Philippines property market buoyed by overseas workers
December 22, 2010 - Philippines
Filipinos working abroad are fueling a boom in the property market in their home country by snapping up houses and apartments to secure their future.
According to industry experts, property prices have strongly improved since the global financial crisis in 2009 with investments from the 9 million Filipinos living and working overseas a significant factor.
Head of the Real Estate Brokers Association of the Philippines Emily Duterte said: "Overseas workers are moving the market. Properties now are selling and when there is demand, prices go up."
According research head at Jones Lang LaSalle Philippines Claro Cordero, property sales throughout the country are expected to hit PHP300 billion (US$6.9 billion) by the end of 2010, compared to PHP100 billion each in 2009 and 2008.
As reported on ABS-CBN.com, Filipino workers abroad account for 10 per cent of the population of the Philippines.
Although they have a reputation for working as lower-paid laborers, such as construction workers, maids, and janitors, they are increasingly moving into higher-paid sectors, such as medicine, engineering and the media.
In 2009, they managed to send home US$17.3 billion, generating over 10 per cent of the country's GDP, according to government data.
Houses priced around PHP2 million (US$45,000) in Manila are usual choices for overseas workers, according to Duterte from the brokers' association.
However, living overseas has started to change these buyers preferences.
Manuel Serrano, head of the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Association said overseas workers have revived the condominium market in Philippines.
He said: "In the beginning, they were more interested in house and lots but in the last two years, the tempo has changed. The demand now is for condos."
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