CEBU CITY — RLC Residences is planning to launch two to four more projects this year, as it sees continued growth in demand for residential condominiums.
John Richard B. Sotelo, senior vice-president and business unit general manager of RLC Residences, said the company is looking to launch the new projects in Metro Manila.
“We’re planning to launch anywhere from two to four more projects depending on how the market responds,” he told reporters at the sidelines of the launch of its new premium condominium project Mantawi Residences, Friday.
Mantawi Residences is a four-tower premium condominium located along Ouano Avenue in Mandaue City.
This is the third project launched this year by RLC Residences, the residential brand of listed developer Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC). Earlier this year, it unveiled Le Pont Residences in the Bridgetowne estate and the fourth tower of Sierra Valley Gardens in Cainta, Rizal.
Despite rising interest rates, Mr. Sotelo said there appears to be sustained demand for residential projects, as evidenced by the growing pre-reservation sales as reported by listed property companies, including RLC.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ policy-setting Monetary Board has raised borrowing costs by 425 bps since May last year, bringing the benchmark rate to 6.25%, the highest since 2007.
“We are not experiencing a slowdown at least in the residential business. We have a couple of clients worried about bank loans but when we tell them that they will only need a bank loan in seven years, they say ‘oo nga pala’ (Yes, that’s true). For now, we’re pretty confident that the market for residential condominiums will continue to grow,” Mr. Sotelo said.
RLC has reported its residential business, which includes RLC Residences and Robinsons Homes, posted a 44% increase in revenues to P9.1 billion in 2022. Full-year net residential pre-sales rose 57% year on year.
Asked where RLC Residences is looking at expanding, Mr. Sotelo said it is easier to expand in an area where RLC already has a presence, whether a mall, hotel, or office building.
“Montclair (RLC’s destination estate in Porac, Pampanga). I’m very interested to launch there. It’s just a matter of timing,” he said.
Aside from high interest rates, the rising prices of construction materials is also a concern for property developers like RLC.
Mr. Sotelo noted prices spiked last year due to the Russia-Ukraine war but has “settled down.”
“It is still higher pre-pandemic. Electricity and oil prices are more expensive. Labor costs also went up,” he said.
Retail price growth of construction materials in Metro Manila slowed to 4.1% year on year in March, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Friday. This is the slowest rate of growth in over a year, according to PSA data.
Based on preliminary PSA data, the construction materials retail price index was up 5% in the first quarter, from 3.7% during the same period a year ago. — Cathy Rose A. Garcia