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Discussion Starter #1
Dear all, I want to get your view and opinion since this topic is burning under my nails for quite a while. I am particularly interested to hear from people who invested in condos and have experience with it. Sorry for the lengthy post, but I finally want to understand the market here.
Short background: I am a German, living in BGC and often wondering to invest in condos in Metro Manila, but so far, some issues have prevented me from that and I finally want to understand it.

I see many interesting developments here, either in BGC, Capitol Commons etc.
However, when I look at the prices as well as the financing of those condos, I wonder (and I mean it):
1. Who can afford to buy that?
2. Who really buys it?
3. Who will be able to rent a condo in the future?

Let's go step by step to explain my questions:

1. When I see the prices of easily 200k per sqm (or even 150k), we are looking at prices of 10mio for 50sqm or even 20mio+ for 100sqm. That is a lot of money. I know, those downpayments are usually relatively low, but what really strikes me are the loan conditions here. Interest rates of 8% seem to be normal.
So le'ts have a little computation
50sqm condo (let's say 1bedroom) for 200k per sqm.
Price: PHP 10,000,000
Interest: 8% => PHP 800,000 per year
Possible rent: 50k?

So for that example, you already pay 66k per month, just for the interest. Isn't that a lot of money? How could you guys afford that? I know it sounds like a funny or silly question, but how many can really pay that from their salaries? Even those simple SMDC condos aren't really cheap, and then you have those high interest rates. And I am surprised those SMDC or Avida condos (or Amaia) are marketed as affordable. I do not find that affordable at all for the average Filipino/Filipina!

2. I am renting a condo in BGC and I would say, that 50% of the apartments in our house are empty, means not rented out. Similar to the neighbor building I am looking at.
So, I understand that many wealthy people from anywhere in the world buy condos and do not really care about it. Ok, point taken. But is that really so often the case? Please educate me here as well.

3. Ok, let's put all the facts from question 1 aside: let's say you are able to finance the condo. But who will rent it later? Yes, the middle class is rising and some well-paid jobs would allow that. But let's keep with my example of the 50sqm condo. I guess you should easily take 50k for rent, right? But who can afford that as well? A couple could live there, yes, but that means still 25k for each of them. And when I see the salaries here, I still wonder who can afford that?

I know, you might mention now, that this is an investment in the future and I also agree that the economy will keep going well and one day the investments are worth it.
But then I want to highlight another confusion I have:

Again, I am German and when I look at property prices in Germany, I am even more shocked about the levels here in Manila. Paying 4-5k USD per sqm is already at the higher end side for Germany. But the fundamental difference is: in Germany, I easily find people who could afford a rent of 50k per month, since the income levels are much higher. And even though I am fascinated and somehow love Manila, I hope everyone would agree that the standard/quality of life (particularly the environment) is much better in German cities.

Lastly, if I am going to buy an apartment in Germany and I also bring around 20% equity, I can get a bank financing with around 1.5%?
Well, yes, we are in the Philippines and the interest rates are higher. Well, but is your salary rising by 6-8% every year? Mine isn't haha.

I hope some experts here could answer me, since I am really excited to find out!
 

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Please note that the real estate boom in Metro Manila should have ended yr 2016 and it would have stopped increasing prices (by unsustanable levels) esp for the pre selling projects. However, 2016 was also the year that mainland Chinese discovered this market and they began buying in bulks. When POGOs started to set up shop, the more chinese investors saw the opportunity.

So the correction that was suppose to happen yr 2016 was delayed by this economic movement.

But wait im cooking. Lets expound later
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Dear azumiii, I am more than glad to hear your views on that.
I know that POGOs and Chinese investors in general have driven the prices here a lot and I recognized it across Metro Manila.
I also don't want to say that Ayala Land Premier, Megaworld or other prime developers are affordable developers, but neither are SMDC, DMCI or others, at least from my perspective.

I am excited for the discussion here!
 

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I hope that the comparison to German cities is made with the city centers of the likes of Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt. Where prices per square meter in premium areas in the respective city centre costs from 7K-12K.
I live in FRankfurt and in the “upscale” neighborhood they sell small 70-100 sqm unit apartments for 1M euros.

Now, I am aware of the problems which are present outside the Central business districts of Manila, but BGC with no doubt, holds a candle if compared to Frankfurt CBD.

I agree with you that probably the prices in BGC are way too high for a middle class earner in the Philippines but so the prices in Germany for a middle class German who would like to buy in a CBD like FRankfurt.

I am personally aware of middle class Filipinos who bought from DMCI outside the CBDs (e. g. Mandaluyong area)for example, they bought a 39 sqm 1 bedroom unit for 4M, 25% payable in 60 months and the rest through bank financing. 20% is 1M/60 = 16K monthly which is in some cases feasible for middle class income earners this is obviously with 0% interest, then for the rest they get a bank loan of 3M ended up paying 17Kfor 240 months (20 years).
Which I believe is the same struggle a German middle class has when buying apartments in Germany nowadays wherein they shy away from city’s CBD.

Then yes there are different factors which affected the prices in some areas of Manila CBDs( e.g.POGOs) which unfortunately for some and fortunately for others they seem to be there to stay.

Maybe you’re looking in wrong areas and comparing those wrong areas with areas not on par in Germany.

It is obviously a fact that the German economy is way ahead and better than the Philippine one(it’s almost not fair to compare them, for now atleast). But real estate location always has its price irrespective of where you are.


Just my non-expert opinion ofcourse.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Dear Fil-Italo,

Thanks a lot for your post, and the arguments, we can now talk about.

I completely understand your point and comparing CBD areas in Manila with random tier-2 or 3 cities in Germany would not be fair. Apartments there would be certainly much more expensive.
But your home city Frankfurt is special as you might know, since it is the true CBD of Germany, maybe beaten by Munich.

But let me provide you with a concrete example:

I got the quotation for a 1bedroom condo from Amaia (the second lowest category of Ayala Land) and they quoted me 4.77mio for a 28sqm condo in Shaw Blvd (Amaia Skies). Ok, Shaw is not really CBD but also not really off, since Ortigas is very close. But see it from the perspective of "affordability" which they specifically advertise. And considering that Amaia is definitely aiming for lower-middle class people, let's take their word of affordable.
So, that means a squaremeter price of PHP 170k, which is more than 3 thousand dollars.

For 3 thousand dollars, I get nice apartments in Berlin for example (where I come from by the way). Yes, not necessarily newly built (and sadly not with a pool), but I can get a solid apartment relatively close to the CBD areas. And most importantly, there are many more people who can afford to live in my apartment.

What strikes me here is why it is so expensive? Yes, the lot itself was not cheap for Amaia, I get that. But they build so many units, that means so dense, that they definitely maximize the space. You wont find so huge blocks in Germany, as you know. Apart form satellite towns in the sub-urbs, you usually have relatively modest developments in terms of density. So is Amaia (Ayala) growing its pockets here? Construction workers in Germany are definitely paid more than Filipinos. So what brings the cost up?
And to be very honest: the quality here in this country is so low! Let's not compare it now with Germany or Singapore, I do not want to be unfair. But when I look at the Avida condos in BGC, my god, they are looking already so badly built, even though they are almost brand new. Or when I look at my own condo (Megaworld) and how badly it looks in some places (and as you said correctly, BGC is the posterchild of Metro Manila, right?).

Ok, so for those 4.77mio you need to account the expensive loan as well, which lifts the price even more.

So my point here is:
Yes, you are right, there are ways that middle-class Filipinos can buy something. But I still find it a bad deal to be honest. Particularly considering that those prices mean that people need to spend a significant part of their income for housing. That is a lot and not many people will be able to afford that. And let's be honest, a 28sqm apartment is suitable for maximum 2 people. How should a family live there?
You said, the struggle is the same. Well, yes and no. Germans struggle as well, since many do not save enough, set wrong priorities and so on, same as here.
But if you consider that off-CBD apartments are relatively cheaper than here, I would say, it is easier for a German to buy an apartment, than here in the Philippines.

But I am really glad to discuss!
 

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^^ Its really expensive near the main CBDs of Metro Manila but there are places like in Quezon City where its far cheaper. And its even less expensive outside Metro Manila. But its still a bargain compared to Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore or Seoul.

Why is it relatively expensive? Simple economics, supply and demand. This is why buildings here are getting taller and denser because we're at that point where the demand justify such construction.
 

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Ok let’s put it this way maybe to add to location another error you’re making is the type of development you’re looking even if it’s an Amaia development which targets the “low end” market. You said it yourself pool, security, gym and whatsoever are provided of which in second tier areas in Germany you won’t find. I think you need to compare them for non condo developments, single detached apartments or duplexes outside CBDs.

And again Avida buildings could be badly built (agree to you on that) but so all the 50s style buildings which dots the FRankfurt city centre.

Just look and compare the prices of condos in Bangkok, Jakarta and HCM city I think Manila CBDs are still relatively more affordable with the same quality in much better neighborhoods.

In my humble opinion it terms of city planning, community vibe, resources BGC is on par if not better than FRankfurt as a CBD.

Buyers in Manila CBDs are also people like me, born and raised in the “west” who found a lot of potential in the home country of their parents. And also our parents (first generation migrants) an Army of more than 12M (which is more than the Swiss population) just think if even just 5% of those bought or will buy developments cause they believe in the economy of their motherland.

for quality I do not know, I’ve bought a development with Federal land (studio 39 sqm for 3.5M) in 2009 delivered in 2012 and it has been rented since then it has never been vacant, I was satisfied with the quality too. That made me buy another in BGC in 2015 which will be delivered in 2020 and bought another one this year where I decided to live in 2025. So these are part of
the buyers and again it’s a huge huge pool of buyers of which even just 5% is massive.

Concerning the renters I had from 2012 first was a Spanish worker in the embassy, a local student of a nearby university, an Indonesian doctor, a local executive and now a POGO executive (cause yes their apartment differs depending on their position I’ve heard).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Fil-Italo, I mostly agree with you, seriously. Your points make sense.

And I know, that many OFWs and people like you are buying here, which is nice to see.

I once asked our broker for the condo we rent and asked him why there are no "no frills" apartments here with good quality. Let's see it as a condo without the perks of pools and gyms and such stuff. Because I would be willing to take those and save some money. And he told me that building those things isn't very costly and mostly expected (I come to that point down there in my post). So, yes, in a way, that is a specialty you won't find in Germany and many other places, but is it worth the extra price? I doubt so.
I also do not necessarily compare the property prices between the Philippines and country x, but my point is, that the developments here are excluding the larger part of the population.

And I agree with you, a lot of OFWs and people like you who work abroad are buyers. That is great, because, as you said, they believe in their home. But look at your renters: mostly foreigners and people with upper class income. Don't get me wrong, I am ok with that, no issue. But it doesn't cater the people who really need housing.

And that brings me to my other concern: I find, the developments are not meeting the demand of the people who would benefit from it. Where are the apartment buildings that are really affordable for people? Let's say a 100sqm 3 bedroom for like 15-20k?
Little background: I lived and studied in Singapore before and we learned a lot about the social housing there. Ok, I know, Singapore is Singapore and not the Philippines. But I liked their idea about social housing that is doable for a large part of the population.
Yes, Amaia, DMCI, SMDC, they are all private companies and they need to earn. Fine, no problem at all with me. But they "always" build those condos with the mentioned parks. I would bet there is a huge market for people who do not need that but just a safe and clean roof above their heads.
So, but what happens? The convenient locations (not just CBD!) are used for those pricier projects. And that leads to inequalities.

I know, this all goes far and is subject to a much larger discussions. But the much I agree with your points, they are also an example for what I said. The SM cashier lady or even the accountant in an average firm here cannot easily afford that. Even couples cannot put away 20k for a condo loan.
 

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For 3 thousand dollars, I get nice apartments in Berlin for example (where I come from by the way). Yes, not necessarily newly built (and sadly not with a pool), but I can get a solid apartment relatively close to the CBD areas. And most importantly, there are many more people who can afford to live in my apartment.
It will be better to compare an older apartment in Berlin close to the CBD areas with no pool
with another older apartment in Mandaluyong (which is considered close to Makati CBD or Ortigas CBD) and possibly no fancy amenities too.

Re-sale condos here usually have way lower prices than one you buy from the developer even in instances when you are comparing two different condos in the same tower/project here. For example, if you bought in Amaia shaw now at Php 4.7M ( P 167,857 per square meter x 28 sqm), many of your neighbors definitely paid a lower price if they bought it many years ago. Amaia Shaw started pre-selling in year 2013 based on its thread here and several locals posted, one got a unit for just Php 88,888 per square meter (Php 1.6M for an 18 sqm studio).

Going back to your nice Berlin apartment without pool but close to CBD, I dont have enough data of that property to give you a similar apartment in Mandaluyong but I tried this:

Mandaluyong apartment close to CBD,
Pioneer Pointe (Filinvest project) project details
it is located 1.5 km away to Ortigas CBD and will soon be ~2 km to BGC (via new bridge)
it's an old condo and way way boring than new projects but the location is near CBD and because it's old, unit sizes are bigger with a studio starting at 30 sqm. I checked if there is any re-sale units and im seeing there are a few here
They are currently selling for Php 91,016 per square meter.

I wouldnt compare Amaia Shaw to the older Berlin apartment.
but just for the sake of discussion and to have more accurate comparison,
Id like to know how old the Berlin apartment is, how much per square meter, how far it is to the nearest CBD?

This might be unnecessary but I checked anyway- Berlin costs compared to Mandaluyong

121416

numbeo
 

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And that brings me to my other concern: I find, the developments are not meeting the demand of the people who would benefit from it. Where are the apartment buildings that are really affordable for people? Let's say a 100sqm 3 bedroom for like 15-20k?
They are in towns or cities adjacent to Metro Manila. Many call center agents, executives, self employed professionals, employees based/working in Makati, BGC even as far as Quezon City bought their house and lot in Laguna, Cavite, Rizal or Bulacan, at least for the lower middle to upper middle class who rather drive everyday in traffic than to live in shoeboxes near their workplace (since their house's price can only buy a small condo in the CBD).

15-20k will likely be not enough for a 100sqm 3 bedroom house
Adjust the budget to at least 35K
These are new builds:
121459


Little background: I lived and studied in Singapore before and we learned a lot about the social housing there. Ok, I know, Singapore is Singapore and not the Philippines. But I liked their idea about social housing that is doable for a large part of the population.
Philippines has a socialized housing crisis.
In a 2016 study by the University of Asia and the Pacific, the Philippine government housing backlog could reach 12 million in the next decade, including the backlog of over 6 million units from 2001 to 2015. While the Philippine real estate market has been booming (since recovering from the Asian Financial Crisis 1997 and global recession 2008-2009), it had a surplus of up to half million units in mid-range and high-end housing in 2015, and the gap for socialized, economic, low and even free housing was more than 11 times than that number, which is around 6.67 million units. SENATOR ANGARA: ACT TO AVERT HOUSING CRISIS
The government has been seeking support and cooperation from private developers but the progress is still slow.

Yes, Amaia, DMCI, SMDC, they are all private companies and they need to earn. Fine, no problem at all with me. But they "always" build those condos with the mentioned parks. I would bet there is a huge market for people who do not need that but just a safe and clean roof above their heads.
These are the people under served by the real estate developers as stated above.

But the developers rather build for the middle to upper class as there is not much profit in the people who just need "a safe and clean roof above their heads". It is a sad reality.

Filipino middle class spends a large part of their income on education.
There is 15 million Filipinos that are middle class, 1 million in upper income and 360K that are wealthy. Filipino Middle Class
In 2018, the Philippines had approximately 24.16 thousand wealthy Filipinos (owning one million U.S. dollars or more).
Statista

Sadly, most of the popular and bigger developers, prefer to do business for the middle to upper class than help build houses that will address the housing needs of the 6 million poor and low income Filipinos (out of the ~58 million).

So, but what happens? The convenient locations (not just CBD!) are used for those pricier projects. And that leads to inequalities.
That's why the savvy investors who are now landlords are happy. People need to live in the CBDs but they cannot afford to buy a condo so they rent. The more locals cannot afford to buy, the better for smart rental investors.

The SM cashier lady or even the accountant in an average firm here cannot easily afford that. Even couples cannot put away 20k for a condo loan.
The couple can, actually. That is if they are willing to buy a rowhouse or townhouse outside Metro Manila that's worth 5k or less per month via PAGIBIG. PAGIBIG vs Bank loan

Cashier/sales lady earning less than 15K per month barely can make ends meet in the city. She can probably buy land from her hometown and build a nipa hut style house. It's not easy.

The biggest problem I see here is not the cost of property per se but how the wages didn't increase much in a level that can catch up with the increase in costs of living and property ownership.

For Filipinos and foreigners who invests here, yes they compare the prices especially if they do not live or not based in Metro Manila but there is more to investing than just comparing the acquisition costs. The most important number to look at is the ROI, the rental yield. For most members in this forum, they buy to get a good yield of their money vs just sitting in the bank, losing its value with inflation.

I know a few investors from Singapore and Malaysia. They bought condos here to lease to expats. I asked them, why Manila? Apartments have lower prices in Malaysia, why Manila? (i looked at KL and nearby cities)
They just say the other locations cant give the same ROI that Manila can generate.
So I asked why is that? They said, its simply because there is not much demand there so their units will just sit vacant for a long time, hard to find a tenant. I know that Malaysia is great choice for expats (so I wonder why it will be hard to find a tenant) but I didn't ask further as I trust that they know what they are talking about; Besides, population-wise, there will surely be more prospect tenants in Metro Manila's 13.9 million people than KL's 7.9 million

Hope this helps solve the puzzle a bit.
 

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They are in towns or cities adjacent to Metro Manila. Many call center agents, executives, self employed professionals, employees based/working in Makati, BGC even as far as Quezon City bought their house and lot in Laguna, Cavite, Rizal or Bulacan, at least for the lower middle to upper middle class who rather drive everyday in traffic than to live in shoeboxes near their workplace (since their house's price can only buy a small condo in the CBD).

View attachment 121459


Philippines has a socialized housing crisis.
In a 2016 study by the University of Asia and the Pacific, the Philippine government housing backlog could reach 12 million in the next decade, including the backlog of over 6 million units from 2001 to 2015. While the Philippine real estate market has been booming (since recovering from the Asian Financial Crisis 1997 and global recession 2008-2009), it had a surplus of up to half million units in mid-range and high-end housing in 2015, and the gap for socialized, economic, low and even free housing was more than 11 times than that number, which is around 6.67 million units. SENATOR ANGARA: ACT TO AVERT HOUSING CRISIS
The government has been seeking unity and cooperation from private developers but the progress is still slow.


These are the people under served by the real estate developers as stated above.

The culture of people in Metro Manila is different.
In 2018, the Philippines had approximately 24.16 thousand wealthy Filipinos (owning one million U.S. dollars or more).
Statista


That's why the savvy investors who are now landlords are happy. People need to live in the CBDs but they cannot afford to buy a condo so they rent. The more locals cannot afford to buy, the better for smart rental investors.

They can actually. That is if they are willing to buy a townhouse outside Metro Manila that's worth 5k per month via PAGIBIG. PAGIBIG vs Bank loan

The biggest problem I see here is not the cost of property per se but how the wages didn't increase much in a level that it can catch up with the increase in costs of living and property ownership.

For Filipinos and foreigners who invests here, yes they compare the prices especially if they do not live or not based in Metro Manila but there is more to investing than just comparing the acquisition costs. The most important number to look at is the ROI, the rental yield. For most members in this forum, they buy to get a good yield of their money vs just sitting in the bank, losing its value with inflation.

I know a few investors from Singapore and Malaysia. They bought condos here to lease to expats. I asked them, why Manila? Apartments have lower prices in Malaysia, why Manila? (i looked at KL and nearby cities)
They just say the other locations cant give the same ROI that Manila can generate.
So I asked why is that? They said, its simply because there is not much demand there so their units will just sit vacant for a long time, hard to find a tenant. I know that Malaysia is great choice for expats (so I wonder why it will be hard to find a tenant) but I didn't ask further as I trust that they know what they are talking about; Besides, population-wise, there will surely be more prospect tenants in Metro Manila's 13.9 million people than KL's 7.9 million

Hope this helps solve the puzzle a bit.
This is so good as an explanation that makes me want to open up a business to fill that gap. Could it be that, that gap is caused by the fact that developers do not trust the buying power of that population?
Or could also be a question of culture? Where since our generations buying power in general is weaker than our parents we tend to live in the houses of our parents/grandparents (this is the situation in Italy for example) and it is widely accepted a cultural norm.

Is there a need to fill that gap? Or is it just a statistical number? Meaning that those people belonging to that gap actually do have a roof of their own (of their family) over their head?
 

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6.67 million housing units needed for poor or low income Filipinos (2019)
121722

http://boi.gov.ph/housing_roadmap

The total poor and low income Filipino households are 11.3 million
121731


assuming the 6.67 million housing units will be for a family household, the remaining 4.63 million poor and low income households probably have their own houses already.

The developers will be paid by PAGIBIG (govt) should they cater to socialized and low income housing. It will be the govt's problem if the borrowers later on cannot or do not pay anymore.

How about the government itself help fill the gap? :(
Data from the Asian Development Bank showed that between 2000 and 2014, the Philippines spent only 0.12 percent of GDP for housing, in stark contrast to the average 0.75 of GDP spent by Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Nepal and Sri Lanka for the sector. https://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2019/0331_angara1.asp
 

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Dear all, I want to get your view and opinion since this topic is burning under my nails for quite a while. I am particularly interested to hear from people who invested in condos and have experience with it. Sorry for the lengthy post, but I finally want to understand the market here.
Short background: I am a German, living in BGC and often wondering to invest in condos in Metro Manila, but so far, some issues have prevented me from that and I finally want to understand it.

I see many interesting developments here, either in BGC, Capitol Commons etc.
However, when I look at the prices as well as the financing of those condos, I wonder (and I mean it):
1. Who can afford to buy that?
2. Who really buys it?
3. Who will be able to rent a condo in the future?

Let's go step by step to explain my questions:

1. When I see the prices of easily 200k per sqm (or even 150k), we are looking at prices of 10mio for 50sqm or even 20mio+ for 100sqm. That is a lot of money. I know, those downpayments are usually relatively low, but what really strikes me are the loan conditions here. Interest rates of 8% seem to be normal.
So le'ts have a little computation
50sqm condo (let's say 1bedroom) for 200k per sqm.
Price: PHP 10,000,000
Interest: 8% => PHP 800,000 per year
Possible rent: 50k?

So for that example, you already pay 66k per month, just for the interest. Isn't that a lot of money? How could you guys afford that? I know it sounds like a funny or silly question, but how many can really pay that from their salaries? Even those simple SMDC condos aren't really cheap, and then you have those high interest rates. And I am surprised those SMDC or Avida condos (or Amaia) are marketed as affordable. I do not find that affordable at all for the average Filipino/Filipina!

2. I am renting a condo in BGC and I would say, that 50% of the apartments in our house are empty, means not rented out. Similar to the neighbor building I am looking at.
So, I understand that many wealthy people from anywhere in the world buy condos and do not really care about it. Ok, point taken. But is that really so often the case? Please educate me here as well.

3. Ok, let's put all the facts from question 1 aside: let's say you are able to finance the condo. But who will rent it later? Yes, the middle class is rising and some well-paid jobs would allow that. But let's keep with my example of the 50sqm condo. I guess you should easily take 50k for rent, right? But who can afford that as well? A couple could live there, yes, but that means still 25k for each of them. And when I see the salaries here, I still wonder who can afford that?

I know, you might mention now, that this is an investment in the future and I also agree that the economy will keep going well and one day the investments are worth it.
But then I want to highlight another confusion I have:

Again, I am German and when I look at property prices in Germany, I am even more shocked about the levels here in Manila. Paying 4-5k USD per sqm is already at the higher end side for Germany. But the fundamental difference is: in Germany, I easily find people who could afford a rent of 50k per month, since the income levels are much higher. And even though I am fascinated and somehow love Manila, I hope everyone would agree that the standard/quality of life (particularly the environment) is much better in German cities.

Lastly, if I am going to buy an apartment in Germany and I also bring around 20% equity, I can get a bank financing with around 1.5%?
Well, yes, we are in the Philippines and the interest rates are higher. Well, but is your salary rising by 6-8% every year? Mine isn't haha.

I hope some experts here could answer me, since I am really excited to find out!
Well, I was in China for 5 years, and in the Capital Beijing, CBD property prices are upward of US$15000-30000 per sqm, and suburbs are US$8000 per sqm. I also asked my Beijing friends “How is a small 70sqm 2BR in suburbs costing US$500000 affordable when the average Chinese earn US$10000 per year?”

My friends told me “Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen are not for every Chinese. There are 1.40b Chinese, and ~50m people in these 3 cities. Properties in these 3 cities are only for the top 3% people of China. The rest can rent bedspace.”

Using my Chinese friend’s logic, Manila is unaffordable for all Filipinos. But there will be enough Filipinos who can afford Manila properties. And there will be enough elite, intelligentsia and foreigners who can afford BGC and Makati.

There are many provincial governors, mayors, officials, businessmen who have property in Manila and their family or at least a few family members will be in Manila because:

1) Best schools are in Manila
2) Best hospitals are in Manila
3) Best jobs are in Manila (May change due to WFH)
4) Best rule of law is in Manila (relative to the provinces)
5) Even the prettiest provincial ladies often like to come to Manila for better prospects

Based on current regulations, Property is the easiest way to recycle money too. Use cash to buy a property, rent out at 6% annually for a few years, sell it off for a profit 5 years later, pay 6% CGT and you get 100% clean money. If you hit the recent bull run, you double your money and get clean money too. Money processing don’t get better than this.

PS: Many politicians and businessmen house their families in Forbes, Dasmarinas, Corinthian Gardens. And then they buy ALP condos to house their mistresses —> housing mistress in a house is dangerous because can be easily trailed to that particular house. But if he is ever trailed to a condo, he can always say “I am visiting a friend”. With hundreds of units in a condo block, impossible to check.
 
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