Why Now is The Best Time for OFWs to Enter The Real Estate Investment Market


In today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving world, the landscape of investment opportunities is constantly shifting. For Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), the desire to secure a brighter and more stable financial future for themselves and their families is a common aspiration. Amidst the numerous investment avenues available, the real estate sector has emerged in recent years as a particularly promising prospect. As we delve into the dynamics of the real estate market and its current climate, it becomes evident that now, more than ever, is the opportune moment for OFWs to step into this thriving arena. This article explores the compelling reasons behind this golden opportunity, shedding light on the myriad advantages that make real estate investment an astute choice for our hardworking and dedicated overseas Filipino community.

Owning a Place to Call Your Own

For many Filipinos, the dream of owning a home remains elusive, primarily due to the financial challenges and risks associated with property purchases, especially in urban areas, such as Metro Manila, close to their workplaces. As reported by Business Mirror, the cost of homes often places a significant burden on monthly budgets. This predicament, however, is where Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) find themselves in an advantageous position. With their comparatively higher salaries and increased savings potential, OFWs are better positioned to realize this dream and be real estate investors. Picture this: stepping off a plane at Ninoy Aquino International Airport and going straight to your very own home. The emotional and psychological benefits of homeownership extend far beyond the practicality of having a place to live.

Real Estate: A Time-Tested Investment

While many OFWs have already achieved the milestone of homeownership, it’s crucial to recognize that owning a property doesn’t mean you should immediately divert your attention to stocks or other investment avenues. In fact, real estate remains one of the most reliable and secure assets and investment portfolio available. Consider this: the property value of the tangible asset you own today has the potential to appreciate significantly over time, given the steady growth in population and the unchanging supply of habitable land. In essence, the demand for shelter is a constant, and this inherent human need makes real estate a lucrative long-term investment.

It’s important to note that the success of a real estate investment largely hinges on its location. Urban centers and central business districts in the Philippines command some of the most valuable real estate. This is primarily because these areas are well-equipped with essential amenities, efficient transportation networks, bustling commercial and retail hubs, and are preferred locations for numerous companies. If you’re fortunate enough to own a property within or near these districts, you have a distinct advantage. Such locations offer lucrative opportunities for renting or leasing your property to employees who seek the convenience of a short commute to and from work. Investing in properties within these sought-after areas can provide a steady stream of income (such as rental income), making your investment even more rewarding. In essence, the right location can significantly enhance the return on equity of your real estate property, making it a wise choice for OFWs looking to secure their financial future.

Why OFWs are Primed for Property Investment

1. Currency Exchange Opportunities

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) find themselves in a unique and advantageous position when it comes to property investment. Their earnings are frequently tied to foreign currencies, such as the US dollar or the Euro. When these currencies gain strength against the Philippine peso, OFWs can reap a significant financial benefit when converting their earnings. Presently, the US dollar is trading well above P56, and the Euro is valued at approximately P60. Savvy OFWs and investors can capitalize on these favorable exchange rates, enabling them to afford some of the most attractive properties in the Philippines.

2. Exclusive Home Purchase Programs

Working abroad not only provides OFWs with access to valuable foreign exchange rates but also makes them eligible for special home purchase programs tailored to their unique needs. These programs acknowledge the vital role OFWs play in the Philippines’ economic growth. In fact, OFWs contributed a staggering $36.44 billion in remittances last year, representing nearly 10% of the country’s GDP. As a gesture of gratitude, the government has rolled out the proverbial red carpet for OFWs, offering incentives and opportunities to invest their hard-earned money in the form of property purchases. This support not only eases the financial burden but also streamlines the process, making property investment more accessible and rewarding for OFWs. With the government’s support and the financial leverage provided by favorable currency exchange rates, OFWs are indeed in a prime position to embark on their property investment journey.

Home Loan Programs for OFWs: Government and Banking Options

Government Assistance: Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF)

At the forefront of government support for aspiring homeowners, the Home Development Mutual Fund, commonly known as Pag-IBIG Fund, plays a pivotal role. This government housing department offers affordable loans to homebuyers, including OFWs. A particularly attractive feature is that as long as an OFW has been contributing for at least 24 months, they become eligible for low-cost and long-term housing loans. This makes it significantly easier for OFWs to realize their house and property investment dreams. The HDMF is designed to make homeownership accessible to a broad spectrum of Filipinos, with tailored benefits for OFWs.

SSS: Bridging the Housing Gap

In addition to Pag-IBIG Fund, the government’s Social Security System (SSS) is another valuable resource for OFWs seeking financing for their property investments. The SSS offers direct loans to OFWs, with a specific focus on low-cost housing or socialized housing programs. To further ease the process, the SSS collaborates with partner banks in foreign countries where OFWs are employed, allowing borrowers to conveniently get funds to pay their monthly mortgages.

Banking Institutions: Competitive Rates and Terms

Apart from government-backed loan programs, OFWs can explore various options by local Philippine banks. These institutions are keen to offer special rates and more affordable terms to OFWs, recognizing their potential as a significant customer base. OFWs have the choice to navigate this landscape in two ways: the traditional method, where they approach individual banks to inquire about rates and OFW promotions, or the more convenient route of using a property tech platform. The latter option simplifies the process, allowing interested parties to call a hotline and receive up-to-date information on rates and offerings from various banks. This convenience empowers OFWs to make informed decisions and secure the best financing options for their property investment journey. Whether through government agencies or banking institutions, the resources available for OFWs to venture into the real estate local market are abundant and accommodating, making this the ideal time for them to seize the opportunity.

Present State of Philippines Real Estate Market

Resilient Demand: Colliers’ Insights

As of the second quarter of 2023, the Philippines’ local property market has displayed remarkable resilience and consistent growth. According to Colliers’ Q2 2023 Residential Property Market Report, the demand for real estate properties in the Philippines continues to climb steadily. This upward trajectory is driven by the recovery of businesses to their pre-COVID operational pace, resulting in an increased demand for both office buildings and nearby residential properties. The signs are clear – the local property market is poised for a substantial rebound. In fact, Colliers anticipates a significant resurgence in the real estate property market in 2024, underlining the favorable prospects for property investments.

Rising Property Prices: A Positive Indicator

In addition to the resilient demand, the Philippines is witnessing an upward trend in housing prices. Colliers forecasts a 3.3% increase in housing prices later this year, primarily attributed to the rising demand stemming from the recovery of business activities and a boost in consumer confidence. This increase in property values underscores the favorable climate for property investments. For OFWs who might still be contemplating their entry into the property market, the time to act may be sooner rather than later. The potential for higher price of property or price appreciation, coupled with the overall market positivity, suggests that now is an opportune moment for OFWs to seriously consider the advantages of real estate investments. The real estate market in the Philippines is showing strong signs of resilience and growth, and OFWs stand to benefit from this promising landscape of asset itself.

As we’ve explored the compelling reasons why now is the perfect time for OFWs to venture into the real estate investment market, one name stands out for providing affordable condominiums in Philippines: Asterra. With a commitment to delivering the best value for money, Asterra offers a wide range of condo for sale in Philippines that cater to the unique needs and aspirations of OFWs. Our condominiums not only present an exceptional condo investment opportunity but also an enticing option for those seeking affordable, high-quality properties in the heart of the Philippines. As the real estate market thrives and offers promising prospects, Asterra is ready to help OFWs seize the opportunity to secure their financial future and own a piece of this vibrant market. With Asterra, your journey towards becoming a condo owner in the Philippines becomes a reality, marking a wise and rewarding investment choice.

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