FOREIGN OWNERSHIP GUIDE
How easy is the property purchase process in the Philippines?
Foreign nationals cannot own land, but can own condominium units or apartments in high-rise buildings as long as the foreign proportion does not exceed 40%. They can also buy a house but not the land on which it is built. Leases on land up to 50 years, renewable for another 25 years, are available.
If a foreigner is keen on acquiring land, there are several options. One, if married to a Filipino citizen, is to have the ownership of the land under the Filipino’s name. Another option is to acquire land through a corporation. Corporations can only be, at the maximum, 40% foreign-owned.
When buying new property, it is important to look for properties backed by established developers and licensed real estate agents/ brokers, especially in cases of off-plan or pre-selling (the property is at the planning stages and non-existent during the time of the sale).
In general, property can be acquired by simple agreement. After deciding what property to buy as well as inspecting the premises and documents, the buyer usually signs a binding notarized Deed of Sale. Employing the services of a reputable sales agent is convenient because they not only provide vital information regarding the transaction and property, but also assist the buyer in getting mortgage loans.
A downpayment of 0%-30% is usually required. Ownership of condominium units is evidenced by the Condominium Certificate of Title (CCT) but the transfer of title is usually not executed until the property is fully paid. Foreigners can own up to 40% of a condominium project.
Holders of Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV), a non-immigrant resident visa, can get additional benefits aside from being allowed to buy a condo unit or lease a parcel of land or a house and lot. The SRRV holders can reside in the Philippines permanently, with multiple-entry privileges and zero travel taxes.