Friday, December 27, 2013

Buying property in the Philippines

Many foreigners who visit the Philippines have come to fall in love with the country, its picturesque beaches, sunny climate and warm people. It is not uncommon to find foreigners choosing to retire or even settle down in the Philippines. While falling in love with this country may be easy, choosing to stay and set down roots can be more difficult. 

On the other hand, foreigners can acquire full ownership of a condominium unit in a development owned by a condominium corporation and registered with the Philippine Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board.

For a permanent stay in any place, it is more sensible to acquire a home to stay in. In the Philippines, as in any other country, there are set laws and rules on foreigners acquiring local real estate properties. Read on to discover these regulations. 

Land ownership

Foreign nationals are not permitted by Philippine law to own land. However, one way to acquire land is through a corporation. As long as the corporation is at least sixty percent Filipino-owned and at most forty-percent foreign-owned, this corporation can acquire Philippine land. 

Another way for a foreigner to acquire land is if he or she is married to a Filipino citizen. The land can be bought and owned under the Filipino spouse’s name. However, take note that in the case where the Filipino spouse passes away or the couple separates, ownership of the land cannot be transferred to the foreigner. 

Condominium unit ownership

On the other hand, foreigners can acquire full ownership of a condominium unit in a development owned by a condominium corporation and registered with the Philippine Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board. Foreign-owned units should only amount to a maximum of forty percent of the total shares in the condominium corporation. The usual arrangement is that one unit amounts to one share in the corporation. 

In light of these limitations, foreign nationals’ only option for buying is to purchase a condominium unit. As an alternative, they can opt for renting a property instead. 

For more information, visit The 2013 Foreign Investor’s Guide to Real Estate Transactions in the Philippines. - Aislinn Kee 


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