Jose Soberano III of Cebu Landmasters Inc will impart his local market knowledge at the high-level conference in Makati

JOSE SOBERANO III

As we countdown to the Property Report Congress Philippines 2016, we’ll get to know the respected market leaders who will speak at the conference on 7 April at the Fairmont Makati

Property Report recently spoke with Jose Soberano III, chairman and president of developer Cebu Landmasters Inc (CLI), about the country’s emerging and secondary markets outside Metro Manila that will become one of the break-out sessions at the first Property Report Congress Philippines.

A graduate of the Advance Management Development Programme in Real Estate at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Soberano established CLI in 2003 to focus on developing integrated communities for the middle and affordable segments in Visayas and Mindanao. Aside from residential projects, the company has also ventured into commercial, office, hospitality and industrial park developments.

Here’s the rest of our conversation with Soberano, who was also a former president of the Chamber of Real Estate Builders Association – Cebu Chapter (CREBA).

Secondary cities outside Metro Manila are getting investors’ attention lately. What is the main reason behind this development?

Cities like Cebu are offering an increasingly attractive value-for-money proposition. For example, a luxury/prime condo in Cebu can still be bought at PHP120,000 (USD2,605) per sqm while similar properties in a Manila will already be selling at more than PHP200,000 (USD4,342) per sqm. For investors, the return on investment can definitely be better. Of course, this return on investment can only be realised if there is a demand to support it.

What’s driving property growth in cities like Cebu, Iloilo and Davao?

In Cebu, the condo market is supported by the increase of the expat population, tourist arrivals and growth of the BPO (business process outsourcing) sector. The rise in the number of students and jobseekers from neighboring cities and municipalities from the Visayas and Mindanao also boost the demand. Low cost of living is also another positive draw, as well as the cost of travel/traffic is still very comfortable here when compared to Manila.

Cebu, Iloilo and Davao cities are becoming “regional centers” that are both drawing new labor-generating businesses (e.g. BPOs) and drawing neighboring talents as well to sustain this rosy job and consumer market. With growing businesses and increasing population, the real estate requirements increases in residential, commercial, hospitality, retail and infrastructure, and that’s a good thing.

How do you see these secondary cities performing in the next five years?

As long as these cities are sufficiently accompanied by immediate public infrastructure improvements, then the secondary cities have an incredible opportunity to grow much more. We expect BPO growth to continue as several locators are realising the value-for-money advantages in secondary cities, aided by the quality talent also from our local universities.

There is also an opportunity to aggressively address the housing backlog, especially in the economic segment where the bulk of the backlog lies. Hospitality sector will benefit from the ongoing and planned airport expansions, and the increasing direct international flights to/from these secondary cities.

Aside from Soberano’s panel, Property Report Congress will feature sponsors exhibits, plenary sessions, industry overview and outlook, international networking session and lunch, keynote addresses, and a 30-minute intensive workshop.

It will be immediately followed by the Philippines Property Awards 2016 gala dinner and awards ceremony.

Interested parties can register and purchase tickets here to join the Property Report Congress. Special bundle packages for the Congress and the Gala Dinner are available.

For enquiries and partnership opportunities, visit the website AsiaPropertyAwards.com/Congress/ or contact the conference director at [email protected]/* */.