Overseas Filipino workers are the biggest market for real estate, and it looks like their tastes are changing. According to the Officials of the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Associations, buyers are now going for either midrange properties or socialized (cheaper than low-cost) housing.
Low-cost properties used to be the bestsellers in the OFW market but now, they don’t even look at properties worth 2 million. Instead, OFWs prefer midrange residences, house-and-lot packages (usually townhouses) or condominium units that cost between Php 3 million and Php 7 million. This might seem a little surprising, considering the global financial crisis but on second thought, buying midrange housing is more practical in the long run. They are constructed better than low-cost housing, have more convenient locations, and have a higher resale or rental value. The OFW community is also no longer made up of manual workers – professionals like nurses, IT consultants, and doctors have joined the diaspora.
Despite the OFWs’ changing tastes, low-cost housing is still a major driving force of the Philippine real estate industry. Socialized housing offers house and lot packages worth Php 300,000 each and are located in industrial estates and economic zones. The buyers of socialized housing are usually employees and their families. To make the houses more affordable, value-added tax exemptions are included in the payment packages and no down payment is required.