houses in the Philippines
Updated last year

Looking for accommodation in the Philippines? Here are some tips on the rental market and lease conditions.

Relocating to a foreign country means finding accommodation. The Philippines hosts a range of accommodation options from which you can choose according to your needs and budget. But before proceeding, it is best to be aware of conditions related to renting a house or an apartment. You should also decide in which region you would prefer to settle, depending on different factors such as proximity to your workplace, availability of transport, and other facilities and services, etc.

Real estate market

The following are the country's 10 most densely populated cities:

  • Manila
  • Mandaluyong
  • Caloocan
  • Makati
  • Malabon
  • Pasay
  • Navotas
  • San Juan
  • Marikina
  • Las Piñas

The cities above are all located in the National Capital Region and the capital city Manila remains number one with a population of 1.7 million based on the 2015 census.

There is an influx of condominium completions in major business districts in the Philippines such as Manila, Cebu, and Davao. Townships, or satellite communities, are also being developed outside the densely populated capital namely Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, Pampanga and again, Cebu and Davao, in order to provide a better value proposition of live-work play-shop lifestyle.

The following major players dominate the Philippine real estate market:

  • Ayala Land, Inc.
  • DMCI Homes
  • SM Prime Holdings
  • Megaworld Corporation
  • Filinvest Land, Inc.
  • Vista Land & Landscapes, Inc.
  • Robinsons Land Corporation
  • Federal Land, Inc.
  • Shang Properties
  • Century Properties Group Inc.

Find an accommodation

Before coming to the Philippines, we suggest that you visit the websites of the real estate developers listed above and check the properties available filtered by location. However, you are more likely to find expensive condominiums and apartments in the major cities. In the countryside, it is easier to find affordable housing in a lush green environment, especially if you are moving there with your family.


Make sure to opt for secure housing, especially in major cities, due to the particularly high crime rate in the country. Unfortunately, poverty is still part of the local reality.


Do not sign any lease document until it has been verified and approved by a real estate lawyer. In fact, local lease documents can be quite meandering for foreigners who are not yet acquainted with the country and the local people's way of doing things. Feel free to ask your colleagues or contacts whether they can recommend any real estate lawyer.

Asia Property HQ has listed the following top real estate agencies in the country:

  • Phil Property Expert, Inc.
  • Marsh Real Estate Agency
  • KMC Savills, Inc.
  • Colliers International Philippines
  • JLL Philippines
  • Top Realty
  • Santos Knight Frank
  • RE/MAX Philippines
  • Sotheby's International Realty Philippines
  • CBRE Philippines

Once you have found accommodation, make sure to visit the premises and take pictures of any present damage as proof. Thus, the owner cannot refuse to refund your deposit when you vacate the property.

As regards the lease duration, it usually has a one-year term, which is renewable. Hence, the owner will assume that you wish to renew the lease for an additional year if you have not given him at least a month's notice prior to the end of your lease. In remote provinces, on the other hand, owners generally practice oral lease contracts. Therefore, there is no formal lease document and no guarantor is required.

Rent prices

In general, you are required to make a deposit, which is equal to one or two months rent. Nevertheless, the amount can be negotiated before signing the lease document. But in case you have chosen a modern and luxurious housing unit, do not be surprised when the owner request for an advance payment of one year's rent. This can be settled through a post-dated check.

Finally, you are authorized to deduct any repair costs from your monthly rent if the owner has not fulfilled your request.

Useful links:

Asia Property HQ
Ayala Land
JLL Philippines
Rental Property Law 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.