built nationwide reached 211,010 units, a 17-percent improvement from 2011’s 180,140. This was based on the tabulation of building permits released by the National Statistics Office.

The increased number of 30,870 units “amounts to an additional P20.15 billion from the P100.22 billion generated in 2011,” noted Subdivision and Housing and Developers Association governor and former president Jesus “JJ” Atencio, who prepared the housing start report.

He explained that with the housing start—estimated number of new construction based on building permits issued—SHDA now has a better and more accurate tool that could be utilized for strategic planning and decision-making regarding housing industry issues.

“From this housing start report, we also observed that while single-attached units remained as last year’s most preferred type of housing—at 34.3 percent of the total units built-there was a notable decrease considering that 72,729 units were built in 2011 while only 72,397 were built in 2012,” Atencio said.

Interestingly, he noted that demand for condo units continues to climb: From just 50,525 units built in 2011, 69,093 condo units were built in 2012, a 36.75-percent increase. In addition, there is also a healthy demand for apartments/row houses: from 51,837 units built in 2011, it rose to 64,458 units built in 2012, a 24.34-percent improvement.

“From these figures alone, we could see that there is an increasing preference for condo units as well as apartments/row houses. Moreover, as to condo units, 75 percent of those built or being finished were located in Metro Manila,” Atencio said.

From this housing start, SHDA president Paul Tanchi says he is quite satisfied with the growth of the industry.


“There is reason to be optimistic in 2013. While our economy is growing at an average of 6 to 7 percent yearly, the growth of housing is almost three times that, which is an indication of the significant multiplier effect of the housing industry on our economy,” he said.

Tanchi was referring to the economic impact of the housing industry, wherein for every peso invested by the private outfits in the housing sector, the multiplier effect is 17 times in terms of other investments. “This is because the industry is interrelated to 60 other industries, making it one of the country’s most labor- and
capital-intensive industry.”

In terms of the SHDA Housing Roadmap—the 10-year masterplan created to solve the 3.9-million housing backlog—Tanchi reported that the association remains on target with its commitment. Based on the first quarter data of 2013, the 46,375 units built so far represented a 9-percent improvement over the 41,281 units
registered in the same period in 2012.

“But there is much work ahead as we need the cooperation of several agencies for us to produce more housing units as well as convince our market to buy more of these units,” said SHDA governor and Committee of Socialized Medium-Rise Buildings (MRBs) chair Arlene Keh.

Keh said the adoption of the MRBs, for example, is being regarded as one of the best solutions to “in-city” or “near-city” resettlement of gainfully employed informal settlers in Metro Manila and other key cities in the provinces.

Tanchi added that SHDA is hoping the Board of Investments incentives for lowcost housing be made more favorable, that the relative inaccessibility of government housing finance to lower-middle income classes and that the usual delays in the processing of land titles, permits and licenses be finally addressed. “Housing demand stays buoyant despite current policies. However, if all these roadblocks were removed, the cost of each unit may be made much lower and more attractive to our buyers. Only then will we see significant reductions in our present housing backlog,” he stressed.
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