By Reuel John F. Lumawag
AN EXECUTIVE of homegrown real estate firm Damosa Land, Inc. (DLI) said the company remains bullish in the real estate industry for 2022 despite the ongoing threats of the Covid-19 pandemic.
DLI President Ricardo F. Lagdameo said in an interview with SunStar Davao that their optimistic outlook stems from the good strides the company made in 2021.
“We are leaning more towards the bullish side because in 2021 we were more cautiously optimistic but what we saw was there were sales, people were still buying at certain price points that we did not expect,” Lagdameo said.
For example, he said 70 percent of the houses in Ameria, DLI’s horizontal residential project in its 88-hectare master-planned community Agriya in Panabo, Davao del Norte, has already been sold.
“We have over 40 houses that are under construction and that happened over the span of 2021… by next year, we are turning over our first few homes. People were buying homes with the range of P6 million to 15 million,” Lagdameo said.
The company also reported that consolidated sales for both Ameria and Seawind, DLI’s six-tower condominium project in Davao City, “have picked up this year with more than a 50 percent increase from 2020.” DLI was able to complete the construction of Seawind in October this year and has already turned over more than 52 percent of its 1162 total units.
“That is something that we were very pleasantly surprised… there was a good amount of sales, something that we weren’t really expecting. What we saw is people now are valuing having their own property. Investing their money in something that is good,” Lagdameo said.
He added that real estate, normally, appreciates over time.
“The market learned that. [And] that is why we are still optimistic,” Lagdameo said.
The intensified vaccination campaign and better Covid-19 response have also allowed them to look at 2022 more optimistically.
“I think the pandemic was handled quite well. That led to more mobility and better business climate,” Lagdameo said.
Data from the Department of Health showed that a total of 2,505,774 doses have been administered in the Davao Region. Those who have completed their doses are also now at 2,012,432 while 45,768 have received their booster shots.
With a low positivity rate and active Covid-19 cases in Davao Region now dropping to only below 200, the region is also currently placed under Alert Level 2, which allows more movement of people and the resumption of more businesses.
“A lot of people learned to deal with it or live with this pandemic. What we notice was that, for instance, shopping malls in Davao had a bit more foot traffic compared to other parts of the country,” Lagdameo said.
Another source of their optimism for 2021 is the better outlook for the office spaces sector in the real estate industry.
“Experts are saying that a lot of the BPOs (business process outsourcing) [companies] will be setting up offices outside Metro Manila. Not necessarily to move their offices, but to set-up additional offices by diversifying their geographical portfolio and to take advantage of cheaper business costs,” Lagdameo said.
He said they are hoping to attract more BPO locators from Metro Manila following the completion of Damosa Diamond Tower.
“We were also able to finish during the pandemic our office building, the 17-storey Diamond Tower within the IT Park, the third building within the complex. We were able to finish the construction around July… We are hoping by next year (2022), with a lot of BPOs looking to expand, to be able to attract a lot of companies,” Lagdameo said.
The office tower is also “the first office building in Mindanao to get an Excellence in Design For Greater Efficiencies (Edge) certificate. The office tower registered 22 percent energy savings, 27 percent water savings, and 24 percent less embodied energy in materials.”
“Moving forward, office tenants will be looking for green office buildings with sustainable features,” Lagdameo said.
The Damosa Diamond Tower currently houses several locators including the co-working spaces of Regus, professional services firm Sycip Gorres Velayo & Co., BPO and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) companies, and the corporate offices of Anflo Management and Investment Corporation and Damosa Land.