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  • Writer's pictureZiggurat Realestatecorp

OFWs again keen on real estate

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are again keen on using their hard-earned money to lease a house or purchase a permanent dwelling for their families back home, according to a study.

Lamudi’s study titled “The Outlook Quarterly: A Wrap-Up of the Philippine Housing Market in 2Q2022 (Second Quarter of 2022),” showed the reemergence of this trend since the last quarter of 2021 as the economy has reopened and the situation gradually has returned to normalcy.

Of all the OFWs looking for homes, those based in Singapore were most interested in condominiums and houses for sale.

Condominiums and apartments accounted for the biggest share of leads on Lamudi, with listings in lower price categories attracting more than a third of total inquiries for both potential buyers and renters. Over half of the listed residential properties for sale on the platform were priced P6 million and below.

In terms of commercial properties for rent, majority of the leads came from the world’s largest service outsourcers, such as the United States and Australia, from April to June.

Even though Singapore’s property hunters topped the residential segment, its vibrant start-up scene and multinational-locators, together with Japan, an established source of industrial, retail and education interest in the country, have both entrepreneurs and professionals wanting to invest in commercial real estate market as well.

Other interested foreign tenants for commercial spaces here were Canadians, South Koreans, British and United Arab Emirate nationals.

They prioritized office and retail spaces the most, followed by related commercial properties such as buildings, warehouses, service offices, and co-working spaces.

“These trends all tell the same story: that the Philippines is headed towards greater heights as the economy reopens in the post-Covid era. More and more developed countries are undoubtedly setting their sights on building a Philippine base, which means that the domestic real estate market is expected to be busier than ever,” said Lamudi Philippines Country Head Anurag Verma.

Location-wise, OFWs based in the Middle East—Dubai, Doha, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi—and Singapore showed high interest for properties in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) during the period in review.

Most of Filipino migrant workers come from this region, with half of them bound to central Arab areas, per 2020 data of the Philippine Statistics Authority. Majority of them originated from Cavite and Batangas.

Houses and then land gained most pageviews from Middle East-based property seekers. Close to 50 percent of all leads from East Asian property seekers were for properties located in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Other than cities in NCR, provincial areas, such as the hilly Baguio and Tagaytay, agricultural town of Naguilian, La Union and coastal Lapu-lapu, Cebu were the preferred destinations for OFW and North and South American markets for both leisure and retirement. Sub-categories such as house and lot, townhouse, ‘residential lot, beach house and agricultural lot attracted foreign property seekers.

Metro Manila cities, particularly Taguig, Makati and Quezon City, followed by Cebu and Cavite got most of the leads from South and Southeast Asian (excluding the Philippines) countries. Expats and students from these neighboring countries may be looking into housing as they take on new onsite work or start a new school year here.

Meanwhile, Makati was the most searched by Europe-based seekers looking into the Philippines. This may be driven by expats and investors from the Western continent searching for accommodations as well as interest from the OFWs working there.

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