Accommodation in Davao

life in Davao
Updated 2023-07-10 09:48

Davao is an established metropolitan area with its capital, Davao City, catching up to the main Philippine cities in the north in terms of public services, economy, and quality of life. The city is home to a population of 1,776,949 people in 2023, and many think that life is better down south since the air is cleaner and there is not much traffic.

Davao City – which offers the slogan, “Life Is Here” – is home to a diverse population, which means you can experience a wide variety of cultures within the city limits. From the local to the global, there's something for everyone in Davao City.  That being said, the Kadayawan Village is where you would want to immerse in Davao for a taste of its rich local heritage,s it is home to five different Lumad tribes, giving the community a sense of multiculturalism.

Apartments and condominiums are the main types of accommodation available in Davao, and with the many new buildings, there is no shortage of units. There are houses in gated communities available, such as Northcrest Subdivision and Mountclair Highlands, which are more expensive to rent or buy.   

Neighborhoods in Davao

Other than Davao City, there is also Digos, which is found in the province of Davao del Sur, Tagum, Panabo, and Samal. It also includes the municipalities of Carmen, in the province of Davao del Norte, and Santa Cruz, in the province of Davao del Sur. The Davao City International Airport is located in one of the province's busiest areas, along with several seaports. Note that Davao City is the largest Philippine city in terms of surface area (2,444 km²), along with being Mindanao's trade and commercial hub.

Most expatriates in Davao have settled in Ecoland, located near the SM City Mall in Davao City. Once they get acquainted with the region, they then start looking for a long-term rental outside of the area.

If you prefer the comforts of a house, consider buying them from the most sought-after subdivisions, such as Woodridge Park, Ladislawa Garden Village, Las Terazzas, and Monteritz.

Good to know:

Asiaweek magazine dubbed Davao City one of Asia's most livable cities a few years ago, and the Inquirer named Davao as one of the safest cities in the world.

Davao was also named the second-most livable city in the country a couple of years ago, as reported by the SunStar publication. This is thanks to the city's low crime rate and its proactive approach to safety.

Also, in 2023, the city was named the Department of Trade and Industry's fourth-most competitive in all highly urbanized cities in the Philippines, which is the same ranking it had in 2021, showing how much the city consistently performs.

Local attractions in Davao

Davao City is blessed with stunning natural surroundings. From its white sand beaches to its majestic mountains, there's no shortage of beauty to be found here. Also, because the city is relatively large, you'll never feel too far away from nature.

Here are three of the must-see beaches near Davao, according to Anchor Land website:

  • Dahican Beach

  • Kaputian Beach

  • Starfish Island

They continue with a list of ten attractions and local spots that expats, and even residents, must visit and experience at least once:

  1. Samal Island

  2. Malagos Garden Resort and Chocolate Museum

  3. Museo Dabawenyo

  4. Apo

  5. Kadayawan Festival

  6. Roxas Night Market

  7. Jack's Ridge

  8. Philippine Eagle Center, Crocodile Park, and Davao's People's Park

  9. Gaisano Mall of Davao, Abreeza Mall, and SM Lanang Premiere

  10. Eden Nature Park

Rent prices in Davao

A one-bedroom apartment in the city center is approximately php19,265/ USD 350 per month or php 22,148/ USD 400 or php38,760/ USD 700 per month for a two-bedroom fully furnished apartment in the city center of Davao compared to 900 dollars in the outskirts. 3 and 4-bedroom units are more expensive, but Davao is still in the top 20 of the least expensive cities in the world!

Finding accommodation in Davao

There are various ways to look for accommodation in Davao, namely the Internet, real estate agencies, and relocation companies. But according to testimonies of expatriates living in the country, it is best to be on the spot to have more chances of finding accommodation according to your criteria. 

Some tried and trusted real estate companies in Davao are as follows:




Point2 Homes

Dakbayan Realty Davao



You are advised not to settle for a long term-rental before your arrival in the Philippines, as some owners may be dishonest regarding housing offers and rent prices.

You can also inquire about vacant housing with your friends and contacts on the spot. If you are already in Davao, feel free to stroll around different neighborhoods to identify available housing units.

In case you have chosen a relocation company, the latter will definitely help you find accommodation in Davao according to your criteria. However, this can be quite expensive and is more ideal in the case of a professional expatriation whereby your employer is taking care of all costs. Finally, real estate agencies seem to be the most appropriate solution, especially if you do not understand the local languages such as Visayan, Bisayan, Ilonggo, and Cebuano.

Lease conditions in Davao

Lease documents in Davao are similar to those applied elsewhere in the country. You will also have to make a deposit, which is equal to two months' rent, and pay the first month's rent upon signing the lease contract. Note that the rent price can be negotiated with the owner, even if you go through a real estate agency, especially once you have performed an inventory of the housing unit. This is also advised when you vacate the premises, even if the owner seems to be unwilling to do so. Note that lease contracts in the Philippines generally have a 1-year term, which is renewable. 

A lease agreement in Davao (and the Philippines) is a contract between the lessor and the lessee which protects both parties; the property owner and the expat. This grants the lessee the right to use a property that belongs to or is managed by the lessor for a predetermined period of time in exchange for recurring rental payments from the lessor. The lease does not grant the lessee any ownership rights.

For instance, if a tenant decides to move, a cancellation letter must be provided to the landlord one month in advance to give ample time to find new occupants. The lease agreement/ contract will include names of the protagonists, witnesses, terms and conditions, rental rate, tenure, force majure and judicial relief information in the event of an issue.

Besides the deposit, a valid ID, a valid visa, and at times, your work contract will have to be produced before signing the lease agreement. The lease agreement will also need to be notarized in Davao.

It is strongly recommended to have a lease agreement, even if there is a cheaper option for a deal ‘off the books'. Stay legal, know your rights, and be secure, knowing that you can live comfortably and economically with legal rights under your belt.

Buying property in Davao

Buying property in Davao can be a good investment, and there are more and more condos and apartments being built across Davao. The local real estate market is also showing signs of growth post-COVID-19, which is promising for potential investors.  Expats must have a valid visa for the Philippines to purchase property in Davao.

It's important to note that expats can purchase property in the Philippines but not the land on which it is built. Land purchases are 40% ownership for the expat and 60% to a Filipino/a national. Condominium projects are similar to corporations in that 60% should be owned by Filipinos. Although it is clear that foreigners are not allowed to own land in the country, these rules are subject to certain exceptions, such as buying land through a corporation. If you want to explore these options, you would have to obtain local legal advice to help you.

Average house prices in Davao are as follows:

  • 4BR with an average floor area size of 123.50 square meters (sqm.)=  PHP 7,392,000/ USD 33,438

  • 3BR house with an average floor area size of 170.87 sqm  ranges from PHP 400,000/ USD 7,222 to PHP 1,800,000/ USD 32,500

  • 2BR house with a floor area size ranging from 36 to 240 sqm ranges from PHP 350,000/ USD 6,319 to PHP 126,800,000/ USD 2,289,490

  • A 1BR house with an average floor area size of 43 sqm costs from PHP 515,000/ USD 9,302 to PHP 5,500,000/ USD 99,345.

Useful links:

Davao Official Portal

Click Davao

My Property PH

Anchor Lan

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.