RP’s condo kings

Published by rudy Date posted on April 3, 2009

THE family of Ramos-era Finance Secretary Ramon del Rosario Jr. has emerged from out of nowhere and with minimal advertising to become the country’s biggest condominium builder, eclipsing even the mid-range, heavily-marketed Megaworld or the pioneering low-cost condominium builder, Cityland.

The Del Rosario-controlled Phinma Property has so far built 6,000 condo units, nearly 2,000 more than the industry’s second player, according to Phinma Property president Willie Joven Uy.

Phinma has found an industry sweet spot in the P1.5-million, 30-square-meter unit market, since the property developer built its first condo project, the 1,595-unit, 16-building cluster Smile Citihomes in Novaliches in 1996.

The key, according to Uy, is to find properties near schools and transport facilities and build and deliver the condo within a year. To keep costs down, the condos are all walk-ups (no more than five-stories tall) and the land should not cost more than P6,000/sq. m.

It is thus able to offer at an industry-leading average of P31,000/sq. m. at its ongoing development near the FEU Hospital in Fairview and a very competitive P41,000/sq. m. in Capitol Hills, Quezon City, right beside the golf course and just outside University of the Philippines.

Despite the economic slowdown beginning to be felt by the second half, 2008 proved to be a landmark with revenues from Phinma condo sales hitting the P1-billion mark. –Victor Agustin, Manila Standard Today

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