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Buy property in Manila: Everything you should know

buy property in manila
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Manila has been a popular option for both Philippine nationals and foreigners who want to buy property abroad. Although the Philippines restricts foreign real estate ownership, foreigners can still buy property in Manila. This guide takes you through the regulations, prices, and costs, the best places to buy property, how to find a house or lot in Manila, and the five steps to buying real estate.

Can foreigners buy property in Manila?

Foreigners can buy property in Manila if they purchase a condo unit, buy through a corporation, or opt for a leasehold real estate. According to the Condominium Act, foreigners can own a condo unit in Manila as long as no more than 40% of the units in the building are foreign-owned. Foreigners can buy land, a house, an apartment, a townhouse, or a villa by opting for a leasehold agreement, which gives them the right to own and use the lot or building for a specific period, mostly 25 years, with the possibility to extend. Another option is buying through a domestic corporation, as these corporations are legal entities that can own land and buildings in Manila. Foreigners can establish a domestic corporation if they meet the requirements.

Foreigners can’t buy freehold property in their name, except condo units, as the Philippines has restricted foreign real estate ownership to protect the real estate market for its nationals. There are still several ways foreigners can buy real estate in Manila, but following the regulations is essential to avoid legal issues.

5 steps to buy property in Manila

Foreigners can buy property in Manila by following the five steps below.

Step 1: Choose a reliable real estate agent

Working with a real estate agent when buying property in Manila is smart. Real estate agents can assist you with finding the right property, conduct negotiations, handle all paperwork, connect you to a reliable notary, and help you with any questions or concerns you have during your property journey. Are you looking for a trustworthy real estate agent in Manila? Please email us at to get our assistance.

Step 2: Find a property in Manila

There is a wide range of property for sale in Manila. However, finding the right one might be more challenging than you’d expect, especially in a metropolitan area such as Manila. Therefore, it’s best to work with a real estate agent when you want to buy property in Manila. Besides that, you can also use property listing platforms, which offer a wide variety of houses, condos, lots, and villas for sale in Manila.

Step 3: Submit a Letter of Intent and pay the deposit

When you want to express your interest in purchasing a specific Manila property for sale, you can submit a Letter of Intent. This document typically includes the initial deposit, price, payment method, deposit amount, due diligence period, and the deadline for signing the sales agreement. Upon deposit payment, you reserve the property and have the opportunity to conduct due diligence for a specified period.

Step 4: Conduct due diligence

The fourth step of the purchasing process is possibly the most crucial one. Conducting due diligence on property in Manila allows you to verify that the property and documents are all in order. It’s essential to check the land title and ownership, search for existing liens or encumbrances, review zoning and land use restrictions, conduct property inspections as part of the due diligence process, and confirm the history of taxes and fees.

Step 5: Sign the Deed of Absolute Sale and transfer the land title

After completing the due diligence process, you’ll need to sign the Deed of Absolute Sale, a legal document both parties sign at a public notary, confirming their agreement on the property purchase in Manila. Before signing the sales agreement, you must make the property payment according to the schedule outlined in the contract. In addition to the house price, there are other costs and fees to consider when buying a house in Manila. For example, there are several taxes to pay when buying a house in Manila.

Fees and taxes to pay when buying a house in Manila:

  • Transfer Tax: Buying property in Manila involves paying a Transfer Tax of 0.5-0.75% of the property’s sales price.
  • Title registration fee: The buyer must register the title at the Registry of Deeds, which costs around 0.25% of the total sales price.
  • Documentary Stamp Tax: All papers and documents necessary for transferring property ownership in Manila must be processed by paying a Documentary Stamp Tax, which is 1.5% of the property’s sales price.

How to find a property for rent or for sale in Manila?

In 2024, a wide range of properties are for sale in Manila. However, the large selection makes finding a suitable property matching your needs and requirements difficult. Therefore, it’s wise to work with a real estate agent in Manila who will help you find a home, lot, condo, or townhouse for sale in Manila that matches your wants. Are you looking for commercial real estate or foreclosed properties for sale in Manila? Real estate agents can also help you with foreclosed properties and commercial real estate in Manila.

You can also use several property listing platforms to find a house and lot for sale in Manila. Own Property Abroad’s property platform includes listings from property owners, real estate agents, and developers, giving you a wide range of properties for sale in Manila.

Manila real estate market overview

The real estate market in Manila has seen significant growth in 2024. Home prices in the city have increased by 18%, with luxury properties seeing the highest demand. The average price per square meter for high-end condos has reached $3,000. This spike is driven by a strong economy, increasing middle-class wealth, significant infrastructure investments, and a rising number of foreign investors. Pre-selling activities have also boosted market activity, with many new luxury developments.

Manila’s luxury housing market has thrived, becoming the world’s hottest. Prices for high-end homes have climbed by over 20% year-on-year. Developers are focusing on million-dollar properties to meet the demand from affluent buyers. Manila’s real estate sector benefits from a forecasted GDP growth of 6% while international investments continue to flow in. However, high inflation, currently at 5.4%, remains a concern, potentially affecting interest rates and mortgage affordability. Overall, Manila’s real estate market is doing well and appealing to local and international investors.

Best places to live in Manila

Those looking for the best locations to invest in real estate in Metro Manila have several options. Metro Manila is a vast metropolitan that comprises 16 cities and 1 municipality. You’ll find rich neighborhoods and more affordable areas in these areas and cities. These are popular neighborhoods and places to live in Manila:

  • Quezon City: When looking for an investment house in the Philippines, Quezon City is an area to look for a property. This area is known for its large residential communities and universities, offering more affordable property options than Makati and BGC. Quezon City is one of the best locations to invest in real estate in Manila, as many families and students are interested in renting a property in this area.
  • Pasig: Pasig is known for its balance of residential and commercial areas. This area offers a mix of high-end condos and family-friendly communities. Ortigas Center, a major business district within Pasig, provides unique investment opportunities in Manila, as it has modern office buildings, shopping malls, entertainment hubs, and more, making it a sought-after area for those who want to rent a property in Manila.
  • Pasay: asay is a bustling area known for its entertainment and tourism spots, including the Mall of Asia and various casinos and hotels. Pasay’s strategic location near Manila Bay and Ninoy Aquino International Airport makes it attractive for investors looking at tourism-related properties and commercial ventures.
  • Bonifacio Global City (BGC): There is a high demand for properties in BGC, as this modern and vibrant area, with its vibrant lifestyle scene, attracts both locals and foreigners. BFC, located in Taguig, features luxury condos, office spaces, and many dining and entertainment options, making it popular among expats and young professionals.
  • Las Piñas: Las Piñas offers a variety of residential options, from affordable housing to upscale communities. It is known for its green spaces and family-friendly environment. The area is ideal for those seeking a quieter lifestyle while still having access to modern amenities and business districts nearby.
  • Makati: Makati is one of the rich neighborhoods in Manila and is known as the financial hub, offering a mix of high-end condos, commercial spaces, offices, and luxury residential areas. This area is ideal for professionals and businesses as it is closely located to major corporations, offices, and commercial establishments.
  • Alabang: This neighborhood is located in the south of Metro Manila and is known for its spacious residential areas and business centers. Alabang offers a more suburban feel with access to modern amenities, making it a popular area among families who are seeking a quieter lifestyle.

Manila property prices

How much a house in Manila costs depends on several factors, such as the property type, neighborhood, type of ownership, state of the property, and more. You’ll find higher real estate prices in rich neighborhoods in Manila, while there are also many affordable places to buy property in Manila. The table below gives an overview of the average house and land prices in Manila.

TypeAverage priceAverage price/m2Annual growthAverage rent price
Condo₱ 5.19 million ($88,190)₱ 156,815 ($2,666)+ 0.3%₱ 26,927 ($458)
House₱ 27.02 million ($459,377)₱ 115,604 ($1,965)– 0.4%
Townhouse₱ 36.7 million ($623,972)₱ 111,747 ($1,900)– 0.1%₱ 73,005 ($1,241)
Land₱ 54.9 million ($933,294)₱ 118,142 ($2,008)+ 0.9%
Commercial₱ 64.72 million ($1.1 million)₱ 134,207 ($2,282)+ 1.4%₱ 83,294 ($1,416)
Apartment₱ 23.49 million ($399,411)₱ 98,535 ($1,675)+ 0.1%₱ 14,104 ($240)
Source: Dotproperty

The prices in Metro Manila differ for each area. For example, these are the condo unit prices in different areas in Manila:

  • Quezon City: ₱ 149,922 ($2,549) per square meter
  • Pasig: ₱ 143,719 ($2,443) per square meter
  • Taguig: ₱ 263,261 ($4,475) per square meter
  • Pasay: ₱ 215,192 ($3,658) per square meter
  • Parañaque: ₱ 143,596 ($2,441) per square meter
  • Las Piñas: ₱ 118,936 ($2,022) per square meter
  • Makati: ₱ 250,889 ($4,265) per square meter
  • San Juan: ₱ 180,723 ($3,072) per square meter

Buy property in Manila with Own Property Abroad

Do you want to buy property in Manila? Own Property Abroad can assist you and ensure a seamless and hassle-free property journey. Thanks to our knowledge and experience in the local market, we can help with legal requirements, finding suitable properties, negotiating the best deals, and conducting due diligence.

For further information on how we can assist you with buying property in Manila, kindly drop your details below or email us at Let’s start working on your property success story today!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much is a house in Manila?

The price of a house in Manila varies widely based on location and size. On average, Manila house prices can range from ₱ 3 million ($51,000) to over ₱ 100 million ($1.7 million) for luxury properties.

Is it easy to buy a house or condo in Manila?

Buying a house or condo in Manila is relatively straightforward for both locals and foreigners, provided you meet all legal requirements and have the necessary documentation.

How much is a condo unit in Manila?

Condo units in Manila range from ₱ 2 million ($34,000) for smaller units in less central areas to ₱ 20 million ($340,000) or more for luxury condos in prime locations like Makati or BGC.

What are the requirements for foreigners to buy property in Manila?

Foreigners can buy condo units in Manila but cannot own land. They must provide valid identification and proof of income, and comply with local regulations. Real estate ownership is typically through leaseholds or corporation structures.

Is Manila good for real estate investment?

Manila is good for real estate investment due to its growing economy, increasing property values, and high demand for residential and commercial properties. The Manila real estate market has seen a surge in prices and demand over the last few years, making it ideal for investments.

Are there houses and lots for sale below PHP 2 million in Manila?

There are many houses and lots in Manila available for under PHP 2 million, typically in less central areas or smaller developments. You can also opt for a condo unit in Manila, as these are usually cheaper than houses and lots.

Can I find foreclosed houses and lots for sale in Manila?

Foreclosed properties are widely available in Manila, often sold at a lower price through banks and auction houses. Manila’s foreclosed properties can be a good investment opportunity.

Your guide to buying property in the Philippines
Written by Matt Timmermans

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Your guide to buying property in the Philippines
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