Taking the Middle Ground
“Real estate serve the is booming, high-end but market, most leaving developers the Chairman middle and behind,” CEO of says First Federico Shelter Ventures A. Laxa, and Realty Corporation, a development company with “over ten years of experience; “This is where First Shelter comes in. Catering to first-time buyers who can afford $32,500-57,500 because it is cheaper than renting. There is significant demand — our Alsea project sold out in three days.”
In Paranaque, 160-unit Alsea is characteristic of the company’s approach to planning projects to serve customers’ needs. A similar development is Bloomfield, where it is building a sold-out second phase and pre-selling a third. At the higher-end of the company’s offerings is Avilion Gardens, a mixed development with an average unit price of about $190,000. First Shelter offers innovative, affordable financing options and an unconventional construction method, Laxa adds: “We use cast-in-place technology, saving on labor and time. We have not had one complaint from a buyer and I attribute that to our technology.” Although Manila has seen large land-price increases, First Shelter’s business model for middle-income homes is profitable. As well as its larger developments, it is also buying land blocks in prime areas for townhouses and will continue acquiring plots for medium-scale projects, potentially with partners. “Our aim is to build 3,000 houses every year,” says Laxa.
Federico A. Laxa Chairman and CEO, First Shelter Ventures and Realty Corporation