CLI to proceed with P19.4B worth of launches in 2020

Katlene O. Cacho

AMID uncertainties in the market brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, property developer Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI) on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, announced that it is pushing through with the development of 14 projects, mostly residential that were lined up for this year.

Of the 14, two projects were already launched, leaving CLI with 12 more residential projects to unveil in the second half of the year. These 12 projects will add another P19.4 billion worth of inventory that will be up for selling in the market.

CLI chairman Jose Soberano III said the company continues to have reasons to be optimistic amid the lingering effects of the Covid-19 as the market appetite to buy or invest in residential properties remains strong.

During the company’s first online annual stockholders’ meeting, Soberano said CLI’s economic housing brand Casa Mira brought in P2 billion in sales in April and May, a period forecasted to have little economic activity due to the pandemic and the various quarantine measures implemented in key cities in the country.

“This inspires us to move forward with both prudence and conviction,” said Soberano, adding that the brisk sales performance in the recent months mirror the sustained housing demand on the back of the housing backlog that is evident in the Visayas and Mindanao areas.

During the first five months of the year, CLI registered P4.8 billion in reservation sales take-up or close to its first half 2019 level of P5.26 billion.

Moreover, Soberano said CLI recorded low cancellations amid the pandemic. Out of the 12,500 active accounts it is servicing, CLI only recorded 200 cancellations, which represent less than 1.5 percent of the total active accounts.

The company also noted a sustained interest from the overseas Filipino workers market, which comprises about 40 percent of CLI’s housing sales.

In the meantime, CLI will focus on completing the projects which are due for turnover before the end of 2020.

“There are seven projects that are being lined up to be completed in the second half which will translate to about P5 billion worth of cash inflow to the company,” said Soberano.

He added construction of projects like the Patria de Cebu will continue.

Guarded optimism

Moreover, CLI will embark on careful assessment for its hotel, mixed-use and leasing businesses.

“We are not pursuing too much of this kind of development this year because most of these new launches are being programmed for 2021. And we will continue to assess the situation whether there is a need to gradually construct or accelerate (the development) as the situation is still very flexible,” Soberano said.

So far, CLI only operates one hotel—the 180-room Citadines Cebu City in Baseline Center. The other seven hotel projects are still in the construction and planning stages.

Tourism and travel are among the hardest hit sectors because of Covid-19 border closures across the globe.

CLI has about 40 projects in different stages of development to date.