• Buying Condos in Manila: The Ultimate Guide

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    Philippines is one of the fastest growing countries in the world and continues to attract foreign investors and companies in vast numbers.

    Metro Manila deservedly gets the most attention as it’s the capital, business hub, and accounts for a third of the countries GDP growth. Simply put, most things happen here.

    Buying newly built condos is the preferred option among foreigners. Yields can be exceptionally high, at the same time, the buying process is simpler and includes less paperwork.

    Still, it’s important that you learn about the property market, the most promising areas, and what prices you can expect to pay when buying condos in Manila.

    Topics covered in this article

    Manila’s real estate market

    Manila’s real estate market has grown much since 2010, when the economy really started to take off. With a 6-7% growth yearly, the residential sector and office sector have flourished.

    The main reasons behind the rise are:

    • More offshore companies operate in the Philippines
    • Outsourcing from China
    • Continuous supply of flexible workspace
    • Increasingly more Chinese buyers
    • Increased wealth among locals
    • High remittances from overseas (Philippines is the 3rd biggest country in the world in terms of receiving remittances from Filipino workers overseas)

    Many claim that Manila is the best place to buy property in Asia at the moment, thanks to its healthy market and promising future.

    buying-condo-manila

    Purchasing a condo or more is easy and the preferred option among buyers from Singapore, Hong Kong, and China. The process is straightforward at the same time as you’ll be able to earn rental yields of 10-12% yearly.

    These buyers want to allocate cash and find investment vehicles that can give good returns.

    Even with a high supply of condos, Manila’s real estate market continues to stay bullish and many analysts believe it will continue like this in the coming year.

    Manila has a strong office sector

    Many of the leading real estate companies claim that Metro Manila is the most affordable capital city in Southeast Asia for office space.

    It’s outspoken to be the 3rd best global destination for business process outsourcing globally, having the lowest vacancy rates for office space regionally.

    The best places to buy condos in Manila

    When talking about Manila, many people refer to municipalities or cities, like Quezon City or Makati. Having around 24 million inhabitants, Metro Manila actually consists of different cities.

    Manila is the capital and located in the central parts of what is called “Metro Manila”. It’s small by comparison and the most densely populated place in the world, outperforming cities in India, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

    Many get crippled by the mixture of Asian culture and traces from Spanish history that can be found here. You’ll find colonial buildings and churches dating back hundreds of years ago.

    It can proudly say that it has the oldest Chinatown in the world, dating back from 1594.

    Surprisingly, there are not many condos in Manila, as it’s a bit overcrowded with people and historical buildings. Instead, you need to look in municipalities and cities surrounding Manila.

    Let’s have a look at the most popular and promising areas in Metro Manila.

    Buying condos in Makati

    Makati is located Southeast of Manila and famously known for being the financial hub.

    Here, you’ll find the tallest skyscrapers, many multinational companies, shopping malls, restaurants, colonial era-churches, and museums. Thus, it’s not surprising that Makati is one of the most popular districts to buy condos.

    condos-makati

    Even if Makati is Manila’s equivalent to Manhattan, property prices are still surprisingly cheap and far below those in Singapore, Hong Kong, and many other big cities in Asia.

    Makati is one of the best performers in terms of capital appreciations where prices have increased by double digits yearly. Below, you’ll find the average price increase for 3-Bedroom condos in Makati:

    • 2017 – 10.4%
    • 2016 – 9.95%
    • 2015 – 13.43%
    • 2014 – 7.11%
    • 2013 – 14.37%

    Buying condos in Quezon City

    Quezon City is located in the northern parts of Metro Manila. Being the capital from 1948 – 1976, it’s the biggest city in terms of land area and has around 3 million people.

    Condo prices are lower compared to the central areas and Makati. This brings more opportunities in terms of future capital appreciations. In fact, Quezon city grows fast and has many top universities and many international companies set up offices here.

    Cubao is the financial hub of Quezon City and some people predict it will overtake Manila’s position as the main financial hub of Metro Manila.

    Balara and Commonwealth are just a couple of densely populated residential areas that have numerous gated residential communities.

    Buying condos in Taguig

    Taguig is located in the Southeastern parts of Manila with a population of almost 1 million people. Starting as a fishing village, it’s now a developed area with many high rising condos, corporations and malls.

    Bonifacio Global City (BGC) is one of its newest establishments and currently one of the most interesting areas for investments. We can mainly thank its proximity to Manila for the upswing seen in financial and commercial activity the past years.

    Previously being under the use of the army, BGC has emerged as a business hub. Here, you can find many high-rise condominiums and gated communities.

    Buying condos in Pasig City

    Pasig City is another upcoming area that has much residential real estate, mainly in the middle and upper-class segment.

    There are some commercial activity going on here as well.

    Ortigas Center is just one of business districts that grow quickly. You’ll find many hotels, shopping malls, and multinational companies that open offices in Pasig.

    Manila condo prices

    As mentioned, Manila has surprisingly cheap real estate, even in the most central and developed areas.

    Real estate prices average at almost USD 2,600 per square meter in the central areas which places Philippines as the fourth cheapest country to buy real estate in Asia.

    philippines-real-estate-prices

    Buying in suburban areas is significantly cheaper and will only set you back only around USD 1,200 per square meter on average.

    Now, let’s have a more thorough overview of the different price levels for residential real estate in the most promising districts and cities.

    Makati condo prices

    Makati is (not surprising) the most expensive area to buy condos.

    According to Numbeo, the average price in the city centre is PHP 190,000 per square meter, which equals to around USD 3,600 per square meter.

    When looking at various small sized 1-Bedroom condo units on Lamudi’s website, you’ll find condos that start from USD 80,000 – 100,000 per unit.

    Quezon City condo prices

    There are both real bargains and high-end units to be found in Quezon City. As the city is the biggest in terms of land area, you’ll find a great variety of properties.

    According to Numbeo, real estate prices average at around PHP 57,000 (USD 1,096) per square meter.

    You can find small 1-Bedroom units starting from as little as USD 10,000.

    Still, you probably want to find condos with a higher standard. In Eastwood, which is a popular area, you can find a big 2-Bedroom unit for as little as USD 80,000.

    Below I’ve included a list with popular areas and the average prices per square meter for condos:

    • EDSA: USD 900-1,000 per square meter
    • Aurora Blvd (Cubao Area): USD 750 – 900 per square meter
    • C-5 (E. Rodriguez Ave.): USD 750 – 900 per square meter
    • East Ave: USD 600 – 900 per square meter
    • Quezon Avenue: USD 600 – 900 per square meter

    Taguig condo prices

    There’s a bigger supply of condos in Taguig compared to Quezon City.

    You’ll be able to find spacious 2-Bedroom units for as little as USD 100,000 in places like Fort Bonifacio Global City.

    You can also find newly built small studios for as little as USD 40,000 – 50,000.

    Pasig condo prices

    Pasig is a bit more expensive than Quezon City, both in terms of rental values and condo prices

    2-Bedroom units start from around USD 60,000 – 80,000.

    Real estate agents in Manila

    It’s important that you find a credible agent before you buy condos in developing countries like the Philippines.

    I highly recommend you to work with a franchised and international real estate agent, to assure that they follow standards. If you prefer to work with an individual agent, check their track record and be sure that they’ve helped foreigners in the past.

    Working with a separate lawyer is often not a must when buying condos as agents often have a good knowledge about ownership regulations, use internal contacts, and help you in the communication with the developer.

    Some of the most popular real estate agents in Manila include:

    • RE/MAX
    • Santos Knight Frank
    • JLL Philippines
    • Sotheby’s International Realty Philippines
    • Phil. Property Expert

    Real estate agents normally charge a commission of 2-3% of the sales value, while brokers charge 3-6%.

    Conclusion

    Philippines has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, where Manila leads the way. Some analysts say that Manila is the best place for real estate investments at the moment, which makes it a highly interesting investment destination.

    The market has performed exceptionally well since 2010 and prices have increased by double digits in places like Makati.

    Even if the market has been bullish for years, and we’ve seen great price increases in places like Makati, the market will most likely continue upwards for a couple of years.

    The increased inflow of Chinese buyers, increased wealth among locals, offshore companies, and high remittance from overseas workers have had much impact on the market.

    Makati is the most expensive area to buy real estate, while you can find real bargains and good investment opportunities in places like Bonifacio Global City (BGC) and Quezon City.

    Other Philippines Property Guides

    Want to learn more about the benefits of buying condos in Manila or find new condos for sale? Here are some additional guides:

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