Buying a Property in the Philippines

Insider Tipps for Expats

The Location



 Basic considerations:

When choosing the location for your own plot of land with a house, there are many options in the Philippines as well. Depending on your budget and preferences, you can find sea views, near the beach or directly on the waterfront. Or a piece of land somewhere in the hinterland with no sea view or access to the sea. We strongly advise you to take a close look at the locations beforehand! Lots are often offered “near the beach” that are far from any beach. Or where the sea cannot be seen at all or the beach can only be reached by long footpaths.

It is also important to clarify whether you can reach your future house by car, which is highly recommended. As everywhere in the world, the right of access to the property should be clarified in advance and secured in the purchase or leasing contract! In addition, the following should be clarified before the purchase: water connection? power connection? Internet?

Very important: Will the great sea view remain, or could it be that this can still be obstructed or restricted? Or that any sea view can soon only be guessed at through the treetops further down? And how about the street noise? Noisy motorcycles or trucks? exhaust fumes? Particulate matter?




Real Estate and Prices



 Property prices in the Alcoy-Dalaguete area have multiplied in recent years. Today, for example, a beautiful, developed building plot by the sea with around 1,000 square meters costs around $100,000, for a plot of land with sea views of the same size at an altitude of around $35,000 and for a small meadow plot somewhere in the hinterland approx. $ 10,000.00

 Costs for building a house: Even if you only want to build a smaller house with approx. 100 square meters of living space without a pool, you will have to reckon with around $ 120,000 to 150,000 including connections and external work. (For more information see our fact sheet "Construction and Quality")

In other words, a new, well-constructed, small house on an hinterland plot without any view or access to the sea costs around $130,000 to 150,000,--, a comparable house at high altitude with sea views costs around $150,000--180,000,-- - and the dreamed-of House and Lot with pool right on the water is not available for less than $ 300,000.00.




Real Estate and Foreigners



As foreigners are still not allowed to own land, so-called leasing contracts (= rental contracts lasting for decades) are concluded for a property with or without a house.

In the Philippines, the purchase of real estate with a leasing contract is roughly comparable to the German heritable building right or leasehold. A very long-term leasing contract is concluded, the total rent for the agreed term plus, if necessary, the purchase price for the house is paid upon conclusion of the contract. In the Philippines the term for foreign private individuals is set at 2 x 25 years.


But beware! Unfortunately, there are also black sheep among the providers who lease properties with unclear legal relationships, build cheaply constructed houses and ultimately conclude opaque leasing contracts.

Buyers should clarify these questions:



- Who is the registered owner of the property?

- What does the plot plan look like, i.e. is the plot from a Geodetic Engineer

   measured and marked with boundary stones (monuments)?

- What is already registered in the DENR for this property?

- Is there a current RTC Clearance and the Barangay Certificate? (Somewhat comparable to a confirmation from the responsible district court/barangay captain that there are no claims or other entries in the court for the requested property and that no proceedings or neighbor disputes are pending.)

- Are there farmer beneficiaries, claims, rights of way or other rights of use by third parties, mortgages, usufruct or other encumbrances?

Only when the notary (preferably choose one yourself!) gives the "green light" can a leasing contract for the precisely defined property and the property be concluded with the Filipino owner and registered.


The only absolute security for foreign buyers: condominium ownership!

The purchase of a residence with Condo-ownership is carried out in accordance with the laws and regulations of the DHSUD, which also guarantees foreign buyers unrestricted ownership rights - comparable to the Condo-residential property laws in Germany and other European and overseas countries.

Good to know



The cadastral and land register system in the Philippines is different to the situation in other countries. In this respect, the leasing model also contains some pitfalls and there are also dubious providers who exploit the inexperience or lack of English language skills of new emigrants.

Hence our tip:


Absolute certainty that the seller is actually the owner of the property offered can only be provided by a so-called "Clean Title". This is the state guarantee certificate that the property to the extent described belongs exclusively to the owner(s) named in the certificate! Outside of the metropolises of Manila and Cebu City, very few real estate providers have such a title, including in the Alcoy-Dalaguete area. Also because the title can only be obtained with a lengthy and expensive process.