apartments in Manila
Updated 4 months ago

Looking for accommodation in Manila? Find out how to proceed in this article.

If you are relocating to the Philippines and are looking Manila, rest assured: Manila is full of opportunities and bustling with various activities. Finding an accommodation will be one of your major concerns upon relocating. This can be quite difficult at first, but not impossible if you are patient enough and if you know where to start. In fact, over the years, Manila has managed to attract expatriate families in large numbers.

 Good to know:

Manila is the Philippines' most densely populated city according to the latest census.


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 (known for its slums). Like most capital cities worldwide, Manila can boast about being the country's economic, cultural, educational, religious, and sports hub.

It consists of several neighbourhoods, namely Bel Air, Dasmarinas, Magallanes, North and South Forbes, San Lorenzo and Urdaneta, where you are more likely to find individual houses.

There will be plenty of condominiums in Metro Manila but the following are said to be the top residential areas for expatriates:

 Good to know:

Makati ranked as the 5th safest city in Southeast Asia based on a 2018 report by Numbeo, an online database that provides information about the living conditions in countries around the world.

Rent prices

You must be very lucky to find accommodation that is both comfortable and affordable at once. In fact, the rent price for an 85m2 furnished and serviced apartment can reach up to 1,000 euros per month. Note that lease contracts generally have a 1-year 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.

 Good to know:

Either a 12% Value Added Tax (VAT) or 3% percentage tax is imposed on residential property leases under certain conditions and this is generally shouldered by the tenants. If your monthly rental payment is below PHP12,800 ($272) you are exempt for VAT.

Find an accommodation in Manila

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 neighbourhoods or inquire with your friends or contacts regarding vacant housing. Otherwise, you can view housing offers online starting with the major real estate developers in the country to ensure you’re doing business with a trusted party.

It’s important 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. It’s also important to assess the neighbourhood i.e. that it’s away from any fault lines which can put you and your family at risk for earthquakes. Make sure to check whether the unit is furnished or unfurnished. My Property PH contains useful information regarding the different property profiles of Philippine cities.

 Useful links:

My Property PH
OLX Philippines

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.