Amid an economic slowdown, SM Development Corp. (SMDC) remains bullish of its prospects.
It has, in fact, mapped out an expansion plan in the second half of the year, revealing its strong confidence in the Philippine real estate market as well as its staunch commitment to provide Filipinos with residences well suited to the changing needs in this new normal era. And as it pushes through with its project launches, SMDC is, more importantly, helping stimulate the economy, providing the much needed jobs despite this health crisis.
“We will push through with our planned launches this year. The market has continued to show a strong appetite for our products, in spite of the economic downturn. We believe that we have a responsibility to help prevent the further decline of the economy and to protect jobs and incomes. To downscale at a time when the economy needs support would not only be damaging to the economy’s recovery but would also be disruptive of SMDC’s development schedule,” SMDC president Jose Mari H. Banzon said in an e-mail interview.
“We will be launching a number of projects in the last two quarters of the year in major CBDs (central business districts) in Metro Manila, which includes our home base in the Mall of Asia (MOA) complex and in the south of the metro. We are also moving in the eastern part of Metro Manila with a couple of high-rise projects, the first one of which we recently launched: Gem Residences in C-5, Pasig,” Banzon told the Inquirer.
Banzon further pointed out that based on their records, the demand for SMDC projects has not waned even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Globally the trend has shown property prices holding up. As soon as markets re-opened after the lockdowns, real estate players experienced pent-up demand, as shared by Jojo Romarx Salas, head of global research of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LeadingRE)… In the Philippines, we continue to see a strong demand from local and overseas Filipinos, mainly because shelter is at the top of Filipinos’ priority lists. It is the Filipino’s dream to own a home,” he added.
The proof, of course, is in the numbers. SMDC performed “surprisingly well,” according to Banzon, as they were meeting their pre-COVID-19 monthly targets. SMDC also continues to sell and enjoy market acceptance, as evident in its strong first quarter performance. Its second quarter records are likewise showing encouraging numbers.
But what makes SMDC a favored home investment by many Filipinos?
For one, SMDC’s design philosophy has always been about providing homes that are complete and located in the center of everything; have vast, open spaces with manicured lawns and pocket gardens; are luxuriously furnished without the hefty price tag; and are responsive to the market’s ever evolving needs. The wholly residential arm of SM Prime Holdings has remained true to this philosophy since its inception more than a decade ago.
Thriving in trying times
These are just some of the reasons why SMDC has thrived even during these challenging times.
“Consumers will stick to brands that they trust and can relate to. And thankfully, that’s what we offer. We continued to sell during the lockdown. Of course we had to make sure that we responded to buyers’ changing preferences as a result of this experience with the pandemic, that we priced our products correctly and that we offered affordable payment terms,” Banzon said.
During this pandemic, people have come to realize and appreciate even more the value of condominium living—particularly in an SMDC development, which offered convenience and peace of mind, knowing that essential stores are nearby, as well as other key establishments, institutions, hospitals, and government agencies.
“The make-up of our developments has proven to be very convenient for our residents during this lockdown. Our commercial strips or malls have become a saving grace for our residents, who have easy access to food, medicine, banks or ATMs, service centers and other essentials. Consumers are making smarter decisions. They are now going for efficient lifestyle choices, i.e., living close to places that are relevant to their needs and requirements, are easy to maintain and are affordable,” Banzon added.
Without a doubt, SMDC has demonstrated anew its resiliency, flexibility and competency in these trying times, its staunch commitment to continue creating world-class residences amid a crisis, its unwavering belief in this country, and its strong desire for every Filipino to have the best possible life.