Despite the National Statistics Office recording a 17.3-percent growth in the housing sector, the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA) said that the housing backlog for this year alone has reached over 3.9 million units, and is seen to go up further by 2030.
In a statement, the SHDA said that the backlog is still seen to go up to 7 million units by 2030, as uncertainty of tax holidays for mass housing projects, varying and conflicting land use policies, inaccessibility and inadequacy of government housing finance, as well as issues in processing land titles, building permits and licenses all contribute to the issue.
“All these roadblocks add to cost and drag in housing production, which ultimately translates to higher selling prices. The housing starts, although passable, would certainly be better if these roadblocks were finally addressed. Only then will see significant reductions in the housing backlog,” SHDA President Paul Tanchi said.
According to the NSO tabulation of building permits in 2012, the housing sector grew 17.3 percent, or a 30,870 increase in housing units constructed this year compared to the previous year. From the total of 180,140 units for 2012, the housing sector went up to 211,009 units for 2013—rising from P100.2-billion expenditure in 2012 to P120.4-billion housing expenditure in 2013.
The SHDA actually created a masterplan to address the problem of the housing sector, and found out that the country still has “a long way from eliminating national housing backlog.”
Meanwhile, Rolando Tungpalan, National Economic Development Authority deputy director general, said that total real estate revenues for 2012 grew from P124.2 billion in 2011 to P146.8 billion in 2012.
He added that the construction sector for 2012 generated P618.1-billion worth of revenues, and took 5.9 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
“It means that for every P1 spent on construction, there is P2 worth of economic activities for the country . . . The sector also generated about 2 million jobs for 2011 to 2012, focused on socialized housing and the resettlement of informal settlers,” he said.
In relation to the need to increase the construction of housing units, Tungpalan said that while the government is pushing for urbanization for the development of the country through massive infrastructure projects, the government is still trying to “slow it down.”
“Urbanization for the year 2030 [will go up]85 percent in 2030. For 2009, it was 45 percent, which is expected to go up 65 percent in 2016. But we want to slow that down. Urbanization is inevitable but we are focusing on the specific geographic areas which are outside of Metro Manila,” the NEDA official said.
“We have to create attractive locations. That is why we challenge housing sector, help the government in making [the regions]an eligible environment. No CEO [chief executive officer]and investor would want to live without [proper]amenities,” he added.
Tungpalan said that the government’s focus would be on agribusiness and tourism to slow down rapid urbanization observed by the government. This “would be stemming migration to rural areas,” he added.