Villar says ‘discount’ on Corona property is normal

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Real-estate firms need to be 'flexible'

NO SURPRISE. Senator-judge and real-estate mogul Manny Villar says condominium developers can offer "flexible" selling prices "depending on current market trends or the need of the companies." (Photo courtesy of Emil Sarmiento)

MANILA, Philippines – Take it from the expert.

Senator-judge Manny Villar said that real-estate companies could be “flexible” when giving out discounts on the sale of their units, “depending on their need” and desire “to dominate the market.”

Villar, a real-estate mogul, spoke during the Corona impeachment trial as Megaworld executive Noli Hernandez underwent intense questioning over how the company sold a penthouse unit in Bellagio, Taguig, to Chief Justice Renato Corona and his family.

Hernandez told the impeachment court that Megaworld decided to reduce the value of the Bellagio unit sold to the Corona family due to “water damage” on it caused by a typhoon.

Normally, the managers practice varying flexibilities (in setting the selling price),” Villar explained. “There are no limits set like a 10% (discount).”

Villar cited as an example, without naming it initially, SM Development Corp., which offered “up to 40% discount” on selected condominium units as part of a promotional campaign in December last year.

All clients who made a reservation in selected SMDC units on the event dates (December 7-31, 2011) are entitled to get a discount of up to 40% corresponding to the particular unit reserved,” an ad of SMDC indicated.

There are a lot of factors that govern pricing (of the real-estate units),” Villar said,”It is not that simple.”

According to Villar, more than the income and other factors such as damage brought about by calamities, selling prices of real-estate units may be reduced to meet the needs of a company.

When the world economic crisis ended in 2007, real-estate companies had to be aggressive since sale of units was difficult,” Villar pointed out, “But in 2010, it was hard to accommodate discounts since there was a boom in the sale of the condominium units.”

 There is no wrong or right policy (when setting the selling prices). If a company wishes to dominate the market share, a 40% discount is open to everybody,” Villar said. –

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