HLURB inks pact with Lamudi to increase transparency in property industry

The Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and online real estate marketplace Lamudi Philippines have signed a partnership aimed at improving real estate practices in the country and encouraging transparency in the industry.

A ceremonial signing was held in Makati on January 24, and was attended by HLURB chief executive officer and commissioner Lloyd Christopher A. Lao, HLURB commissioner Melzar P. Galicia, Lamudi Philippines managing director and CEO Bhavna Suresh, and Lamudi Philippines director for brand and communication Ken Lerona.

Under the one-year partnership, readers of the “Lamudi: Real Estate Magazine” should expect opinion pieces from Lao, with topics ranging from the rights of buyers of real estate, to the verification of brokers, projects, and developers.

HLURB will also use the Lamudi platform to address frequently asked questions, including those about options for financing, procedures and remedies afforded to aggrieved buyers and developers, and even who to approach or look for when paying a visit to their office.

Consistent with its aim to increase transparency in the industry, HLURB also has revamped and upgraded its website, which now comes with a user-friendly online inquiry feature.

The site will be integrated in the Lamudi website which receives around 1.5-million visits per month to allow property seekers to easily find for registered brokers, as well as projects that have been issued License to Sell numbers.

In the 2016 Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI) by JLL, a leading real estate and investment management firm, the Philippines ranked 46th out of 109 countries and fell under the semi-transparent market. This tier, according to JLL, is where the most rapid progress in real estate transparency can be found.

Rising expectations from citizens as well as technological advancements serve as drivers for improving real estate transparency. Innovations in the prop-tech industry, JLL said, “offer the opportunity for a quantum leap in data access to support a rising culture of ‘open data.’”

Aside from high-quality accessible market data, ingredients of a transparent real estate market include: strong corporate governance, stringent regulatory enforcement, high ethical standards, and international best practice.

For Lao, responsible real estate practice is the key to the sustainability of the housing sector. He also maintained that although HLURB is a regulatory body, they are very much willing to help and cooperate with those under their jurisdiction.

Suresh, for her part, shared that Lamudi is one with HLURB in its aim to push for transparency as this shall open many doors in the future.

As seen in JLL’s 2016 GRETI, higher real estate transparency is linked to new business and investment, and even plays a role in community well-being and inclusiveness.

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