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Property developer expands to meet PH housing shortage

A 2.7-hectare inheritance in 1993 became the foundation of a property development company that has now provided 25,000 affordable, high-quality homes to Filipino families.

“P.A. Properties was established in 1993 from a four-hectare lot in San Pedro, Laguna that my father—Pelayo Alvarez—inherited from his parents.  He gave the 1.3 hectares to farmer tenants and we developed 2.7 hectares into our first project called St. Joseph Village at the height of real estate boom,” says Romarico Alvarez, chairman of P.A. Properties, a leading first home provider in the southern fringes of Metro Manila.

The 200 units at St. Joseph Village were sold out in less than four months, encouraging P.A. Properties to build more projects in Laguna and later in other parts of Luzon.

After developing 39 housing subdivision projects and 25,000 housing units, P.A. Properties now has 423 employees, 2,500 in-house sellers and 1,000 brokers and indirectly employs thousands more.  The company positions to expand to other parts of Luzon with a mission to fill the large housing gap of 5.7 million units, says P.A. Properties president Jonathan Lu.

HOME DEVELOPER. P.A. Properties chairman Romarico Alvarez (right) and president Jonathan Lu
“We cater to the Filipino families.  We provide affordable first homes to families and we intend to continue this mission.  We will remain affordable, because this is where the demand is,” says Alvarez, who graduated with an Accounting degree from the University of San Juan de Letran.

“We have 7 million to 8 million OFWs [overseas Filipino workers].  They left the Philippines, because they wanted to provide a home for their families,” says Alvarez, adding that P.A. Properties will continue to play its role of providing homes, and not just pieces of investments that other companies try to develop.

Lu, who is also an accountant, says P.A. Properties has made its mark in the housing sector by building beautiful and high-quality homes at affordable cost and at a quick pace.  “Our chairman wants us to be known as a developer that delivers on 4Ms – mabilis, matibay, maganda at mura,” says Lu.

Alvarez says the company completed the construction of 1,500 units in 2016 and aims to complete another 3,000 units this year.  “In the next five years, we aim to construct 5,000 to 10,000 units.  The more houses we construct, the more Filipino families will realize their dream of having a home,” says Alvarez.

He says P.A. Properties is best known for enabling first-home buyers achieve their dreams of owning a place of abode that they can call their own and be proud of.

PA Properties has lined up several housing community projects in the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region and Central Luzon.

Citing the emergence of mega-urban centers and the increasing population and economic activities in the fringe areas of Metro Manila, Lu says the company’s 20-year experience in catering to individuals and families seeking to own their first homes gave the company a “certain degree” of competency and proficiency in terms of knowing exactly the needs and wants of the “countryside market”.

He says P.A. Properties is in a good position to deliver quality yet affordable housing units and communities in the country’s fast growing areas.

“Countryside developers [like us] could more than comply with the task of creating quality and affordable housing communities side by side with the emergence of mega city environments outside of the megalopolis,” he says.

“Our role is critical in helping the government address the country’s ever-increasing housing backlog,” he says.

Lu cites the efforts of  housing agencies—specifically Pag-Ibig Fund that has allocated more than P50 billion for housing loans for its members nationwide— to provide available funding support to address the housing shortage.

“Likewise, banks and other financial institutions have steadily provided the much needed financing support and lower interest rates for qualified home buyers,” Lu says.

P.A. Properties had focused mainly on building and developing housing communities in Laguna and Cavite until 2010.

Alvarez, seeing the expansion of major road arteries and accessibility of other provinces in Calabarzon following the completion of South Luzon Expressway link to Southern Luzon Arterial Road, led the company in landbanking activities in the area.  This opened up property developments in Lipa City and Calamba.

PA Properties also opened subdivisions in Bulacan, Pampanga and Tarlac as North Luzon Expressway linked up to Subic-Clark-tarlac Expresway and Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway.

Alvarez says to help first-time home buyers from low and middle-income families, PA Properties keeps the prices of its housing units within the Pag-Ibig Fund support bracket. 

Projects of P.A. Properties start from P400,000 up to P3 million.   Lu says demand for this segment remains strong, as the Philippine population continues to increase and the economy grows.

Alvarez attributes the steady growth and brisk sales to the quality and affordability of the company’s housing units.

 “We always make sure that our homebuyers will have a sense of pride in their home ownership decisions and in the end be grateful that they decided to acquire their homes from us,” he says.

PA Properties broke ground for their latest projects in Bulacan, Pampanga, Laguna and Metro Manila last year. The company is looking at expanding further in Laguna, Batangas, Cavite and Bulacan.

The company recently topped off three condominium buildings (Las Sargas, El Montalvo and Las Palmas) within the San Jose Residencias project in Sta. Rosa, Laguna and another one (Garnet) in East Residences Ortigas in Pasig City.

The company also launched the eight-hectare, 900-unit St. Joseph Richfield in Santa Rosa City and the 30-hectare, 3,000-unit St. Joseph Homes in Cabuyao.

Apart from single detached units, PA Properties delivered  several condominium units in Las Asturias, La Frontera and Las Sargas buildings at San Jose Residencias in Sta. Rosa, Laguna; Sapphire building at East Residences Ortigas in Pasig City; Sycamore building at The North Grove in Caloocan City; and Waterpark building at One Metropolitan Place in Pasay City.

Lu says to support the expansion of the company, P.A. Properties is preparing a five-year strategic plan, including tapping the capital market and initial public offering. The company also plans to team up with foreign companies to bring the latest technology in residential construction.

“We are proud of this achievement considering that these units and houses mostly catered to the middle- to low-income families who play a very vital role in the country’s improving economy,” says Lu.

Topics: P.A. Properties , PH housing , Romarico Alvarez , Jonathan Lu
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