By now, everyone is fully aware that there’s a massive housing backlog in the Philippines, currently at 6.57 million units. And that number grows by at least 300,000 each year. For 8990 Holdings, the country’s leading mass housing developer, this shortfall offers far greater than an opportunity to sell. It is more importantly a chance to fulfill each Filipino’s dream—and fundamental right—to own dignified homes.
In its 17 years in homebuilding, 8990 Holdings has deconstructed the impersonal figures into intimate visions, mostly emanating from a hardworking demographic that thinks a great address is a goal they cannot afford. The company entered with a solid, affordable and accessible proposition, passionately thinking each unit it turns over is its own contribution to social equity and nation-building. It now calls mass housing its niche. It has an enviable, unparalleled expertise on what other developers may call a risky market.
Since beginning with roadside estate Villa Candida in Cagayan De Oro City in 1991, 8990 Holdings’ founders expanded with DECA Homes horizontal developments. It then diversified into mid-rise and high-rise buildings through Urban DECA Homes and Urban DECA Towers, respectively. It has now provided decent, quality homes and neighborhoods to upwards of 70,000 families in 58 projects nationwide. Still looking to expand, it currently has 20 more developments underway—eight in Luzon, nine in Visayas and three in Mindanao.
The commitment and edge will remain the same as the company charges ahead, noted Alexander Ace Sotto, 8990 Holdings’ acting president and CEO, during the annual stockholders’ meeting in Sept 14. “As we continue to offer homes to our country, we remain the most affordable housing option of homebuyers in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao offering horizontal developments, medium-rise buildings and high-rise developments.”
“8990 will remain a dependable partner in nation-building by providing affordable homes to every Filipino,” he said. “This is a commitment we made 17 years ago, and we will remain true to this commitment as we forge ahead in this new reality.”
As the economy picks up, its niche is helping 8990 Holdings cushion the blow of the COVID-19 lockdowns. It bounced back after a weak showing in the past two quarters of 2020 with a third that was “our highest quarterly performance in the 17-year history of 8990.”
The growth within a base that many other builders have intentionally evaded out of fear is largely because of the company’s deeper familiarity with its clientele. The developer came up with a precast technology that ensured integrity, replicability and lower costs—or, for working-class potential buyers, bang for the buck. Homeowners found that they could use the equivalent of their monthly rent to invest in a home they can move into immediately because it can, in fact, be erected within eight days. These addresses rise in accessible and friendly neighborhoods.
In payments, 8990 Holdings instituted in 2011 an in-house financing program ensuring the lowest down payments and interest rates, plus generous payment terms. A collection platform provides incentives for those who beat due dates and penalties for delinquency. Account officers help families manage their budgets to meet their amortization. For COVID-19 hardships, appropriate payment terms were provided to current and potential clients.
All these offerings and processes were finetuned not only to cope with an unmet demand in housing but also to empower those who want decent, quality homes with options they can afford.
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