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OFWs to continue fuelling Cebu’s real estate growth

By: - Senior Reporter / @agarciayapCDN
/ 07:25 AM January 08, 2013

Cebu’s positioning as a second home destination will fuel more growth for the real estate industry which is projected to continue to grow robustly within the next three years.

Overseas Filipino workers were acknowledged as the ones who helped to sustain this expected growth in demand for condominium projects in Cebu, Joel Mari Yu, Cebu Investments and Promotions Center (CIPC) managing director, told Cebu Daily News yesterday.

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Yu said the OFWs would be investing their money on properties.

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Yu attributed this trend to the recent paradigm shift in the thinking of OFWs and a factor that could make Cebu as a second home destination of these OFWs.

“In the past OFWs would work hard abroad and come home or send money to their families here to build beautiful homes in their place so that when they go back they could see the result of their labor. Nowadays however, the OFWs are more inclined to investments,” said Yu.

Yu was referring to this trend with OFWs eager to invest but had become wiser in buying a new house that had already been setup.

Best option

“They are now starting to look at places like Cebu and Manila for their investments because they want the property’s value to appreciate. Manila is not desirable for them to live on. That makes Cebu the best option. They are actually the ones buying the condominium units here in Cebu. They look at it as investment,” said Yu.

Yu earlier suggested to make Cebu as a second home destination in the country.

Yu said he believed that growing the population of Cebu faster would be critical in ensuring continued growth in the outsourcing industry which would need an average of 5,000 people every year for their expansion in Cebu.

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“We need more people and the way to do this is through migration. We will encourage more people to come live in Cebu that is why position Cebu as a second home destination would be good. Good for the outsourcing industry and good for the real estate industry,” said Yu yesterday.

Yu also cited the lower interest rates provided by the banks as a factor to encourage more investor to Cebu.

Condos sold out

Megaworld Cebu president Noli Hernandez agreed with Yu.

Hernandez said that aside from the OFWs, demand in the local market for real estate had been quite high.

Hernandez said Mactan Newtown One Pacific Residence, a condominium project, was already sold out.

“Majority of the buyers for the units which we sold to local are local businessmen and balikbayans who wants to settle in Cebu,” said Hernandez.

Megaworld Corp. is currently developing their first project in Cebu called Mactan Newtown located in Punta Engano.

Hernandez said that the project size of 16 hectares would hopefully just be the start of a bigger property as they were very keen on expanding the area.

Three of the towers in One Pacific Residences are fully sold to active Japanese retirees which, according to Hernandez, see Cebu as a good place to live in.

Potential Market

According to Yu, another potential market that Cebu should watch out for would be the growing retirement market in Japan.

“I’ve just been to Japan recently and learned that about two million of their population are already entering the retirement group and it is getting more and more expensive for the government to continue to provide for these retirees. This is an opportunity for us,” said Yu.

Yu said he saw these retirees coming to Cebu first because they would prefer Cebu than Manila, which was why industry players should be prepared.

Industries in medical services, real estate and the local government should prepare.

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TAGS: Cebu, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), real estate
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