Century, Mitsubishi form JV to build 33,000 affordable homes

Century Properties raises the bar of what affordable housing is with PHirst Park Homes. (CPRE image)

MANILA — Property developer Century Properties Group, Inc. (CPG) has teamed up with global business enterprise Mitsubishi Corp. in a joint venture that seeks to deliver some 33,000 affordable housing units to the Philippine market, with PHP57 billion in sales value over the next five years.

Capitalizing on the country’s demand for affordable housing, CPG and Mitsubishi officials on Wednesday signed the joint venture agreement for affordable homes, which will pursue the development of projects of scale in key locations outside Metro Manila, under a new brand called PHirst Park Homes.

“This is very important not only for our companies but for our country. It seals a partnership between two corporations who envisioned to help the country, especially in providing homes for the homeless. Right now, we decided to tap the first home buyer market, which demand right now is insatiable because there are really many people joining the middle class in the Philippines,” CPG Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jose Antonio said in a press briefing after the signing of the joint venture deal.

Antonio said its tie-up with Mitsubishi strengthens CPG’s plans of diversification and positioning, not just in the affordable housing category, but in the broader first home buyer market.

Based on current plans, the joint venture company will spend PHP10 billion to launch 15 projects within the next five years, or until 2022. Each site will be 15 to 20 hectares and it is currently in various stages of land banking.

PHirst Park Homes President Ricky Celis said the firm targets to initially introduce to the market one project each in South Luzon and Central Luzon this year. The firm is looking to expand into the Visayas and Mindanao regions once it establishes technical and market scale.

“As we get clearance from PCC (Philippine Competition Commission), we can probably launch more. Out of 15 (projects) that we are eyeing, we identified (locations of) at least six or seven… There are several properties that we have pre-identified and a lot of them are actually in the advanced stage of acquisition right now,” said Celis.

To be named Phirst Park Homes Inc., the joint venture firm will be incorporated after the deal has received the green light from the PCC. Celis said the affordable housing will have a price range of PHP1 million to PHP6 million per unit “depending on the demand or opportunity present in that particular location.”

For his part, Mitsubishi Corp. General Manager of ASEAN Urban Development Department Hidetoshi Suzuki noted that the joint venture company “is not just for one project but for a long-term relationship that will make significant contributions in addressing the housing backlog in the Philippines.”

It estimated the country’s housing backlog currently at 6.6 million units.

The decision to pursue a portfolio of projects through a new company was brought about by the success of CPG and Mitsubishi’s initial joint venture project, PHirst Park Homes Tanza in Tanza, Cavite. PHirst Park Homes Tanza is a 26-hectare project that has a total of 3,000 units in the PHP1 million to PHP3 million per unit price range.

Within eight months of the project’s launch, the firm has sold 98 percent of Phase 1 and 16 percent of Phase 2. It is expected to complete 600 units of townhomes and single attached homes this year.

Meanwhile, under the terms of the agreement, CPG will subscribe to 60 percent and Mitsubishi to 40 percent of the authorized capital stock equivalent to PHP5 billion over the same five-year horizon.

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