Top Growing Cities in the Visayas and Mindanao


There are emerging locations in Greater Manila Area (GMA) and regional areas nationwide, but if you’re leaning particularly towards the Visayas and Mindanao Island, there are various cities in these beautiful regions of the Philippines that are experiencing tremendous economic growth.

This makes them the top locations for aspiring investors looking to diversify their portfolio or try real estate investing for the first time.

In this blog, discover the major cities in Visayas and administrative regions in Mindanao that are enjoying rapid urbanization, infrastructure development, and booming tourism, among many others.

If you’re into compact living, we’ll also touch on vertical homes which are also offered in these various strategic areas.

Visayas and Mindanao: More than Being Home to Top Tourist Attractions

When Manilenos talk about Mindanao or the Visayas, the first thing that comes to mind is tourist attractions. That’s what really makes these cities among the best growing ones.

But more than the awesome tourist spots, these Mindanao and Visayas cities offer great economic opportunities that attract investors. With the list above, you might want to consider living in the Visayas or Mindanao islands or invest in properties at areas posed for growth.

Aside from their vastly underexplored beauty, the land area of these regions is much bigger than that of Metro Manila. Moreover, the cost of living is much cheaper, even in the capital city.

When you choose to settle in these places, you get to experience the country’s rich cultural heritage and a more relaxed urban life. Compared to the bustling city, life in the Visayas and Mindanao is much more peaceful. And if you’re an investor, you can explore business opportunities that have yet to tap into their markets.

Not only will this benefit you with peaceful and practical living, but the locals of these cities will also be rewarded with opportunities and increased tourism.

Top Booming Cities in Visayas

Let’s begin our exploration of the best cities beyond Metro Manila and Luzon in the Visayas region, where relocating in these areas serve as a worthwhile and practical solution to escaping from the air, noise, and people pollution of the nation’s capital.

Cebu City, Cebu

After Boracay Island and Puerto Princesa City in Palawan, Cebu City is without a doubt among the best and most popular tourist destinations for international visitors who want to witness the perfect balance between provincial living and a growing cityscape.

Cebu City is also among the wealthiest cities outside Metro Manila, while Cebu province has been consistently hailed as the richest province in the entire Philippines. These are all testaments to Cebu’s (both the city and the entire province) massive economic growth, which are particularly attractive for investors.

Iloilo City, Iloilo

Nestled in the heart of the Visayas region is Iloilo City, also known as the City of Love and Heart of the Philippines. Its ever-growing local economy is fueled by industries such as agribusiness, fisheries, manufacturing, and tourism. Iloilo’s capital city is quickly emerging as a dynamic urban center.

It’s not difficult to know why: the city’s accessible location, top-class infrastructure, and burgeoning business environment have consistently attracted investments, not least of which are investments coming from real estate properties, from value-packed condominiums to commercial buildings. Iloilo City is simply an excellent location complemented with its rich cultural heritage and the sweet hospitality that Ilonggos are very known for.

Bacolod City, Negros Occidental

In the picturesque province of Negros Occidental is the proverbial City of Smiles, attributed to its world-famous MassKara Festival celebrated monthlong every October. It is also known for its colorful culture, friendly locals, open greens, and delectable cuisine and delicacies such as Chicken Inasal, piaya, Napoleones, and guapple pie.

Bacolod City radiates an irresistible charm that draws in visitors and residents alike, making it among the most livable cities not only in the province but in the country altogether. It’s a city experiencing phenomenal growth and potential with agriculture, business process outsourcing, industry, and local tourism driving its booming economy forward.

Top Booming Cities in Mindanao

The following are the best and booming cities in the southern region in the Philippines for those looking to invest in their first home or investment property:

Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental

Cagayan de Oro City boasts a plethora of natural resources as well as a vibrant population in well-organized settlements. It is the happiest land in the country. The “City of Golden Friendship,” as it is often known, is home to very friendly people and loving Filipinos. You can experience this province with peaceful life because of the people here.

Retirement home owners, visitors, and even residents consider Cagayan de Oro in North Mindanao to be a secure neighborhood. Kagay-anon, the natives, are renowned for their kindness and hospitality. Because of its geographic location, it is economically ideal for shipping commodities and productions to surrounding cities like Opol and Tagoloan. The city’s economy is heavily dependent on trade, tourism, services, and other commercial activities, making it a growing economic center in Mindanao.

General Santos City, South Cotabato

It’s a lovely and peaceful area to live. GenSan, as it is more fondly called, is a highly urbanized city with buildings including shops, hospitals, schools, and other organizations. You don’t have to worry about this because the city is one of the calm places to enjoy, and they also have mountains and beaches. This South Cotabato community is quiet yet progressive, so investing in real estate might help you become financially comfortable over time.

Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur

Due to the strong Hispanic presence, Zamboanga is frequently referred to as Asia’s Latin City and is located in the southernmost region of the Philippine archipelago. The only Spanish-based creole in Asia, Chavacano (or Chabacano), is its most prevalent language and best illustrates this. It sounds like a mashup of Spanish and the regional tongues, and it’s extremely interesting. With its antique buildings and vivid vintas, Zamboanga City is one of the nation’s most energetic cities.

Moreover, this city is a fantastic area to live, with residents who are very welcoming and a wealth of culture. Zamboanga city is a great destination if you enjoy seafood, fresh veggies, and scenic surroundings. You have a mountain inside a city. Zamboanga is a perfect combination of rural and urban regions.

Butuan City, Agusan del Norte

Once known as the Rajahnate of Butuan from 1001 until 1521, Butuan City boasts a rich history that dates back to ancient times. It is particularly renowned for its skilled craftsmanship in boat-making and its abundant gold reserves. In fact, it was here that the legendary Butuan Balangay Boats, considered among the greatest in Philippine maritime history, were crafted.

Fast forward to 2024, Butuan City is in its most economically prosperous being the center of commercial and industrial activities in the province. It is also being visited by local and international tourists in droves because of its astonishing heritage and cultural legacy, from Magellan’s Anchorage and captivating exhibits at the National Museum of Butuan to nature trips in Agusan River to Lake Mainit.

Iligan City, Lanao del Norte

Iligan City presents itself as a promising location for those seeking to start a new life. With its stunning natural attractions like Tinago Falls and Maria Cristina Falls, and historical sites such as Macaraeg-Macapagal Ancestral House, both residents and tourists can enjoy them all for leisure and exploration.

Besides that, the city does not fall short on modern-living amenities such as relative proximity to shopping centers, supermarkets, and neighborhood eateries or carinderia. But what truly sets and separates Iligan City apart goes beyond its natural beauty and infrastructure development. It’s most importantly the hospitable and warm people!

Davao City, Davao del Sur

The most populous city in Mindanao is likewise boasted as one of the safest to live in the region and the entire Philippines at large. This easily makes it an excellent option for anyone seeking for a new location as their personal sanctuary to call home. Davao city has a low crime rate, which is a huge plus and a desirable option for families who rightfully prioritize safety and security in a community.

Tourism, Business, and Real Estate in Southern Philippines

The island group of Visayas and Mindanao are collectively growing even better than ever in terms of tourism, business, and real estate investments, giving the best value for money among investors. The tourism side continues to provide livelihood and economic growth for their pristine beaches, crowd-drawing festivals, and rich multicultural heritage.

Meanwhile, the business landscape in these progressive regions consistently thrives with vast opportunities in agribusiness, BPO firms, manufacturing, tourism-related ventures, and more, all of which are influenced by their strategic location, growing discomfort living in overcrowded and overly polluted places, and efforts to decongest imperial Manila.

Finally, real estate proves to be one key driver of these islands’ growth as well, with more and more developers and investors being lured to build and/or invest in properties ranging from beachfront resorts to urban condominiums with thoughtfully designed spaces.

Blending its natural magnificence, economic employment, and practical investment potentialities, and growing local real estate scene, Visayas and Mindanao are expected to attract more travelers, businesspeople, and property seekers actively searching for a starter home.

Asterra is among the newest condominium brands to grace the local real estate market, offering compact spaces at cost-effective rates and high-quality amenities, including a gym, round-the-clock security, community lounge, playground, sports court, tranquil landscapes, and pool area.

It is ideal for people from diverse age groups, from millennials and young professionals to overseas Filipinos and retirees looking for a convenient and comfortable residence minus the hassles of property upkeep and inaccessibility from essential establishments. Get in touch for your condo property investment inquiries today!

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