Weak peso lures balikbayans into real estate investment

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THE stronger dollar versus the peso and the growth of property values over time are attracting balikbayans, or overseas Filipinos returning to the country, to invest in real estate in the Philippines, according to a top property listing site.

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In a statement on its website, Lamudi Philippines noted that real estate is a good investment option for balikbayans as it helps them maintain their financial health.

“While there are a variety of ways overseas Filipinos can invest their hard-earned cash in, many believe that the wisest financial decision would be to put their money aside for a property purchase, either as a first home or an investment property,” Lamudi said.

Investing in real estate is also in line with the goals of balikbayans to provide a good life for themselves and their families, the property listing site said.

“But more than just having a decent salary and providing a good life for their families, it is also very important for every overseas Filipino to save and take care of their financial health—and in the process, secure their future,” Lamudi said.

“Being unable to do so will just negate the short-term benefits of earning enough at present and will render all their sacrifices pointless—for it is the future financial well-being that every one of us must prepare for,” it added.

Among the top advantages of investing in real estate is the value appreciation it offers over time. “Real estate is something that comes in finite quantities. This ensures that what you invested in right now will be worth more five or 10 years from now,” Lamudi said.

It noted that demand for homes is always present, be it from expat renters, newlywed couples and starting families looking to find a good place to raise kids; or even a growing family whose kids are now starting to go to school and therefore need a place that is as accessible as it is livable.

Property investments can also be utilized in different ways, like leasing it out to cater to the growing Filipino workforce in the Metro Manila’s business districts, it said.

“With a constant stream of renters coming into the market, a rental condo is a great way to earn passive income,” the property listing site said.

In addition, it said that balikbayans are now more capable of investing in properties due to the depreciation of the Philippine peso against the US dollar.

On Monday, the Philippine peso closed at P49.96 to the dollar, 4 centavos lower from the P49.92 exchange rate recorded on Friday last week.

In a separate report, real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle noted that the weakening of the peso against the dollar could fuel stronger demand for residential properties from overseas Filipinos due to their higher spending power.

“The recent PHP depreciation against the US dollar may strengthen the purchasing power of overseas Filipino families, potentially increasing overseas Filipino demand for residential units,” JLL said.

Competition to attract buyers in the market is driving developers to offer new amenities to their developments, Lamudi said.

“In order to set themselves apart from their competitors, Philippine real estate developers are coming up with clever ways to provide their buyers more value for their money’s worth,” Lamudi observed.

It cited Megaworld Corporation as one such developer, which introduced new amenities such as coworking spaces for budding entrepreneurs, multipurpose spaces for socials and events, and pause and play rooms, in its Makati condo projects such as The Ellis and San Antonio Residences.

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