Looking for accommodation in Manila? Find out how to proceed in this article.
If you are relocating in the Philippines, you will probably be settling in Manila which is the capital city, full of opportunities and bustling with various activities. Amidst all that, finding accommodation will be one of your major concerns. This can be quite difficult at first, but not impossible if you are patient enough and if you know where to start from. In fact, over the years, Manila has managed to attract expatriate families in large numbers.
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Manila is the Philippines' second most densely populated, city after Quezon, with some 2 million inhabitants and around 11 million inhabitants living in the metropolis.
Manila consists of 16 districts, namely: Binondo, Ermita (which is a tourist area), Intramuros (a fort which was built by the Spanish), Malate (another tourist area), Paco, Pandacan, Port Area, Quiapo, Sampaloc, San Andres, San Miguel, San Nicolas, Santa Ana, Santa Cruz, Santa Mesa and finally Tondo (which is known for its slums). Like most capital cities worldwide, Manila can boast about being the country's economic, cultural, educational, religious and sports hub.
As regards expatriates, most of them have settled in the following districts: Ayala, Alabang, Fort Bonifacio, Global City, Ortigas, Mandaluyong, Makati, Manila Bay. Although Makati is not among the most popular regions, it hosts a large number of foreigners, especially due to the presence of its business center, office buildings, embassies, shopping malls, as well as a brand new residential area.
In turn, it consist of several neighborhoods, namely Bel Air, Dasmarinas, Magallanes, North and South Forbes, San Lorenzo and Urdaneta, where you are more likely to find individual houses.
In the following neighborhoods, you are more likely to find condominiums: Fort Bonifacio, Global City (Taguig), Glorietta Mall and Greenbelt Malls (Pasay Road), Legaspi and Salcedo Villages (Ayala Avenue), Rockwell Drive.
You must be very lucky to find accommodation which is both comfortable and affordable at once. In fact, the rent price for a 85 m2 furnished and serviced apartment can reach up to 1,000 euros per month. Note that lease contracts generally have a 1 or 2 years term which is renewable. Moreover, you are required to pay a deposit which is generally equal to two months rent. However, the sum can be negotiated with the owner, even if you go through a real estate agency.
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On signing the lease contract, you will also pay two types of taxes: the value added tax (VAT) at a rate of 12% and the withholding tax at a rate of 5%.
There are several ways of finding accommodation in Manila, namely real estate agencies, relocation companies or on your own. If you are already in the country, you can tour the different neighborhoods or inquire with your friends or contacts regarding vacant housing. Otherwise, you can view housing offers on the Internet.
Make sure to choose housing according to your needs, budget, and other factors such as its proximity to your place of work, to your children's school and other facilities. Moreover, check whether the housing unit is furnished or unfurnished.