Manufacturing, construction and tourism are key growth drivers of the Philippine real estate industry.

“The demand for office space because of the continuous growth of the Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing industry has also revved up the construction projects, specifically integrated mixed-use developments,” said Philippine Trade & Investment Centre-Singapore Commercial Counsellor Glenn Peñaranda at the recent Philippine Property Investment Opportunities seminar held in Singapore.

Organized by Propnex Realty Pte Ltd, the seminar provided Filipino and Singaporean investors, agents, and buyers, guidelines on investing, filing for bank loan and maximizing the Singaporean dollar in buying properties overseas. Low interest rates and positive feedback from investors contribute as well to the bullish performance of the industry.

Commercial Counsellor Peñaranda shared that the continuous inflow of foreign exchange boosts investments in housing, renovations and condominiums. Record remittances finance consumer spending powering the boom in the retail sector. Demand for tenants within malls continues to be at its peak, encouraging developers to pursue new projects.

The seminar attendees were likewise encouraged to purchase condo units, instead of only renting. While foreigners are not allowed to own land in the Philippines, they can own condominium units but subject to conditions of the Condominium Act which allows 40 percent ownership or shares in condominium corporations.

Those who are thinking of making their stay in the Philippines permanent must apply for a Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) with the Philippine Retirement Authority. SRRV holders may work or study in the country, travel and re-enter any time, and are exempted from income tax on pension and annuities, custom duties, and taxes of selected goods.