Guide: Buying Real Estate in the Philippines for Foreign Investors

Buying Real Estate in the Philippines: A Guide for Foreign Investors


Do you know that many people from other countries are investing in real estate in the Philippines? The Philippines is becoming a popular place to invest because of its growing economy, good location, and thriving real estate market. But if you want to invest in real estate here, you need to understand the rules and laws in the Philippines. This guide will help foreign investors like you learn about buying real estate in the Philippines.

Legal Framework

In the Philippines, foreigners are generally not allowed to own land. But they can buy condominium units, townhouses, or apartments in buildings where foreigners are allowed to own properties. They can also rent land for a long time, like 50 years, and even renew it for another 25 years. Another option for foreign investors is to invest through Philippine corporations that have at least 60% Filipino ownership.

Choosing the Right Location

The Philippines has many different places where you can invest in real estate. Metro Manila, which is the capital city and a big economic center, has a lot of residential, commercial, and industrial properties. Other popular places for investment include Cebu, Davao, and Clark. It’s important to think about things like how easy it is to get there, how much you can make from renting the property, and if the place is growing economically.

Property Market and Trends

The real estate market in the Philippines has been growing for the past 10 years. Many people want to buy houses and apartments, especially in big cities, because the population is growing and more people are moving to the cities. The businesses that provide office space are also growing because of the outsourcing industry. People from other countries are also coming to the Philippines for vacations or even to retire, so there’s a demand for holiday homes and retirement properties.

Buying Process

Here are the steps to follow when buying real estate in the Philippines:

1. Find a licensed real estate broker who can help you find the right property.

2. Make sure you do your research and check if the property is really owned by the person selling it. This can be done by checking the property’s documents with a lawyer or a trusted professional.

3. Get a Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to pay your taxes properly.

4. Talk to the seller and agree on the terms and conditions of the sale, like the price and how you will pay.

5. Have a lawyer make a special document called a Deed of Sale. This paper will say that you are buying the property and it will have all the details of the sale. It’s important to have a lawyer read and check the document before you sign it.

6. Get the necessary approvals and permits, like the Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR), from the BIR and the local Registry of Deeds.

7. Register the property with the Registry of Deeds by filling out the right papers and paying the fees.


1. Can foreigners own land in the Philippines?

No, foreigners cannot own land in the Philippines. But they can buy apartments, townhouses, or condominium units in buildings where foreigners are allowed to own properties. They can also lease land for a long time or invest through Philippine corporations with at least 60% Filipino ownership.

2. Are there any restrictions on foreigners buying real estate in the Philippines?

There are rules about foreign ownership of land, but foreigners can still invest in certain types of properties like apartments, townhouses, and condominiums. They can also lease land for a long time as long as they follow the rules.

3. Are there any taxes or fees involved in buying real estate in the Philippines?

Yes, there are taxes and fees that you need to pay when buying real estate in the Philippines. This includes taxes like capital gains tax, documentary stamp tax, transfer tax, and fees for registration and notary services. The specific amounts you need to pay will depend on how much the property costs and where it is located.

4. How can I finance my real estate purchase in the Philippines?

Foreign investors can use their own money to buy real estate in the Philippines. They can also get a loan from a bank or sometimes even get financing from the developer of the property. It’s a good idea to talk to a local bank or financial institution to find out what options are available to you.

5. What are the potential risks of investing in Philippine real estate?

Like any investment, there are risks when you invest in real estate in the Philippines. Some of these risks include changes in laws, the value of the property going up and down, economic problems, and legal disputes. To be safe, you should do your research, get advice from professionals, and learn as much as you can about the local real estate market.


1. Bureau of Internal Revenue –
2. Registry of Deeds –
3. Philippine Retirement Authority –
4. Philippine Statistics Authority –
5. Securities and Exchange Commission –

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal or financial advice. It is recommended to consult with professionals specializing in Philippine real estate law before making any investment decisions.

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