Important Factors When Buying a Condo in the Philippines

Everywhere you look in the metro these days, there’s a high-rise residential tower being constructed and promising to open soon. If you are a buyer, you could be overwhelmed by these options, hence, no matter what, you should always consider the following.

1. Location The three most important factors when choosing real estate, as they say, is location, location, location. This is even truer for residential condos since that is their true unique value proposition. It’s more expensive and the space is tighter, but you’re just a short walk or commute away from work and play.

You may limit your search for Metro Manila based properties as most condominium developments is located here. There are condos that are recently ready for occupancy (RFo), under construction, and pre-selling.

Interestingly, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig has the m ost number of condos in development. Not far behind are Makati, Mandaluyong, Manila, and Quezon City. There are also a good number of properties in Alabang in Muntinlupa, Ortigas Center in Pasig, and Paranaque City.


2. Cost per square meter What exactly is a “mid-priced” condo? Experts place the range between P2.5million to P5million. Perhads on an absolute selling price basis, that makes sense. But we can use a different basis.

Property consultants like Colliers International Philippines peg the average land capital value now at Bonifacio Global City, like the Makati CBD, stands at PHP103, 000 to PHP120,000 per sq. m., and is expected to increase between 3% and 4% after a year as of end of 2011.

So PHP103, 000 is the floor for a luxury condo. Mid-price condos there have to sell for less than PHP103, 000 per sqm. For their biggest unit. Anything beyond that is already luxury.

Which location you choose, of course, depends on where you work. The closer you are to the Makati central business district, the more expensive it gets. So Makati and Bonifacio Global City condos, in general, are handsdown the priciest. If you want more affordable digs, try Pasig, Mandaluyong, Alabang, Manila, Paranaque, and Quezon City.


3. Floor Area Space is often a trade-off for location when it comes to condo living, but we still believe the sacrifice shouldn’t be that great. Living in 24sqm unit may be fine for a young single professional, but for a couple or, worse, a family, we think a floor area of at least 80sqm should be a requirement. Anything less than that, regardless of the number of bedrooms and selling price, is too tight for our taste. So you can set as another criterion when choosing a condo a 80sqm and above as the available floor area to be considered a best value condo.

The number of bedrooms is a secondary factor, since you can have a three-bedroom unit and be packed like sardines. We think floor area is a more critical concern. But you can use the number of bedrooms when comparing apples to apples. How much space do youget and for how much for a 2bedroom condo ? One property may have bigger space but a higher selling price. Another may seem cheap but is a lot tighter. The bargains are, of course, the spacious area with a reasonable price.


4. Availability We like to know when a condo property is ready for occupancy (the jargon is RFO). A lot of people got burned after the Asian financial crisis in the late 90′s when pre-selling condos ended up unfinished (some even up to today). and they were left holding an empty bag.

Properties already or soon to be RFO are most likely sold out. That means you can no longer buy a unit. Sure, there is the secondaly market, but you’ll be paying higher prices. You don’t want that.

You want to buy at pre-selling prices, since they are lower. You also want to take advantage of rising property values by buying early. If you’re getting a unit as an investment, you can sell with a fatter profit later on, since you’re working on a lower purchase price. If you plan to rent it out, you also get a lower mortgage and are able to cover more of your monthly amortization from rent. You also build equity faster since your’e starting at a lower cost.

Sure, there’s always a risk with buying during pre-selling. The economy nowadays is slowing, and we don’t know how things will turn out with the impending recessions worldwide and our national elections next year. But that’s why we have another criterion.


5. Developer There are fly-by-night property developers or this with a track record that we wouldn’t consider yet to be impressive or reliable. But there are those with a reputation that is impeccable. They’ve been through boom and bust real estate cycles and they’re not just standing, they’re flourishing.

You may also consider a few relatively new comers if only because of the people behind them, whose busines acumen has been proven.


please check out the list of avida units on

Happy Condo Hunting!

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3 thoughts on “Important Factors When Buying a Condo in the Philippines

  1. Sheila says:

    Hello! Couldn’t agree more with the points that are stated above, especially getting to know more about the developers of a certain condo unit. With the cutthroat tactics of real estate companies, looking for a reliable developer is definitely a tough work especially for someone who is new to buying condo units. Thanks for sharing an informative article about the factors :)

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