The beginning of 2020 for the Philippines has been marked by a series of unexpected disasters that continue to affect the national economy. Despite the impact of the coronavirus-2019 (Covid-19) pandemic and downturn in international and national stock markets, the Philippine real estate industry remains optimistic. There are not too many places like the Philippines where to invest your money. There is a saying: “Do not wait to invest in real estate. Invest in real estate and wait” this is even more relevant in the country.
Our team has had the opportunity to talk with our real estate partner in the Philippines to give us insights about real estate in the archipelago. Italpinas Development Corporation has been establish by Arch. Romolo V. Nati, an Italian architect and Atty. Jose D. Leviste, III, a Filipino lawyer. Italpinas is a design driven developer of sustainable properties focused on emerging cities in the country. With their unique design philosophy, Italpinas is committed to sustainable developments in harmony with the environment to bring value to investors, end-users, and the community.
We asked Mr. Romolo Nati’s opinion about why foreigners must choose to invest in real estate in the Philippines? He replied: “For several reasons, just to name a few: Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia and in the world. They have big and young population, roughly they are 114 million and half of them are below 24 years old. The Philippines is an English speaking country so it is easy to communicate with them, people are also friendly and they offer a lot of opportunities in many industries”.
After a few years residing in the Philippines, in 2009 Mr. Nati open its business in the Philippines because he and his partner saw the opportunity of developing green buildings in emerging cities. They wanted to build their own niche and they did. They are the first real estate company that designs and develops green buildings in Cagayan De Oro and Batangas. Their green buildings (certified by EDGE, the green rating system developed by the World Bank) are also affordable in terms of prices. On top of that they deliver buildings with unique modern Italian design. All their projects have been awarded by the International Property Award (IPAX) which is one of the most prestigious award for real estate companies. They are also the only Italian-Filipino real estate company in the country to be listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange.
Being in the industry for more than a decade we grab the opportunity to ask him advices on buying properties in the Philippines. He replied: “Foreigners can only own up to 40% of land, so the best thing to do is to set up a company with a Filipino partner(s) and buy properties in the name of your company. When the location has been decided, an extensive and deep legal and technical due diligence must be done before proceed to final acquisition.” He also added that the Philippines is the place where everyone can see their investment growing through time if you invest in real estate. The real estate appreciation has been constantly growing and it will keep growing more and more in the next future. Leasing is also an opportunity to create a passive income by the time the price of your investment increase.
Overall the Philippine economy’s upward growth trajectory being encourage also by massive public infrastructure spending. The government spending-backed economic growth should further stoke the property sector. For this the real estate sector remain in the top as an investment destination.
Glyndel Rodrigo, Tax and Legal Consultant at Kelmer Philippines.
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