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Located in Southeast Asia, the Republic of the Philippines is an archipelagic country consisting of 7,641 islands. The islands are categorized under three main geographical divisions: Mindanao, Visayas, and Luzon. This country is home to multiple ethnicities with a very diverse culture. The Philippines is known for its megacities, stunning beaches, beautiful nature, friendly locals, scrumptious food, shopping malls, as well as its affordable cost of living. The latter invites expatriates from all around the world to relocate to this beautiful country.
With an estimated GDP of US$ 371.8 billion in 2018, the Philippines is the 34th largest economy in the world. The country’s GDP growth is among the fastest in Asian and remains strong until today. As the country’s economic development is thriving, the property market is also steadily increasing. As a result, more foreign investors consider the country as a promising investment destination. Due to the rising demand of real estate both among foreigners and Filipinos, the real estate prices are also increasing but still relatively affordable.
Learn more about the Philippines property market through trends and average prices.
The Philippines is home to over 100 million people, making it the 12th most populated country on the planet. More than 12 million of the country’s inhabitants live in Metro Manila, which is the national capital region as well as the second most populated region in the country. Metro Manila is composed of 16 cities, including the city of Manila (the capital of the Philippines), Quezon City, and Makati. While Makati and Quezon City is frequented by expats who work in its business districts, Manila is more popular as a tourism destination. The most popular attractions in the city of Manila are Fort Santiago, the National Museum of the Filipino People, Rizal Park, Manila American Cemetery, and the San Agustin Church.
Another main city of the Philippines is Cebu City, which is referred to as the “Second City” of the country after Manila. Just like Manila, Cebu City is a lively metropolis. It is mainly famous for its vibrant nightlife and historical sights. Visitors tend to visit Museo Sugbo, Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, Casa Gorordo Museum, Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary, Fort San Pedro, and Cebu Taoist Temple.
For those who want to escape the megacities, El Nido is the place to go. Located on the island of Palawan, El Nido offer unparalleled natural beauty. Visitors can explore its hidden lagoons, relax in white beaches, swim in the clear blue water, and admire limestone formations.
There are several common types of property in the Philippines, including condominium units, apartments, freestanding house or villa, townhouse, and commercial property. Condo units are the most popular with foreign investors, particularly those who want to earn rental income. Condos are available in studio types, one bedroom, two bedrooms, three bedrooms, or more. There are mid-rise and high-rise condos in the Philippines. High-rise condos are normally located in central business districts or big cities, such as Makati, Manila, Quezon City, Taguig, and Cebu City. Some condos provide swimming pools, playgrounds, and gyms.
Freestanding houses or villas are preferred by Filipinos or foreign retirees and big families. This type of property offers more space and privacy to its residents. Some houses are located within gated communities and have luxurious amenities. There are several types of freestanding houses in the Philippines, such as a bungalow, multi-story, single-detached, and single-attached. Townhouses in the Philippines are also called row houses or townhomes. They are less expensive than a freestanding house or a villa, but it offers more space and privacy than a condo.
The living standards of the Philippines is determined by income, location, and lifestyle. However, just like its neighboring countries, this country has a relatively affordable cost of living. Most expats can live comfortably with a mid-level salary. The street food in the country is delicious and affordable. A meal in an inexpensive restaurant typically costs around ₱150 ($3), local beer is only ₱55 ($1), and a cup of coffee is around ₱110 ($2). The public transportations, such as Jeepney and MRT are also inexpensive.
The official currency of the Philippines is the Philippine Peso. US$1 is equivalent to ₱51.7. in some parts of the country, US dollars is sometimes accepted. ATMs that accept international cards are only available in major cities, so it is best to stock up on cash before going to smaller towns. Credit cards, mainly MasterCard and Visa, are accepted in many hotels, restaurants, and shops in major cities.
The Philippines mainly experiences a tropical climate, meaning it enjoys warm weather all year round. Due to its size, the climate can be slightly different in each region. In general, there are two seasons: hot and rainy. The rainy season lasts from June to November. It is important to note that the rainy season is prone to typhoons. The hot season starts in mid-January and ends in March. Temperatures during the hot season can soar to 40°C.
Commonly referred to as the melting pot of east and west, Filipinos are very friendly, welcoming, and resilient. They value traditions, cultures, and families. Filipinos are also religious, around 92% of the population is Christian, followed by 5.6% of Muslims.
To stay in the Philippines for an extended period of time, expats usually obtain Long Stay Visitor Visa, which has a maximum stay of 16 months. The country also offers a permanent visa that can be obtained by using proof of funds or income. For foreign nationalities who are 50 years of age or above, a retirement visa is available.
1. Increasing Number of Expatriates – The Philippines is a premium destination for expats due to its friendliness and inexpensive cost of living. The number of expats coming to the country has resulted in a high demand for housing.
2. Good Rental Yields with Low Prices – The real estate prices in the Philippines are not high, but the rental yields are good. The rental yields are around 6.13%.
3. Robust Economic Growth – Thanks to its fast-growing GDP, the Philippines is now the 34th largest economy in the world. The rapid growth of the country’s economy has made the real estate market perform strongly. From 2010 to 2018, property prices in Makati have increased by nearly 132%.