Real estate group reveals growing housing shortage

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 6) — A housing developers group announced that there is a growing shortage of houses that could be caused by rising prices and population increase.

"From a production viewpoint, we have another problem. That is the growing housing shortage," George Siy, chairman of the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association, Inc., told CNN Philippines.

Siy explained that surveys from three years ago showed the backlog of houses at three million, far less than the current shortfall which reached 6.5 million. He noted that the growing population is moving faster than the rate of housing production.

"(The shortage) continues to grow because our population is growing faster than our production of houses," he said.

Siy said the government has been working with the private sector to streamline the process for development considering that the country has "notoriously long processes" for acquiring permits.

He also cited the significance of Housing Secretary Jose Acuzar's goal of one million houses produced each year.

Siy noted only 200,000 to 300,000 houses are actually produced annually.

Acuzar on Wednesday unveiled at the National Developers Convention 2022 his plan to produce one million houses in select areas in the country, citing at least 300 housing sector stakeholders as key players for the program.

He, however, said that this plan would need an "interest rate control," changes in production and permitting processes.

Siy also predicts that the sales of houses for the following years might pick up as inflation affects the need to accelerate the developers' housing production.

"The following year might be different. While there is this massive inflation that is happening around the world, the overseas workers are earning in dollars," Siy said.

"They have saved a lot of money that they have not brought home yet from the pandemic, so the developers are hoping to be able to accelerate production as well because they want to create these sales," he added.

Siy said the pick up in sales and acceleration in housing production could be a "catalyst" for the economy.