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Buying Philippines Property

 

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Buying Philippines property is challenging for international investors because of restrictive foreign ownership laws and other processes including obtaining title deeds and registering property. Similar to other Asian countries, foreigners are not allowed to own land but condominiums are the common avenue for foreigners wishing to buy Philippines property. Below are Healy Consultants' services and information related to buying Philippines property:
1.
Buying Philippines real estate can be a challenging process if not properly planned and managed. A poor reputation as a place of doing business is supported by the low ranking in the 2009 Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International. The Philippines ranked 139th out of 180 countries on this index, a decline in the rankings from 2007 where it was equal 131st (out of 179 countries). Buying Philippines real estate requires in-depth knowledge of local laws and conditions, including optimum locations for investment.
2.
Major residential projects built by large, reputable property developers (for example, Robinson's Land Corporation) are more popular with foreign investors because they minimize the chances of legal disputes and ongoing legal problems. Healy Consultants recommends buying Philippines property backed only by established developers and licensed real estate agents/brokers, especially for projects sold 'off-plan'.
3.
A foreign investor is eligible to buy property only under the following circumstances:

i) The foreign investor purchases a condominium unit in a major city such as Manila - this is the most common route for foreigners buying Philippines property;

ii) The foreigner holds a Special Retirement/Investment Visa - to obtain a Special Retirement/Investment Visa, the foreigner is required to a) be at least 35 years old b) inject a minimum of US$50,000 into a Filipino bank. This sum can be withdrawn after six months, but mist be used for investment purposes in the Philippines (for example, to buy property, shares, securities etc) and c) pay a processing fee of US$1,500. Healy Consultants assists clients buying Philippines property to obtain a Special Retirement/Investment Visa.

iii) Using a company. When buying Philippines property via a company, a minimum of five shareholders are required, and the Filipino shareholding must be at least a 60%;

iv) The foreign investor has a Filipino spouse through which they buy the property;
4.
In the Philippines, the selling of condominium units comes under the jurisdiction of the National Housing Authority, which regulates standards.
5.
Healy Consultants works with international entrepreneurs and investors to efficiently manage all steps in the process of buying Philippines property, and for selling property in the Philippines. Services are tailored to the needs of clients, whether that be in the residential property market or the commercial property market.
6.
Healy Consultants will appoint and supervise a local lawyer to ensure all the legal aspects associated with buying Philippines property are undertaken correctly and the strengths of local laws are utilized to protect asset ownership. The processes our firm will be involved with include:
i)
Creating a legal engagement agreement between our client and the lawyers outlining roles and responsibilities, terms and conditions and legal fees related to buying Philippines property.
ii)
Collecting the due diligence from the lawyer to ensure our client is adequately protected when buying Philippines property.
iii)
Monitoring the key legal dates of execution, including settlement date, date of handover of keys.
iv)
Reviewing all legal documents to ensure our client is adequately protected when buying Philippines property.
v)
Ensuring our client’s lawyer is frequently communicating with all parties to the property transaction, including the mortgage bank, local government authorities and counterpart lawyers.
7.
After buying Philippines property, Healy Consultants assists clients to maintain peace of mind over their newly acquired property by managing time consuming activities such as:
i)
Sourcing appropriate property insurance to ensure the structure and contents of their property is secure.
ii)
Organizing requirements for migration to the Philippines including immigration visas, relocation services and orientation of the Philippines
iii)
Sourcing and supervising agents or contractors to undertake property management activities such as property maintenance, refurbishments, property security, property valuations, and ad hoc problem solving.
Contact Us
For more information on the legal aspects of buying Philippines property, call our Singapore office at (+65) 67350120 or email us here
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