Investing in the Philippines is generally a good bet. The country’s economy is growing rapidly and as is its population of educated, English-speaking professionals. Thanks to these factors, foreign investors have taken a renewed interest in this island nation.
On top of that, real estate in the country is relatively cheap – even by Southeast Asian standards. Buyers can find entire houses in upscale communities for less than USD$500,000.
It’s no wonder, then, why foreign investors have flocked to the Philippines as a frontier market for property. Its economy is booming, but prices there are still astoundingly cheap.
As a result of rising interest in Philippine real estate, an increasing number of developers have built new projects in the country. Not all of them are equal though. Low-quality developers may present issues like delays and structural problems, which can undermine any investment.
Therefore, when purchasing real estate in the Philippines, choosing the right company to buy from is key.
Philippine developers worth doing business with must have a substantial number of successful projects under their belts. They should also have high marks from customers and real estate professionals.
The following companies meet or exceed these criteria to be among the top 10 Philippine property developers.
Ayala Land is the main planner behind one of Manila’s most desirable neighborhoods: Bonifacio Global City (BGC).
Ayala Land, Inc., is one of the Philippines’ largest and most established property developers.
The company has over 150 years of experience in real estate. It has also consistently ranked among the Philippines’ top developers, winning awards from major organizations like Frost & Sullivan.
It’s also the company behind one of the country’s most expansive planned communities – Bonifacio Global City. Ayala also developed many parts of Makati, which is Manila’s business and financial center.
Today, Ayala Land has a wide variety of real estate projects in its portfolio. These range from resorts and malls to residential developments, which offer buyers plenty of options in terms of pricing.
A condo at Anvaya Cove in Morong costs less than $150,000 while a house at the Courtyards is more than $400,000.
Since its founding in 1994, Megaworld Corporation has successfully completed over 250 real estate developments in the Philippines.
Like Ayala, Megaworld has finished a variety of commercial and residential projects, including the Forbes Town Center and McKinley Hill. The company primarily operates in Metro Manila, but it also has a presence in both Cebu City and Davao.
Megaworld also has its fair share of awards and accolades. PropertyGuru Philippines has given its Best Developer Award to the company on several occasions. Additionally, at its 2017 Philippines Property Awards, it nominated Megaworld in a whopping 25 categories.
While Megaworld has shifted its focus to large-scale commercial and township developments, it still has many residential offerings. Condos at the San Antonio Residences in Makati go for less than $100,000. Luxury condos at The Florence Taguig cost just under $150,000.
Megaworld is most famous because of its malls. They also build a wide variety of condos, mixed-use projects, and housing developments in the Philippines though.
SM Prime Holdings
In terms of revenue, SM Prime Holdings is one of the largest developers in the Philippines. The company earns more than $400 million annually from its real estate assets, and it continues to grow.
SM Prime’s main area of business is building and managing shopping malls both at home and in countries like China. The company also develops and manages offices, convention centers, and hotels.
Its residential development subsidiary, SM Development Corporation, is somewhat less established with just over 20 projects completed. However, given the company’s impressive track record in other real estate sectors, it has certainly earned its place on this list.
Since SM Prime has only recently ventured into the residential sphere, its options are fewer than its competitors. The company primarily owns mid to high-rise condo buildings, but it is currently constructing larger housing projects.
Filinvest Land is one of the Philippines’ most established developers. Its parent company, Filinvest Development Corporation, emerged in 1955. Since then, it has built a variety of commercial, residential, and leisure properties throughout the Philippines.
Like others on this list, the company is also financially sound. It’s consistently profitable, and it has plenty of new projects in the works, such as Studio City.
Filinvest is best known for its mid-market developments, such as Alta Vida. At this development in San Rafael, buyers can find houses for less than $100,000. However, the company has recently expanded into luxury projects like Brentville International Community.
Buying a condo built by Filinvest might be a good choice if you’re looking for a budget property in the Philippines.
As it approaches its 50th anniversary, Federal Land has become one of the best-known property developers in the Philippines. In fact, the company is most famous for its role in building the GT Tower in Makati.
This firm is also one of the most financially well-off developers on this list. In addition to its many successful projects, it is a member of GT Capital Holdings and a partner of Metrogroup.
In general, Federal Land’s residential properties tend to cater to wealthy Filipinos and foreign investors. Some of its best condo developments include the Grand Hyatt Residences and the Marco Polo Residences.
A typical Federal Land unit will cost upwards of $100,000, which is expensive by Philippine standards.
Founded in 1954, DMCI Homes is now one of the largest developers in Metro Manila. The company ranks among the World’s Top 1000 Corporations, and ZipMatch lists it as the Philippines’ top developer.
Unlike some of its competitors, DMCI Homes’ bread and butter is residential properties. The company has erected more than 30 projects in Metro Manila with even more in the works.
DMCI has also developed other successful properties, including hotels and casinos. It also built some of Makati’s most notable high rises, including the Philippine Stock Exchange Plaza.
On the residential side, DMCI is best known for its affordable condos throughout Metro Manila. Many of the company’s units cost well under $100,000. The company has only recently begun to expand into housing and luxury developments.
Robinsons Land Corp.
Buyers looking for reliability should turn to Robinsons Land Corp. The company has completed more than 140 projects since its inception in 1980, and it continues to produce excellent work.
Currently, the company’s portfolio includes a variety of residential, commercial, and other buildings. Its projects have also won awards for sustainability, interior design, and overall quality.
Robinsons’ units range from mid-level to luxury. More affordable units often cost under $50,000. Luxury developments, such as the Trion Towers, will have options that cost more than $100,000.
Although the company has developed plenty of condo buildings, its focus appears to be shifting toward commercial properties. Currently, Robinsons does not have any new residential projects in progress.
Rockwell Land pioneered the “city within a city” concept that defines Manila’s real estate landscape today.
In the 1990s, the company developed Rockwell Center – a “mini-city” on the site of a former power plant. This development quickly became popular among foreigners and Filipinos, and it launched a new trend of comprehensive real estate developments.
Today, Rockwell Land is best known for its luxury real estate. Most of its projects are within Metro Manila, but it has a presence in other major cities like Cebu.
As a high-end developer, most of Rockwell’s properties are expensive by Philippine standards. A townhome at 205 Santolan costs nearly $500,000. The company’s more affordable options, such as The Grove, still cost over $100,000.
Rockwell Center is one of the Philippines’ first mixed-use developments, and still among its most famous.
Founded in 1986, Century Properties is relatively young compared to others on this list. However, in the past three decades, it has become one of the best residential developers in the country. In fact, during the 2010s, Century’s profits nearly doubled.
The company is headquartered in Manila, and the vast majority of its buildings lie within the city. However, the company has begun to expand to areas such as Batangas.
Though it has a handful of other projects, Century Properties specializes in high-rise condo buildings.
Most these developments are luxury units, which can cost upwards of $100,000. Yet Century does offer some affordable, mid-level housing at Commonwealth and Acqua Private Residences.
Shang Properties is owned by the Kuok Group – the Singaporean real estate firm behind the Shangri-La hotel chain. As such, most Filipinos know Shang Properties as the company that brought the Shangri-La to their country.
In recent years, Shang Properties has shifted its focus from hotels to residential real estate. It primarily builds high-rise luxury condos in prime locations, keeping in line with the Shangri-La brand.
A standard condo at One Shangri-La Place in Metro Manila will thus cost at least $100,000. Other properties, such as Shang Salcedo Place, have slightly lower prices, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a Shang property for less than $90,000.
Currently, Shang Properties plans to continue to expand into the residential market with even more projects on the horizon.
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