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Affordable housing for those who need it: Julian Concepcion

Julian Concepcion President and CEO of Phinma Properties

Recognised as a pioneer of affordable housing in the Philippines, Phinma Properties has spent more than three decades positioning itself as one of the nation’s pre-eminent property developers. By using ‘cast form’ construction methods, the company has been able to keep costs low, while building quickly and keeping construction quality high, ensuring that Filipinos have access to inexpensive but well-built housing.

Under his tenure as President and CEO of Phinma, Julian Concepcion has ensured the company meets its targets, even as it faces challenging economic conditions in the country.

Julian Concepcion President and CEO of Phinma Properties
Julian Concepcion, President and CEO of Phinma Properties

Julian previously held leadership and senior management positions with some of the country’s leading real estate developers, as well as teaching finance and economics at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Vancouver, Canada, for four and a half years.

His broad range of experience has provided him with an in-depth knowledge of real estate, and has set him apart as a measured, thoughtful leader in the industry.

“I persistently push myself to live up to the lofty standards of corporate leadership set by my board
of directors and shareholders,” he tells The CEO Magazine. “Considering that the board consists of
a former Central Bank governor and current CEOs of large businesses in the Philippines, it is not always easy to live up to their expectations.”

I persistently push myself to live up to the lofty standards of corporate leadership set by my board of directors and shareholders.

Under Julian’s leadership, Phinma has focused largely on the affordability and quality of its developments. With an understanding of how to efficiently utilise resources to meet pricing demands and intense competition, his expertise is well suited to the company’s mission of providing low-cost economic housing for the people of the Philippines.

“We recognise that there’s a huge demand for affordable housing here, particularly when it comes
to socialised and economic housing,” he says. “There is a necessity to meet these needs and that’s what we are focusing on.”

With unit prices ranging from PHP750,000 to PHP2.5 million, Phinma excels in providing affordable options to homebuyers. According to Julian, “our developments are affordable because of our competitive advantage in relation to business opportunities.

We excel in construction efficiency because we have a highly cost-effective method.” Likewise, he highlights the mission-driven enthusiasm of his team as differentiating edge in maintaining Phinma’s reputation of integrity and affordability. “Our workforce and management team are highly motivated because they believe in our mission of providing affordable, well-built communities.”

Julian Concepcion President and CEO of Phinma Properties

The most notable change implemented under Julian’s leadership has been a focus on ‘vertical’ as opposed to ‘horizontal’ developments. Although the company continues to build single-storey housing, Julian’s emphasis on condominium development has meant that Phinma can meaningfully increase housing availability and, therefore, meet demand efficiently at a quicker rate.

The challenge, however, is that prices will increase as a result and, as Julian puts it, “How can we price our housing units in such a way that we deliver affordability and quality and remain true to our mission?” It’s a test the focused team is ready to tackle head-on.

Admittedly though, Julian foresees bigger challenges ahead. He expects the peso to continue to weaken and inflation to eat up the company’s profits, along with a ballooning budget deficit and increasing taxation on businesses.

Factor in bloating interest rates and the uptick in tariffs, courtesy of the US–China trade war, and he apprehends that the Philippines will be facing “headwinds” but imagines there will still be economic growth.

He’s confident, though, that Phinma “has the right technology and the right workforce” to meet the company’s mission and objectives. “People will always need housing,” he says, “So we will stay focused and determined to serve that market segment.”

People will always need housing. So we will stay focused and determined to serve that market segment

And so the focus is sharper. As long as Phinma can provide affordable and quality housing to those who need it, Julian says he’s happy and fulfilled. “I always emphasise that Phinma’s commitment is to provide affordable and well-built communities to meet the enormous housing demand here in the Philippines.

Our mission is to provide housing for those who need it, and we are totally committed to serving that segment of the market.”

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